On Tue, Dec 21, 2004 at 10:52:59AM +1000, Laird Breyer wrote
This is intriguing. While it isn't clear that having a specific
definition of spam is actually useful for blocking it, this policy does
have implications on the solution set.
Would it be accurate to say that ASRG is interested in Z-mail
prevention solutions where Z-mail is a label for some set of messages,
and Z-mail can be taken to be spam?
If that's the case, then any solution of interest would also apply to
other labeling problems, e.g. ham-prevention. Furthermore, such a
restriction on the solution set would likely exclude some economic
solutions, as these solutions don't usually make sense for
ham-prevention say, and any solution the ASRG would be interested in
would have to work for Z-mail, whatever Z-mail turns out to be.
What am I missing here?
The thing that you may be missing is that "one size does not fit all".
One man's spam is another man's ham. My idea of spam is different from
someone else's. That's why end-user-control of some sort is so
desirable, so that end-users could stop (block/reject/filter/whatever)
the email that *THEY* don't want. Rather than "blocking spam", the
problem is better stated as "blocking unwanted email". Each person has
their own set of wants.
There is another, legal, problem with "blocking spam". The word
"spam" has a lot of negative baggage and spammers^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H email
marketers with lawyers will hit back with lawsuits claiming "It's not
spam, it's ooga-booga" (substitute euphemism-du-jour for spam). A good
parallel is the current spyware controversy, where Claria has sued anti-
spyware program publisherss, claiming to have been libelled/slandered by
being labelled as "spyware" rather than "adware". Their lawsuit does
not currently affect "adware removal" programs. A similar potential
problem exists in the spam arena. Rather than a "spam-blocking" program
labelling something as spam and blocking it, we should have an
"unwanted-email-blocking program". When the spammer's lawyer screams
"It's not spam, it's ooga-booga. Stop blocking my client's emails with
your 'spam-blocking' program", we should respond that it's really an
'unwanted-email-blocking-program'. And that our customer has indicated
that he doesn't want your email.
Walter Dnes <waltdnes(_at_)waltdnes(_dot_)org>
An infinite number of monkeys pounding away on keyboards will
eventually produce a report showing that Windows is more secure,
and has a lower TCO, than linux.
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