Tackling spam

Something that really irritates my socks off (a phrase I heard on the radio) is spam. A couple of years ago, I had to discard my beloved yahoo e-mail address simply because I had to rummage through 100 annoying messages to find one single e-mail from, say, an aunt. As much as I love my aunts, I figured it just wasn’t worth keeping the address. Besides, there wasn’t any elaborate system to block spam back then.

Right now, however, I find hotmail does a good job filtering all this spam, and even makes it easy to validate any genuine e-mail that may have slipped into the junk folder by mistake. So even though it’s not as big of a problem for me as it used to be, it still agitating to think that these people are still at it. It must mean that they’re having at least some measure of success to keep spending a ridiculous amount of time and money on devising new ways to dodge filters. 

So, as usual, I had an epiphany the other day. Why don’t e-mail service providers devise a system whereby designating an e-mail as spam not only blocks any further e-mails from the same domain, but also returns the spam e-mail as ‘undeliverable’ back to the spammer. This way, the spammer could potentially find himself/itself (if a bot) bombarded with thousands of undeliverable e-mails in its inbox. It may or may not deter them from doing what they do, but it will surely annoy the hell out of them. So at least we’d be giving them a taste of their own medicine.

Look at some of the costs that spam induces on us (source wikipedia):

The California legislature found that spam cost United States organizations alone more than $10 billion in 2004, including lost productivity and the additional equipment, software, and manpower needed to combat the problem.

Spam’s direct effects include the consumption of computer and network resources, and the cost in human time and attention of dismissing unwanted messages. In addition, spam has costs stemming from the kinds of spam messages sent, from the ways spammers send them, and from the arms race between spammers and those who try to stop or control spam. In addition, there are the opportunity cost of those who forgo the use of spam-afflicted systems. There are the direct costs, as well as the indirect costs borne by the victims – both those related to the spamming itself, and to other crimes that usually accompany it, such as financial theft, identity theft, data and intellectual property theft, virus and other malware infection, child pornography, fraud, and deceptive marketing.

Technically, I don’t know if spamming is an invasion of my privacy, if I’m using a free service provided by, say, hotmail but either way, Bill Gates says it will soon be a thing of the past, so thank God for that.

~ by ziddi on January 3, 2007.

One Response to “Tackling spam”

  1. and God bless Bill Gates =)

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