Do-Not-Spam Lists

Discussion in 'ten-forward' started by Smokey, Aug 23, 2003.

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  1. Smokey

    Smokey Registered Member

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    Frustrated Internet users inundated with unwanted get-rich-quick schemes and herbal Viagra offers may have noticed a new unsolicited pitch promising to reduce the amount of spam e-mail they receive.
    Pointing to Web sites with names like Remove.org and globalremoval.com, the messages promise -- for a fee -- to stop unsolicited e-mail at its source by placing their addresses on a do-not-spam registry.

    The services say they have hit on a novel and cheap way to reduce spam and point to bulging customer lists as proof. Government and private-sector experts say such do-not-spam services aren't likely to work because marketing firms are under no obligation to comply.

    "It's probably not worth signing up. You can get plenty of spam for free," said Howard Beales, head of the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) consumer-protection division.

    Ironically, many of the do-not-spam services may have been inspired by an FTC initiative -- the telephone do-not-call list that promises to keep most telemarketers at bay, starting in October.

    The popularity of the antitelemarketing list and the success of similar state-level programs have prompted some to call for a do-not-spam list. But the FTC and many technology experts say a government-backed do-not-spam list would do little good because spammers, unlike telemarketers, often cloak their identities and could easily escape punishment. Also, some marketers might view the list as a tempting trove of valid e-mail addresses to sell to other spammers.

    While prospects for a federal do-not-spam list look doubtful, private companies have stepped in to offer their own services, often through unsolicited messages of their own.

    Washington-based Remove.org promises to rid members' in-boxes of spam and protect their children from unwanted pornography for $9.95 per year.

    The company seeks to cut off Internet marketers who send unsolicited messages to its list's 50,000 members by notifying their Internet providers that the spammer may be violating their service contract, Remove.org marketing director Charles David said.

    Internet marketers that don't wish to generate consumer complaints or send pornography to children can scrub their master lists of members' e-mail addresses -- a key consideration as public antispam sentiment mounts, he said. "I think they really see their days as potentially numbered, and the current climate's given us that extra leverage," David said.

    Another service, Global Removal, deputizes Internet marketers to seek out those who are sick of spam. Consumers pay $5 for a lifetime membership, and the marketers get $1 for each Internet user they sign up. The list is encrypted to keep it out of spammers' hands, and those who participate sign a contract to be held accountable.

    Company founder Tom Jackson said the system has proved its appeal, saying that "tens of thousands" have signed up in recent weeks, some in response to globalremoval.com's own e-mail campaign. "If that message upsets people, then I say, 'Either sign up with us or pretend it was one more Viagra ad and get back to your spam diet, and we're really sorry to have bothered you,' " Jackson said.

    Several industry and technology experts say do-not-spam lists are unlikely to succeed without a federal law.

    "To the best of my knowledge, these private remove services are nothing but scams," said Dave Brussin, chief technology officer at Paoli, Pa.-based ePrivacy Group, which wants Congress to pass a national list.

    Computer security consultant Richard M. Smith said working with spammers to cut spam is a conflict of interest. "Doesn't pass my smell test," he said.

    "The whole concept is a little fishy," said Louis Mastria, a spokesman for the New York-based Direct Marketing Association, which represents many Internet marketers. "They have no power over these guys, so there's no real service that they can guarantee or provide. You've spent your $10, and what do you get out of it?"

    Source: Reuters
     
  2. Detox

    Detox Retired Moderator

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    hmm sure anyone else need money? Get in line lol :rolleyes:
     
  3. Smokey

    Smokey Registered Member

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    I was already thinking the same...
     
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