Tuesday, March 09, 2004

TOO MUCH SPAM? I mentioned my own experience of being deluged by unprecedented amounts of the unwanted stuff lately. One wise reader has some possible explanations:
I can't conclusively answer the question about why you
are receiving more, but I have an idea. Since January 1, when Can-Spam went into effect in the USA and PIPEDA went into effect in Canada, ISPs have decided to crank up their SPAM filters, blocking a good deal of traffic. This has had two effects: 1. Americas-based spammers have moved offshore in order to avoid prosecution; 2. Spammers who have stayed in business have increased their volume in order to overcome the effect of ISP SPAM filters and ensure that the number of recipients remains the same. I suspect that whoever is managing your mail server has not been blocking much of your SPAM.

Spamming is a numbers game. The spammers know that they have to reach a certain number of people in order to generate sales. However, it's getting harder and harder to reach that same number of people for the aforementioned reasons. Hence, the volume of SPAM being sent has to go up.

This is probably the opposite effect from what the Congress intended with Can-Spam, but if you've read the law, you realize how poorly thought-out it is, and how ineffective it is at achieving its stated purpose. Net-net the effect of Can-Spam is to make doing business more difficult and expensive for legitimate, law-abiding businesses. Small companies who can't afford dedicated legal counsel and privacy staff will be most hurt by this act. Meanwhile, spammers will continue to thrive.
There oughta be a law . . . Wait, that apparently didn't work out too well. What next?

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