Spam Don't just delete 'reply'

Discussion in 'privacy general' started by TAG97, Sep 14, 2002.

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  1. TAG97

    TAG97 Registered Member

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    I found this in the New York Times OP-ED section and found it quite interesting. I started to reply to my spam e-mail today. What do you think: good idea or waste of time?

    " Fighting the Menace of Unwanted E-Mail
    By OREN ETZIONI"


    SEATTLE
    "A few days ago I created a new e-mail account, and within 24 hours I had received over 25 unsolicited commercial e-mail messages, otherwise known as spam. Even though I'm a professor of computer science, I, like so many others, have failed to protect myself from this daily nuisance. So I welcome the efforts by consumer groups that this month filed a petition with the Federal Trade Commission to enact a federal rule that would require senders to identify themselves more clearly and give recipients an effective way to opt out of such mailings.

    But legal efforts like this will not be enough. More than 20 states have enacted similar laws, but many of them have been challenged as unconstitutional restrictions of free speech or commerce. And the spam continues to flow.

    Spam is a global phenomenon, and much of it is generated outside the United States. It requires a global response. Why not fight spam with spam?

    Though spammers hope to lure us with their dubious propositions ("URGENT AND CONFIDENTIAL BUSINESS PROPOSAL"), they rely on those of us who don't want to participate to delete their messages quietly and go about our daily business. What would happen if recipients instead replied en masse to each message?

    Unlike the authors of viruses, who hide in the shadows of the Internet, senders of spam often leave a trail. Faced with hundreds of thousands of responses, the spammer would have to use substantial resources to store the responses, sift through them and identify those registering genuine interest. Alternatively, people could file a complaint with the sender's service provider or overload the spammer's Web site, grinding it to a halt.

    With current technology, there are few other options. Some service providers allow users to elect to receive e-mail messages only from pre-approved e-mail addresses. But this can cause problems of its own for those who are sending a legitimate message to a recipient they don't know. And software filters pose the same risk of inadvertently blocking desirable e-mail messages, especially since spammers have found ways to make their messages look ordinary.

    One of the more promising techniques is the use of puzzles that would distinguish people from programs. Such schemes work as follows: Whenever I receive an e-mail message from an unknown sender, my computer automatically sends a message back politely requesting that the sender solve a simple puzzle — like "What's the sum of four and five?" or "What word is embedded in the attached image?" — to demonstrate that the message comes from a person and not an automated sender. The original e-mail message would be transmitted to me only if the sender replies with a solution to the puzzle. This is a promising development, but the process is awkward, potentially insulting to the sender and far from foolproof.

    If technology is limited, what about an economic approach? The cost of sending e-mail is close to zero. Increasing that cost, for example by requiring senders to pay recipients of a message, would certainly eliminate much of the spam we receive. But it would be unfair to tax all e-mail messages, even legitimate ones, just to discourage spam.

    These remedies may seem overly ambitious, since getting rid of spam can be done simply by hitting the delete key. But spam is more than just a nuisance. It costs money in lost work time, burdens computer systems and damages online discourse (by deterring people from posting on message boards and doing research on the Web out of fear of leaving an e-mail trail). Let's send a clear message to the spammers: stop spamming or taste your own medicine. "

    "Oren Etzioni is an associate professor of computer science at the University of Washington."
     
  2. Pieter_Arntz

    Pieter_Arntz Spyware Veteran

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    By replying, you confirm that the spam was sent to a valid e-mail address. My experience is this only results in getting more spam.
    I would recommend Mailwasher: http://www.mailwasher.net/

    Regards,

    Pieter
     
  3. TAG97

    TAG97 Registered Member

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    But if if a couple of thousand replied ? 100 thousand?
    200 thousand replied two times? :) :) :)
     
  4. Pieter_Arntz

    Pieter_Arntz Spyware Veteran

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    I´m sure something would get overloaded, but I´m pretty sure the guilty ones would find (probably already have found) ways to stay out of trouble.
    Tips: http://www.spamrecycle.com/antispamthings.htm

    Regards,

    Pieter
     
  5. Detox

    Detox Retired Moderator

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    Also, when I was new to computers and the internet, I tried replying to such things to say "leave me alone" etc... and many of them you cannot reply to. In particular these are the ones with links to BS in them... Just a thought. I think replying is a bad idea anyway, I stay invisible and get no spam at all until someone else releases my email address and then I get some spam for a month or so and it eventually dies away until someone releases it for me again (online greeting cards and other "email this page to a friend!" crap)
     
  6. Vampirefo

    Vampirefo Guest

    Replying to spam, has got to be the worst ideal, I have ever read, all you would be doing is asking for more spam, plus sending your IP address out to everyone, that you reply to.

    You might as well take out an ad, and advertise your IP address. But if you don't care about security, then replay.
     
  7. Prince_Serendip

    Prince_Serendip Registered Member

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    ;) Hi Everyone!

    It's a little different than dumping unwanted flyers on a spammer's front lawn. Revenge only works when it doesn't backfire. Better to use MailWasher and simply dump them! Return the spam to the nothingness from which it was spawned.
     
  8. TAG97

    TAG97 Registered Member

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    Written by the professor:
    "Unlike the authors of viruses, who hide in the shadows of the Internet, senders of spam often leave a trail. Faced with hundreds of thousands of responses, the spammer would have to use substantial resources to store the responses, sift through them and identify those registering genuine interest. Alternatively, people could file a complaint with the sender's service provider or overload the spammer's Web site, grinding it to a halt. "

    Spammer sends out 200,000 e-mails, hoping to get 1,000 honest responses to take advanatage of. What would happen if 50% took the professor's advice and just replied. How does the spammer determine which 1,000 are the legit responses out of the 100,000 who respond? Is the professor right that the spammer's Web site will grind to a halt? o_O o_O o_O
     
  9. Pieter_Arntz

    Pieter_Arntz Spyware Veteran

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    The first problem is that spammers use different servers for sending mail and for handling the reactions.
    The second problem is that spammers are known to abuse (take over) mail servers from companies with poor security measures in order to do their dirty work.

    I wish that the professor would be able to convince everyone not to respond to spam in any way.
    If they´re not selling anything, they will stop.

    Regards,

    Pieter
     
  10. Vampirefo

    Vampirefo Guest

    You seem impressed with the title, of Professor, I am not, and I wouldn't care if my 7 year advised people to reply to spam, it would be just as wrong coming from him.

    To answer your question, NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!, the Website would not grind to a halt, that to me just shows that the Professor, knows as much as my 7 year old.

    What the Professor, has said is nothing more than a pyramid scheme, they have been around, a long time, and he has just copied almost word per word how they work.

    Perhaps the Professor, sends out spam, and is hoping to get a few more replies, to his spam.
     
  11. TAG97

    TAG97 Registered Member

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    Well honestly I delete everything unless I expecting an e-mail :D The flaw I find in replying is that by replying the e-mail is open in outlook express. I certainly don't want that :D But I find the weekends slow and like to stir the pot once in awhile. Even Vamfirefo responded! I'm so happy because it's so hard to get Vamp wound up :D :D :D Now if the professor reads my e-mail and comes to defend his idea, watch out!!! ;)
     


  12. Naughty Naughty....looks like I am going to have to sign up your email addy to more of those electronic greeting card sites again to keep you busy on the weekends..have you got anything from Joe Cartoon Lately :D :D :D :D :D
     
  13. Pieter_Arntz

    Pieter_Arntz Spyware Veteran

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    I´m sure he will get a "nutty" welcome :D

    Regards,

    Pieter
     
  14. TAG97

    TAG97 Registered Member

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    No Vampirefo, actually it's easier to spell professor than OREN ETZIONI"

    :) Do you agree o_O o_O o_O
    Regards
    Tim
     
  15. TAG97

    TAG97 Registered Member

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    Posted by Nethingyman
    "Naughty Naughty....looks like I am going to have to sign up your email addy to more of those electronic greeting card sites again to keep you busy on the weekends..have you got anything from Joe Cartoon Lately "
    You better watch out I'll get the PROFESSOR :D :D :D
     

  16. Tim,

    I have had "ALL " his email addresses for a long time and he loves extra email :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

    http://www.cs.washington.edu/homes/etzioni/

    I an talking bout YOU o_Oo_O ;) ;) ;) ;) ;)
     
  17. TAG97

    TAG97 Registered Member

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    Posted by Nethingyman:
    Tim,

    I have had "ALL " his email addresses for a long time and he loves extra email

    http://www.cs.washington.edu/homes/etzioni/

    I an talking bout YOU o_O
    :eek: :eek: :eek:
    No,it's OREN ETZIONI ;)
     
  18. Mr.Blaze

    Mr.Blaze The Newbie Welcome Wagon

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    i send them a 1000 e-mails with one word























    LOL
     
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