Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 13920
Posted:So a while ago, I posted a thread on spam and why I think that the government needs to step in and stop it completely, just like they did with Fax spam.

Well, the government has passed a law requiring that all pornographic spam carry a "SEXUALLY EXPLICIT" label.

Ok, that's fine. I agree that kids shouldn't be getting sexually explicit spam and I personally find it offensive to have all that in my inbox.

But how, exactly, did they intend to enforce it?

See, until there are actually international agreements and treaties about spam, spam can come from anywhere. And so it does no good to pass laws when the government can't arrest some schmuck in Russia who is sending the spam.

Furthermore, in spite of everything else, I still get 4-6 "Nigerian" E-mails a day. For those of you who are unfamilar, this is a spam scam where you get an E-mail from someone claiming to be an ex-leader of Nigeria, or an ex-leader's spouse or daughter or something. They say that they need a place to put a few million dollars offshore to keep it safe from some inquisition, and would you please open an offshore account and put thousands of dollars in it and then they will put millions in and you can split it? Needless to say, people have been duped into putting thousands of dollars into such an account only to see them disappear.

Except I get so many of these E-mails, I have started to wonder if anyone is actually sending them at all! Personally, I think that the gag is so old that there's just some server with a bot on it sending E-mail after E-mail. I should test this theory by responding to one of these E-mails and see if I get a bite.

The thing about Spam is that it's no longer just an annoyance. It is costing ISP's a lot of money to filter the spam and it is using up a significant fraction of bandwidth on the net. It isn't free speech; it's costly speech.


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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flid
BRONZE Member since Aug 2002

flid

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Warwickshire, United Kingdom

Total posts: 3136
Posted:spam is business, and we like business. It's what keeps things moving in our capitalist society. If people from other countries are dumb enough to buy our products, then that's more money for our country. If i was a government, would I really want to get rid of it?



It's not just governments who like spam and have the power to remove it, but also major ISPs and other organisations like the IETF. Most of the spam in the US comes from one ISP over one link. How to immediately put a stop to it all? Just remove the global routing table entry for that ISP. But we like spam, it uses loads of bandwidth, and we like bandwidth, its how major ISPs/telecom companies make money, selling it. Sure, some ISPs have 'filtering software', but its a pretty half arsed attempt at stopping it.

EDITED_BY: flid (1081903006)


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Dentrassi
GOLD Member since Apr 2003

Dentrassi

ZORT!
Location: Brisbane, Australia

Total posts: 3044
Posted:i seem to recall some recent discussions, what it miscrosoft?, on implimenting a email fee [like 1 cent per mail]. do you think this is

a) practical
b) likely reduce the spam

what do you think?
incidently, my flatmate is nigerian, and i alway print out my nigerian emails and slip then under his door. he sees the humourous side.

personally i havent been getting much spam recently - but alot of viruses mad



"Here kitty kitty...." - Schroedinger.

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UCOF
SILVER Member since Apr 2002

UCOF

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: , United Kingdom

Total posts: 15414
Posted:I have been getting bucketloads of viruses as well...but only on Hotmail which thankfully checks them automatically anyway.

I got one from Jenna Jameson yesterday.. rolleyes


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Dunc
GOLD Member since Aug 2003

Dunc

playing the days away
Location: The Middle lands, United Kingd...

Total posts: 7263
Posted:Me too!! Virus's suck ass...even more than spam. They should both be electronically castrated! eek

Let's relight this forum ubblove

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Burzaruka


enthusiast


Total posts: 233
Posted:Spam, though ever increasingly annoying, is even easier to avoid.

Take any e-mail address and stick "nospam" after the @ symbole and you prevent macro programs from taking your email addy and sticking it on a gloabal list.

burz@nospamyahoo.com for example.

any person who wants to get in touch with you has the brains to delete the nospam part of the addy.

Spam blocking programs exist on almost all free email and ISP email accounts, they are faily self explanitory but if assistance is needed you can always contact your ISP or even a member of the staff of the free email provider.

Also on web forums, like this one, select to keep your email private.

Dont visit pornographic sites, they can leave cookies on your computer that dectet email addys. Actually any site can, but pornographic sites are the most common.


So there are a few things that you can do untill the laws are passed.

As far as enforcing goes, they can set up, like with the Do not call list, a hotline or email account that will handle any such unwarrented spam letters.

The computer is a wonderful invention, you can do or simulate anything that you put your mind to. It just takes time and know how smile


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Dentrassi
GOLD Member since Apr 2003

Dentrassi

ZORT!
Location: Brisbane, Australia

Total posts: 3044
Posted:Quote:
any person who wants to get in touch with you has the brains to delete the nospam part of the addy.



interesting idea.... however i have too much experience dealing with technologically inept people who wouldnt hanve the brains to do that.


"Here kitty kitty...." - Schroedinger.

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MillenniuM
PLATINUM Member since Jul 2003

MillenniuM

Hyperloops suck
Location: , USA

Total posts: 595
Posted:Dentrassi: I find it less confusing to the computer illiterate to do it this way:

ryanmoray AT cox DOT net


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onewheeldave
GOLD Member since Aug 2002

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield, United Kingdom

Total posts: 3252
Posted:I agree that disguising e-mails as me@nospammyserver.com, or any of the variations on this, are going to be confusing for many.

It just shows what a total pain in the a**e spam is, that we have to worry about whether people are tech enough to understand our coded e-mail addresses.

Spam itself is the natural internet version of the pre-existing 'in your face' marketing that is so rife in our culture that we are barely aware of it anymore.

Examples include the fact that, if I pay to see a film, I first have to endure 20 minutes of ads pushing cars that I have no interest whatsoever in buying, magazines whose content is 30% advertising rubbish and, more recently, some of Sheffields electronic street billboards are now pumping out music! (which means it's only an matter of time before they start talking to you as you pass by).

Marketing in general, and spam in particular, exist because, however outlandish the things they're pushing, a small portion of the recievers are dumb enough to believe them and send their cash.

There's unlikely to be a viable fix to the problem in the near future, but I believe that the only real solution is for us to start to acknowledge that marketing/spam/advertising is insulting, degrading and unwanted. to become aware of how insiduously rooted it is in our culture and, ultimately, to put pressure on those who perpetuate it by hitting them where it hurts- refuse to buy marketed products (and start campaigns to spread the philosophy and make it clear to all companies that marketing their products will lead to loss of sales).

I don't need anyone to tell me that the above is unrealistic, however, it's a lovely dream, and, if enough of us did share it, a possible vision of the future.


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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Trillian
BRONZE Member since Feb 2004

Trillian

Llamas are larger than frogs.
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

Total posts: 319
Posted:ahh..the beauty of the "bulk mail" folder in yahoo mail... smile You can just delete it all without having to deal with any of it. Hooray!

"I know a good deal more than a boiled carrot."
"Fire!" "Where?" "Nowhere, I was just illustrating the misuse of free speech."

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Rouge Dragon
BRONZE Member since Jul 2003

Rouge Dragon

Insert Champagne Here
Location: without class distinction, Aus...

Total posts: 13215
Posted:dad brought home a transcript of a guy who had believed one of those "you have won internet tattslotto" emails. it was so sad reading what he believed.

i would have changed ***** to phallus, and claire to petey Petey

Rougie: but that's what I'm doing here
Arnwyn: what letting me adjust myself in your room?..don't you dare quote that on HoP...

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MiG
GOLD Member since Apr 2004

MiG

Self-Flagellation Expert
Location: Bogged at CG, Australia

Total posts: 3415
Posted:i read a thing on the net the other day, about a guy that got a promo letter saying 'you've already win 95000 dollars!! with a check attached. he cashed the check, and somehow it passed the requirements, and it got cashed. the legalites etc that followed are quite humerous.

"beg beg grovel beg grovel"
"master"
--FSA

"There was an arse there, i couldn't help myself"
--Rougie

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DeepSoulSheep
GOLD Member since Sep 2002

DeepSoulSheep

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Berlin, Ireland

Total posts: 2617
Posted:Mike, concerning your example of the Nigerian based email deely. I wouldn't mess with it cause I read about that exact one on BBC a while back. It gave a case study of a business man who lost thousands on it and couldn't believe his stupidity.

They got his account number and asked him to put a few thousand in on more than one occassion and he felt obliged to cause he figured it was his only hope, however slim, of getting any money back.

Shocking really... rolleyes


I live in a world of infinite possibilities.

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flid
BRONZE Member since Aug 2002

flid

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Warwickshire, United Kingdom

Total posts: 3136
Posted:Quote:
Spam, though ever increasingly annoying, is even easier to avoid.



Take any e-mail address and stick "nospam" after the @ symbole and you prevent macro programs from taking your email addy and sticking it on a gloabal list.



burz@nospamyahoo.com for example.



any person who wants to get in touch with you has the brains to delete the nospam part of the addy.





You don't have to be a programming genius (not that most spammers are), to have it filter out common nospam sections. Anything with yahoo and com in it is likely to be yahoo.com isn't it?



Quote:
Spam blocking programs exist on almost all free email and ISP email accounts, they are faily self explanitory but if assistance is needed you can always contact your ISP or even a member of the staff of the free email provider.





but generally suck



Quote:
Also on web forums, like this one, select to keep your email private.





good tip, but a lot of the time these things don't help. My uni address is on spammers lists because some idiot sold the entire list of uni email addresses a few years ago (probably for a couple of quid), which uni members can see publically.



Quote:
Dont visit pornographic sites, they can leave cookies on your computer that dectet email addys. Actually any site can, but pornographic sites are the most common.





nonsense. Browsers do not willing send email addresses to any sites. They used to for ftp anonymous login, but now ms explorer and others send something like msieuser@host. Cookies have nothing to do with this either, cookies are a very valuable tool for the most part, but you can just stop your browser from accepting them if you beleive the hippy paranoia crap.



Quote:
As far as enforcing goes, they can set up, like with the Do not call list, a hotline or email account that will handle any such unwarrented spam letters.





who are 'they'? your "do no call" thing is already implemented by several ISPs, its called blackholing. But it's not likely to work, as my previous post states, spam is bandwidth and bandwidth is money. There's too many spammers on totally legit/legal connections. Blocking all users on cable modems/dialup from being relays will only stop small time companies like local takeaways.


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Burzaruka


enthusiast


Total posts: 233
Posted:Flid, you cant filter this out using a program for the same reason that when you sign up for hotmail you cant use a progrom to read the little security word.

If you want a good spam blocker, use go.com. You select what message to block and put in your spam bin. Then you delete them at your own leasure.

Dont use a uni address. Tell your friends YOUR e-mail. One that only they would ever know.

Flid, I am sorry that you feel that I am wrong. But contrary to your belief, you can get things like spy ware and other such little cookie-like programs that can and do report e-mail addresses, keyboard strokes and other such information to someone. It isn't hard nor is it uncommon. I personally have 2 such programs on my computer, that for some damn reason I can't delete. One of the programs will keep my home page to this search engine. I can't delete it. I don't know why, but I just can't. Very frustraiting.

Cookies can help you load web pages faster, but they can also be used to do some damage to your computer.


Your last post, practially claimed that the governments make money off of spam. This is a conspiracy thoery that I will shoot down for you.

The govenrments are bigger targets of spam than any other person. Why? Well lets see, e-mails containing viruses, e-mail containing spy ware, e-mails from pissed off constituants, e-mails form various groups seeking various things. Spam costs the government more money than you would think. Now they have to employ IT and NT guys to help keep their lines clean from all the above unwanted e-mails and hackers and what not. Spam hurts them more than you, therefore, how can you say the government likes it?

ISPs probably niether like or really dislike spam. It is a double edged sword for them. 1 bandwidth makes them money
2 their patrons dont like spam and spam ridden ISPs like cox are loosing people left and right



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flid
BRONZE Member since Aug 2002

flid

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Warwickshire, United Kingdom

Total posts: 3136
Posted:ummm, do you actually know what a cookie is?

visiting a website will not install spyware automatically. If it does, it's illegal using a browser/computer exploit and if so falls into the trojan category.

my university is just an example. People have to use email addresses sometimes for whatever reason, ie workplace etc.

spam doesn't hurt the government. If it did they'd get off their arses and make some non namby pamby/softly softly laws. I doubt any important dov email accounts accept attachments, and there's no such thing as viruses/trojans/spyware that spread through plaintext (not even microsoft are incompetant enough to write a client that bad).


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Burzaruka


enthusiast


Total posts: 233
Posted:Yes my friend I know what a cookie is, not everything about them, but I know what it is and what it does. It is a little file that your browser accepts. Its primary goal is to allow web pages to load faster, it also stores a little bit of data on your computer that allows a web site, such as Home of Poi, to reconise your computer and automatically log you in, without you having to go through the sign on procedures every time you visit the forums.

I am not trying to argue with you, it won't get us anywhere and it is just a stupid thing to try to do on the internet.

However, if you expect me to believe that a government isnt a primary target for any attempts from electronic attacks, and that some of the many tools included are spam that tries to put little viruses and trojan horses on a government computer, then you are very wrong.

Just because the law isnt out yet, doesnt mean that the government isnt trying to do something about it. Very few individuals in any nation are completly aware of everything that goes on in a governing body. I am not one of them, and I am pretty sure you are not either. Rome wasnt built in a day my friend, have some patience, and keep your faith, because without faith a man can be nothing but a hollow empty shell. hug


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flid
BRONZE Member since Aug 2002

flid

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Warwickshire, United Kingdom

Total posts: 3136
Posted:A cookie isn't even a file. It's just a variable that your browser can choose to accept if it wants when it loads anything from the web (be it a webpage, image, etc), that it will resubmit if it visits another site which matches a given pattern in its address (the browser may choose to store the info in a file if it wishes, as does MSIE). Granted, it can allow you to stay logged-in, by use of a session cookie, normally random generated characters that you store a copy of in the database of the website along with the userid, then send a copy as a cookie. WHen the browser loads a page it sends the variable back and the site will look it up in its session table an find what user you are. Web cookies have nothing to do with spyware, which is generally installed bundled with something else, which when you installed and clicked yes to agreeing with the terms you didn't actually read all of the terms. Granted spyware, once installed could look at your browser cookies and determine which sites you've been to and possibly 'steal' your login info, but technically you agreed to it when you installed the spyware. Spyware is big bussiness, most of it is totally legitimate and your fault that it's on your computer (very little windows software is as 'FREE!' as it makes out). Cookies got a bad rap, mainly from techno idiot journaliss a few years ago because of banner advertising. Companies like doubleclick which serve ads for thousands (millions?) of websites can obviously send a cookie with each image they serve. So, when you visit a site you download a doubleclick ad, your browser sends your doubleclick id and doubleclick know which site you've visited. They can then use that to build a portfolio of which sites served by it you visit, then choose which adverts would be most applicable to you. It's business, as both a programmer and a user of the internet I have no problem with cookies.

I agree, arguing is stupid and i didn't set out to do so hug. I just try to give another viewpoint if possible about things i know i know a lot about and people giving tips to others (that i know to the best of my knowledge to be incorrect) who may well read it and take it as gospel. I didn't mean to offend you.

I totally agree that a government is a primary target for electronic attacks, but this goes for any large scale network. Every large network has kiddies trying to DoS/script them etc, but admining it is a built in to accepted charge of operating a public network. If were an admin of a sensitive network, a) i wouldn't connect it to the internet, just have a physically seperate network for email b) would bounce any non plaintext email. As for spam filtering, the cost incurred by paying for a few secretaries on minimum wage to sort them is negligable.

As a network programmer/admin, from observing government/police internet technology policy/law/capabilities for many years I can safely conclude that they are either completely blitheringly incompetant, or are incredibly intelligent but want to give the impression of incompetance (which they pull off remarkably well). The true answer is probably somewhere between the 2, but certainly the UK police's attempt at cutting down on illegal internet activity in this country over the past few years has been little short of laughable. And this isn't a situation that i'm happy with, as a legitimate user I see lots of pretty twisted stuff which, as a programmer, I know is easy to trace and shut down.


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Burzaruka


enthusiast


Total posts: 233
Posted:Well... what can I say? Just because you can't or have yet to see what your government is doing doesn't mean that they have yet to start on solving the problem at hand. Maybe our inconvienience of spam is low on their list of accomplishments. Weather you agree with it or not, there is a war going on, that could be just one thing preventing any deligation on any or all internet spam laws. confused

I don't know, I am just throwing out ideas. Though, when I get back to my personal PC I might ask if you can help me get rid of some problem things on my computer that an updated norton and other spyware programs cant seem to get rid of or solve. wink


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