At 01:54 AM 9/7/2003 -0400, you wrote:
The evidence indicates that the senders will use whatever is more likely to
result in the receiver seeing the message. This is different from seeing
it where the receiver would like to see it.
I get your point and it is a reasonable one that must be taken seriously.
However, I think that at some point soon, users will have no choice but to
either stop using email (because it doesn't work efficiently any more) or look
for a solution to spam.
At that point, I think they will demand change (already seeing early warning
signs of that now).
Also you are assuming that legitimate bulk email is very important to most
receivers wherein I think for most spam is a bigger issue.
Lastly, I don't think my proposal has to be any more inconvenient than existing
sub/unsubscription procedures, which require trading several emails, versus
inputting one POP domain in an email client.
I understand the concept of diminishing utility in economics, so I take your
point seriously. And I will ponder it more.
The point of the usenet reference analogy is that if placing things where
people have to go look was sufficient, folks would not have started using
But there is a key difference. Users started preferring email without the
agreement that it would have spam rate increase from 8% to 50% in 2 years.
When the noise gets too high, you turn off the TV and do something more
productive (remember antenae reception?). If you have a blackout every 5
minutes, you giveup trying to do anything with appliances. Etc..
They would have used other techniques.
And they will if spam continues to increase. They already are. And those
techniques may have much worse effects than a correct architectual definition
For example, legitimate mailing list traffic is getting falsely classified as
spam. Maybe not for you, perhaps because you are expert, but I assert your
experience is not likely shared equally by the 500 million...
Many (most) of the
spammers are simply interested in any technique that will get the message
in front of the recipient. Hence, they will use the path that is checked
most often (the personal mailbox).
Yes my proposal depends on that fact. Once you have the legitimate email
separated from the spam architecturally, then you can effectively increase the
cost of spamming to the point it is a non-economically viable activity.
Remember the economics of spam is precisely what makes it so noisy. If spam
ever got like 5% response rate, then it would not be such a big problem as it
is. The fact that is averages something like < 0.005% response rate is what
makes it both a big noise problem and also makes it very fragile cost wise.
The typical individual spammer does not make $300,000 a day. More like less
than $100,000 a year. And the institutionalized spammers (the economy-of-scale
bundlers) would make nice big fish for FTC. The more you can concentrate, the