Spam has three features:
1. It is unsolicited 2. It is commercial 3. It is email
Otherwise, it is not spam.
Commercial eMail types:
1. Solicited commercial email that we do want 2. Solicited commercial
email that we don't want 3. Unsolicited commercial email (spam)
We think that we have to specifically and directly ask for commercial
email to be sent to us for it to be legally considered "solicited"
and that everything else is spam. Half the states in the Union have
no restrictions on unsolicited commercial email and those that do,
have established that email is "solicited" if there is a
preexisting business or personal relationship between the initiator
of the commercial email and the recipient.
Reclassifying what is currently "solicited" or "opt
in" or "preexisting business relationship" as "spam"
however, will not solve our problem. It might make us feel better
but it won't fix anything. A certain amount of what we often regard
as "spam" might be unwanted, but it's not spam. Unwanted
commercial email is a problem, but it's not the same problem that
50 percent of all e-mail traffic in the United States is spam, up
from 8 percent in late 2001 and nearly doubling in the past six months,
according to Brightmail Inc., a major vendor of anti-spam software.
40 percent of U.S. Postal Service mail is business marketing.
onslaught of spam-trash, can, and is affecting response rates for
legitimate marketers. Nevertheless, there are ways you can counter
Don't purchase anything from spammers (the
fact that they have to send out millions of email is an indication
of how desperate they are for sales), it is possible you won't get
what you order from them anyway, or have other problems.
Use one of the solutions we recommend below.
However if you are using a content based filter, be sure to remain
conservative in your approach to banned words. Many legitimate emails
are erroneously blocked when over aggressive content filters are used.
You don't want to throw out the baby with the bathwater.
Follow these basic rules for
don't respond to emails asking for any of the following:
this information on encrypted and secure server (look for the little
locked padlock in the lower right hand of your screen to determine
if it is secure) is reasonably safe.
Never open attachment unless you are very sure of the sender (and
even in those cases the sender may be forwarding a virus unwittingly).
Attachments should be handled with extreme caution. Most computer
virus are spread via email attachments or live links.
only email. Don't respond to spammers with your opinion. Don't validate
your email by opting out. Just use one of the solutions below, or
if your spam problem is a minor one, just use your delete key. You
will just waste your time by trying to get off of all lists.
If you are an eMarketer don't ever buy a list that is delivered to
It will be a spam list regardless of what the list owner represents.
Legitimate email list brokers always send your email for you and control
the email addresses on their lists. They never transfer them to buyer.
Once they did that the buyer could resell the list to anyone.
If you are an eMarketer don't send out unsolicited email. Don't
use harvesters or other spamming software to acquire names. Put a
newsletter or mailing list sign up on your site and get your recipients
permission to send email to them. Sending spam makes you and your
company look desperate, and irresponsible. That is not an image that
you want for you or your company.
As a marketer don't underestimate the problem.
Ok, so you can handle 50 or 100 or even 200 spam emails a day. But
what would happen if you were receiving 1000 or 10,000 or a million
a day? It would effectively shut down the channel. That is why the
eMarketing Association is working with anti-spam solution developers
to improve and refine the technological methods of dealing with spam.
We believe that what technology has created it can also control. By
using one of the solutions below you are taking an important step
in maintaining the integrity of your email.
Chairman Calls Spam "One of the Most Daunting Consumer Protection
Problems FTC Has Ever Faced"
business executives and government officials at the Aspen Summit in
Aspen, Colorado, Federal Trade Commission Chairman Timothy J. Muris
today explained how competition, consumer protection, and the FTC
fit into the American economy. Specifically, Muris focused on the
challenges posed by spam and the roles of the government, marketers,
and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in combating this "daunting"
consumer protection problem.
stressed that, like competition policy, consumer protection policy
plays a vital role in supporting markets. According to Muris, the
Commission's consumer protection program has had numerous successes,
yet currently faces its most significant test in addressing spam.
Muris explained that legislation alone would do little or nothing
to halt the growing flood of spam. Because the Internet allows spammers
anonymity, and because spammers can send thousands of e-mails per
day at essentially no cost, he stated that few would have the incentive
to stop sending unsolicited e-mails in spite of new laws.
one should expect any new law to make a substantial difference by
itself," Muris said. He outlined three important elements that
he believes must be incorporated in order to create effective legislation.
First, the legislation must address how to locate and prosecute spammers.
"Our experience, and that of the few states that have tried to
punish spammers, is that it can take months of investigation, and
sometimes a dozen or more subpoenas, simply to locate a spammer,"
Muris said, indicating that technology could most effectively address
Muris stated that legislation must adequately address spammers' punishments.
Muris explained that, as with any consumer protection action, the
FTC can freeze spammers' assets and seek consumer redress. In most
cases, however, spammers have limited assets. "Our authority
thus already entitles us to more money than many of the spammers have,"
Muris said. "Authority to get civil penalties will not make a
dramatic difference." He also noted that when defendants have
no assets, or when civil penalties do not provide enough incentive
to stop spammers from violating the law, consumers will be protected
only if criminal action is taken. Muris stressed that criminal authority
must be clarified.
to Muris, some proposed legislation could actually make it more difficult
to prosecute problematic spam. He cited one bill that would make suing
a spammer more complicated than the current process under the FTC
Act, and other proposed bills that would require federal prosecutors
to prove that a spammer falsified his identity in 10,000 different
e-mails to bring a felony charge. "As the Department of Justice
has noted in testimony, such proof simply will often be impracticable,"
addressed the idea of creating a "Do Not Spam" registry
modeled after the FTC's recently launched National Do Not Call Registry.
If such a list were established, Muris said, "My advice to consumers
would be: don't waste the time and effort to sign up." He explained
that "we are sure the National Do Not Call Registry will reduce
calls significantly." By contrast, a "Do Not Spam"
registry would be ineffective because spammers can constantly create
new e-mail addresses and identities, and because it costs virtually
nothing for a spammer to clog consumers' inboxes. "Instead, recipients
and Internet Service Providers bear most of the costs." Muris
said that "eventually, the spam problem will be reduced, if at
all, through technological innovations," including improved ISP
spam filters and the integration of anti-spam technology into the
e-mail services ISPs provide for consumers. Until these capabilities
become available, Muris said, "the ISPs need to empower consumers
by providing the means to deal with spam more easily." On the
whole, Muris concluded that "legislation cannot do much to solve
the spam problem, because it can only make a limited contribution
to the crucial problems of anonymity and cost shifting."
stressed that the FTC would continue to investigate and prosecute
deceptive spam, as well as the deceptive and unfair use of e-mail
technology. The FTC's work to combat spam includes cooperation with
federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies in the Spam Task
Force, consumer and business education and outreach, and continued
collaboration with government, ISPs, marketers, and technologists,
following the widely-attended FTC Spam Forum.
called the e-commerce initiative "an example of the Commission
using its institutional strengths to support competitive markets and
the common law as they adapt to technological change." He explained
that while the Internet has increased the availability of goods and
services to consumers, some state laws inhibit competition by requiring
online vendors to maintain a physical office in their state or by
prohibiting completely online sales or shipments of certain products,
including wine, contact lenses, and caskets. Muris stressed that the
FTC is working vigilantly to keep costs low and prevent any suppression
of Internet commerce.
eMarketing Association has tested and recommends the following solution
for the rising onslaught of unwanted email:
SPAM KILLER BY MCAFFEE
is THE Leading Anti-Spam Product for Consumers and Small Businesses.
email you want and nothing else. McAfee SpamKiller quickly and easily
helps you stop spam from polluting your inbox with advanced rule-based
and list based filtering. Now works with MSN/Hotmail.
are four types of SPAM
spam (illegal schemes, invalid senders)
2. Chain letters, and hoaxes
3. Honest people trying to make a living ("junk mail")
4. Occupational spam from colleagues
solutions will deal somewhat effectively with all four types. Here are
the methods that most Spam solutions use:
filters - This is the most common method of dealing with Spam. A
software program uses an algorithm to determine if incoming mail is
spam. The formula for making that determination varies by product but
all of them use keywords in the analysis. email that contains words
such as Viagra, sale, winner etc., may be blocked or quarantined.
List - These programs work on the approved address method. They
scan your sent items folders, and your address book to determine who
you have sent mail to and assume that those addressee are approved or
"white", then they check incoming mail against that list.
response - This is a variation on the white list method. email from
senders not on approved list receive a "challenge email" this
ensures that automated email does not get through, nor does any email
from senders not on your white list.
4. Disposable email addresses - Disposable email address services
help you avoid spam by using aliases instead of your real address.
A good spam-control product should define actions to be taken, depending
on which rules were tripped, such as:
2. Return to sender
3. Forward a copy to the sender and ask for verification
5. Report egregious messages to a central reporting point
Spam Laws: www.spamlaws.PDF
10 trickiest spammer subject lines: (from http://www.out-law.com/
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