"Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." -Aldous Huxley

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wTuesday, May 13, 2003

'WAR ON SPAMORISM': My latest "Latte Sipping" column is about the growing problem of spam. It begins:

Clarke's third law: Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

Lott's corollary: The magic eventually fades. [more]

The column draws on two fun sources. The first is a piece by USA Today's excellent tech columnist Kevin Maney:

This is what the anti-spam crowd isn't saying. The politicians considering anti-spam legislation, the Federal Trade Commission officials looking at regulations, the companies scrambling to sell spam-killing technology — all of them are aiming at the spam proliferators. Just last week, Virginia became the 27th state to pass anti-spam laws. The attitude is: Prosecute these spammers! Punish them! Defeat them!

Don't get me wrong — I'm all for it. I say we declare a "war on spamorism" and send the worst spammers to Guantanamo Bay to mingle indefinitely with the Taliban.

But to take such punitive action without attacking the other end — the spam clickers — is like going after the Colombian drug lords without trying to curtail drug use, or suing McDonald's because it makes fatty food when the reason it makes fatty food is that billions of people buy it.

The second source is a primer by my friend Kevin Steel on what to do about Spanish Prisoner spam:

1. Hit "Forward"
2. In "To:" put the email address 419.fcd@usss.treas.gov
3. Copy the ISP portion of the fraudster's email address along with the @ symbol
4. In "Cc:" paste
5. In front of the @ type the word "abuse" (So if the email address of the person who sent you the letter is ighonikaka@buttkick.com the new email address you made is abuse@buttkick.com )
6. Erase anything in the "Subject" line and replace it with the words "No loss"
7. Hit send

posted by Jeremy at 11:32 PM