What constitutes SPAM?

Posted 18 Dec 2002 at 18:18 UTC by johnnyb Share This

There are many businesses who communicate with customers and non-customers. I'm curious where the separation between legitamate communication and SPAM is.

I handle the email marketing software for my company, and I was wondering what the community thought the boundaries between legitamate communication and SPAM are. Some questions:

If a person at a trade show writes down their email address, are the emails they are sent considered SPAM?

Is mailing product information to your customer list considered SPAM?

Are puchaseable lists considered SPAM if you include the ability to unsubscribe?

Also, what responsibilities to I have to the postmaster of receiving sites? Do I need to inform recipients such as hotmail and AOL about large campaigns? Is there a rate limit I need to obey when sending messages to the recipients?

Thank you for your input.


Re: What constitutes SPAM?, posted 18 Dec 2002 at 19:11 UTC by davidm » (Master)

If a person at a trade show writes down their email address, are the emails they are sent considered SPAM?

Unless you specifically state that you will be sending marketing emails I would consider it SPAM. I sometimes leave my email address and request specific information be sent, so that information and that information only I would consider not to be SPAM any additional information that I did not request I would consider it SPAM.

Is mailing product information to your customer list considered SPAM?

It would depend upon how you got my email address into your customer list. If I gave it to you with the understanding you could send me email and if your customer list is easily opt outable I would not consider it SPAM, but if I opted out and you continued to send email then it's SPAM

Are puchaseable lists considered SPAM if you include the ability to unsubscribe?

Most purchasable list are SPAM. Does not matter if there is the ability to unsubscribe it would be SPAMMING to use such a list. Use of such a list will get you into my permanent kill file. Then nothing you have to say will ever reach me, nor will I do business with a firm that resorts to SPAM, even if I like their products.

SPAM IS, posted 18 Dec 2002 at 19:17 UTC by mglazer » (Journeyer)

SPAM is..

1. 90% of your inbound email.

2. unsolicited email that is free advertising for no-name companies you can't legally demand to stop.

3. distributed by un-unsubscribable email lists.

4. From an undetermined sender.

5. 90% of SPAM is porn related.

6. Hardly detered by over-zealous SPAM software that blocks your own domain's email but not the 500 from *@msn.com, *@hotmail.com, or *@yahoo.com.

7. Sold you email address in bulk email mailing spam software and or web crawlers that troll the web for email addresses.

8. The reason I hestiate to check my email more regularly and what turns off many people from the one useful purpose of the internet, email!

9. a waste of time to delete them and add to my block senders list.

10. NOT the lovable canned meatloaf of your youth.

purchasable lists are all cons; opt-in only, posted 18 Dec 2002 at 22:09 UTC by jbuck » (Master)

johnnyb, you should know, or, if you don't, learn, that there is no such thing as a purchasable list of people who will be happy to receive email from you. All such lists are sold by ethically questionable people, if not downright crooks. The ability to unsubscribe does not suffice: the reason is that even one mailing from each customer for these lists would add up to an overwhelming flood.

If you collect email addresses at a trade show, give people explicit checkoff boxes to specify what kind of mail they expect to receive, and respect their wishes.

When a customer buys something from you, at the time you make the first sale, give them the option of specifying what kind of mail they want to receive, and don't hold them hostage (by requiring that they can't get the kind of information they need unless they agree to mailings they don't need).

Your question about whether you need to inform people like AOL and hotmail about large campaigns indicates that you plan to become a big-time spammer, even if you don't want to use the word. After all, most spammers use "This is not spam" as their first sentence. You should know that AOL recently obtained a judgment of $7 million against a spammer: they will go after you if you abuse their customers.

It may appear to you that spam pays: it's dirt-cheap, and if you get a response rate of one out of ten thousand you profit. But is it really good for your business if the other 9,999 people hate your guts? Do you want to damage your company's reputation by adopting tactics associated with pornographers and scam artists? Believe me, almost everyone I know is furious about the amount of crap they receive by email, and even your customers are likely to consider your mailings to be crap if you haven't been very sensitive to their desires to be heard from or to be left alone.

Some states now have laws that may make it possible to sue you for $500 for each copy of unwanted mail.

In summary: opt in, not opt out. Period, no excuses.

SPAM IS .. in France at least, posted 18 Dec 2002 at 22:18 UTC by yeupou » (Master)

1. Unsolicited email that is advertising

It's forbidden to maintain a list of french customers if they haven't explicitely told you that they agreed to be on such list.

http://www.cnil.fr/

But finally the better spam is the one that get trapped by SpamAssassin :)

Easy Spam Solution, posted 19 Dec 2002 at 00:37 UTC by mglazer » (Journeyer)

The easiest SPAM fighting solution is to use what is known as 'positive-reinforcement security.'

Instead of a 'block senders list', or in addendum to, you have a 'allow senders list.'

Security always works best by defining, positively, who to allow rather than only who to not allow.

You define what email addresses are allowed to send you email, only those you will receive, simple and effective.

To enhance this simple concept a tool to determine the true sender, not just the labeled sender, would vastly improve this security as well. This can effectively be done in cooperation with ISPs.

This simple strategy already works very well in fighting telemarketing with software that only allows incoming phone calls from a pre-defined list of phone numbers and traceback abilities to verify that the caller ID phone number is in fact the real one being used.

WIth phones its a bit more tricky than with emails.

For instance an emegency phone call from a pay-phone would not get through the above-mentioned software (some allow for a pre-defined over-ride passphrase) for this type of situation. At this juncture we generally do not have to worry about emergency emails from non-defined users.

At some point in the future this will be an issue that will have to be tackled with a solution like the passphrase over-ride idea using VOIP / VXML (voice recognition) similar to calling into ones answering machine.

"Interesting mail", posted 19 Dec 2002 at 01:58 UTC by dan » (Master)

Paul Graham, in his article A plan for spam, seems to have thought more about what spam actually is than most definitions I've seen. Unsolicited commercial mail doesn't have to be spam; indeed, some noncommercial mail is just as undesirable as UCE is

The point at which I and he disagree is that he eventually ends up describing spam as "unsolicited automated email". That may be a workable definition (if you can agree what 'solicited' actually means) at the sending end, for deciding whether to pull the accounts of spammers, or to invoice them for their abuse of a network, but it doesn't really help at the receiving end, because there's nothing you can do to detect whether the mail was sent automatically that the sender won't eventually learn to fake. And, of course, even if he'd sent it by hand (for whatever value of "by hand" makes sense when we're talking about internet email) it'd still be just as annoying to me.

What I do instead is decide that I don't want a spam filter, I want an "interesting mail filter". Then I can go on to define spam as mail sent without a reasonable expectation that I'll be interested in it. A filtering program can probably do a reasonable job of classifying my mail as potentially interesting or not, without having to worry about whether it was sent automatically.

Just nit-picking..., posted 19 Dec 2002 at 04:04 UTC by bgeiger » (Journeyer)

"SPAM" is the gooey pink meat-like substance that Hormel sells, and is a trademark.

"Spam" is unsolicited commercial email.

Hormel has been nice enough not to object to the popular use of the term; please, let's not abuse that.

More on "SPAM" vs. "spam, posted 19 Dec 2002 at 04:59 UTC by bgeiger » (Journeyer)

http://www.spam.com/ci/ci_in.htm

More on 'SPAM' vs. 'spam', posted 19 Dec 2002 at 05:06 UTC by bgeiger » (Journeyer)

http://www.spam.com/ci/ci_in.htm

We do not object to use of this slang term to describe UCE, although we do object to the use of our product image in association with that term. Also, if the term is to be used, it should be used in all lower-case letters to distinguish it from our trademark SPAM, which should be used with all uppercase letters.

(Sorry about the earlier post, my finger slipped when trying to type a ", and somehow my browser (M$IE, don't ask) assumed I wanted to submit the form. raph, could we make "preview" the default? Please?)

How the word SPAM came about, posted 19 Dec 2002 at 09:24 UTC by MichaelCrawford » (Master)

I'm sorry for the hormel folks, I really am, but the use of the word "SPAM" to describe unsolicited commercial email came about from a Monty Python skit that was about the canned meat. Even Hormel admits that.

Once a trademark has become a generic word it can no longer have trademark protection. Hormel's opportunity to defend their trademark came when the use of the word SPAM first appeared on the Usenet News. Now, I Am Not A Lawyer, but according to my understanding of trademark law, I feel Hormel lost their trademark long ago.

Did you know that the word "escalator" for a type of automated mechanical stairway used to be a trademark? It's not anymore, it eventually became a common word and whoever it was that owned the trademark failed to adequately defend it. Now it's not a trademark anymore.

I got this information about how trademarks work from some guidelines for the creation and use of Apple trademarks when I worked there back about 1990.

e-mail which frustrates me, posted 19 Dec 2002 at 11:23 UTC by muks » (Master)

Any unsolicited e-mail I get which is mass-mailed to a number of people on a list would constitute e-mail I do not like.

If the e-mail is explicitly addressed to only me and upto 2-3 other people, and contains content which is specifically written for my attention (as against a mass mail-merge type of e-mail) I often read such e-mail.

Advertising isn't all bad. It is how advertising is done and the ethics of it which makes the majority of Internet advertising look bad. I took a course on advertising in university - I learnt that if you look back at your life, there are many things which you have learnt which benefit you, which you got through advertisements. Simple example of a beneficial advertisement is.. say an advertisement about a disease such as tuberculosis by a voluntary organization.

About three months ago, our company got an e-mail from a startup internet company by a senior Linux kernel developer. He wanted to find out if we would be interested in their product. It was unsolicited. It was advertising, but it was written for us. We liked the product. We have a healthy business relationship going now.

Things that frustrate me, posted 19 Dec 2002 at 12:08 UTC by bgeiger » (Journeyer)

1. Spam that attempts to deceive the reader into opening it. "Re: your mail" and the like.

If it's honest and straightforward, it's less annoying. I won't buy anything from a deceptive seller.

2. Random letters at the end of a subject line. uyHwnGhY

(At least this one is a clear tip-off that it's spam.)

3. People who sell my email address. Young Harris College apparently did just that, recently. Granted, it's not quite as bad since I've only received one ad, but the principle is still wrong.

(By the way, could we at least use "spam" in lowercase, on the grounds that it: 1. is not an acronym, and 2. looks retarded in uppercase?)

Hmmmm..., posted 19 Dec 2002 at 17:35 UTC by johnnyb » (Journeyer)

I appreciate the variety of responses. However, I do want to clear up some things. One respondent mention:

"It may appear to you that spam pays: it's dirt-cheap, and if you get a response rate of one out of ten thousand you profit. But is it really good for your business if the other 9,999 people hate your guts? Do you want to damage your company's reputation by adopting tactics associated with pornographers and scam artists?"

Being that we have never sent out to a list of more than 50,000 people (most are under 3,000), getting a response rate of 1 in 10,000 certainly would not suffice. The email we send generally has a click-through rate of between 10% and 30% (that's people who _both_ read the email _and_ clicked on the links). Therefore, the tirade about offending the majority of the recipients is quite unfounded.

Being involved in email marketing, you may believe me to have a distorted perspective, and perhaps I do. However, only communicating with people who have already agreed to receive it is not what makes commerce happen (and I'm talking about anything - mail, phone calls, email, etc.). New products and new ideas require a new audience - i.e. - one that was not previously aware that they could receive such an email.

Obviously, you don't want to send to people who don't want to receive it, and I think there should be a global list somewhere of people who don't want to receive commercial email. However, I would say that the vast majority of the people we send to actually appreciate what we are sending, because we are usually presenting a product or service that they needed, but didn't know where to get. If they had had to opt-in in order to receive the email, they would have never have gotten their problems solved.

And there you have the dual dilemma. One group of users only wants commercial email upon specific request, and another group wants unsolicited email so that they can know what exists out there without having to do the digging themselves.

Re: Hmmmm..., posted 19 Dec 2002 by johnnyb, posted 19 Dec 2002 at 19:52 UTC by davidm » (Master)

I've worked with marketing people before. You are correct you do have a distorted perspective. What you fail to realise is that with e-mail you are using my money which really pisses me off. I pay for the last mile bandwidth you use, not you and I don't like it nor do I want it. If you want to advertise to a new audience then use TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, snail mail, door to door delivery, etc., there at least you are paying the cost of it and I'm not.

But you don't like using TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, snail mail, door to door delivery, etc. Why? Because those things cost you money in some cases lots of money, you percieve that e-mail is a low cost method of reaching lots of people. The damage you do to your company, brand, and product far outweighs the percieved cost savings of the spam.

I do read the back pages of electronic magazines specifically for the ads, but if I get any spam e-mail from the same advertisers I will not use their products. The only way to stop people like you is to vote with my money. No one wants you taking money out of their pocket so pony up your funds and leave mine alone.

If you send spam to me I will get you black listed double quick and work very hard to get you removed from the Internet (at least from your current ISP).

If you want me to read your mail and not get upset about it then pay me to read it. No not with a discount but with cash. Send me .20c - .25c US with every e-mail you want me to read and I'll be happy to read everything you send before I delete it. Ah but now the cost of doing business goes up to the same cost of using snail mail so you don't want to do that do you? I'll open a paypal account and you deposit money I'll quite complaining and I'll stop getting folks like you black listed for spamming. I could use an extra $100 US a day so please send me 400 advertisements per day. That is easily what my spam filters delete daily. In fact I'm sure I have several friends that could use the extra cash too, so let me know when you are ready to start paying for the use of my bandwidth and time and I'll get you additional email address where your mail will be welcome.

If you have to ask..., posted 19 Dec 2002 at 20:13 UTC by ncm » (Master)

If you have to ask, it is probably spam.

If you buy a list, it's certainly spam.

If you would hesitate to FAX it for fear of violating federal law, it's spam.

If you spam to promote your product, you place it firmly, in readers' minds, among every other scheme and scam promoted the same way. Is that really the association you want to cultivate? The real suckers in the spam world aren't the ones who read spam, it's those who pay spammers to push spam. Those like you who can't seem to figure this out for themselves are the only reason spammers can afford to avoid getting a real job.

Commerse and advertisement, posted 19 Dec 2002 at 20:37 UTC by abraham » (Master)

No, people do not opt-in if they don't know you. So do as honest people do, advertise places where you pay for the right to advertise, and where your money subsidice the content that actually make people visit the place in the first place. TV, magazines and web sites are examples.

Do not try to leach your advertisement in places where you don't pay for the content, or are part of the content people actively seek. Yes, it is cheaper that way, as you don't have to subsidice content. But the price is that you are ruining the place instead of supporting it.

If you for some reason want to use email for initial contact, there are places like the Danish website jatak where users actively opt-in for various types advertisements. If you use them, your messages will be appreciated, but you have to pay for the privilege.

Spam, posted 19 Dec 2002 at 22:05 UTC by chakie » (Master)

I don't understand why spammers bother sending me spam. 90% of spam originates from the US, and 95% of that applies only to Americans, ie US companies advertising products sold in the US for US citizens. Why do these spammers bother sending their spam to adresses outside .com, .net and .edu? Are they really that stupid? I live in Finland and all spam comes to my .fi address...

Can't the US keep their folks from harassing me every day of the year?

hmmmm.... some more, posted 20 Dec 2002 at 14:15 UTC by johnnyb » (Journeyer)

If you spam to promote your product, you place it firmly, in readers' minds, among every other scheme and scam promoted the same way. Is that really the association you want to cultivate?

***

Every scheme and scam is promoted in every way - TV, magazines, you name it. Putting together a quality advertisement and sending it to small, targetted audiences is what makes it stand out in the customer's mind. And they are generally very responsive (as I said before - between 10% and 30% are our normal rates for clicking-through).

The real reason people use email for marketing is for two reasons: 1) it's personalizable, and 2) the results are measureable - so you can tell for certain if the campaign is a success or not. For most of the clients we work with, price is not nearly the biggest issue - if they thought a television campaign would be more effective, that is the route we would take. We also do interactive CD-ROMs sent in the mail, etc. The reason why email-marketing works well is that you can actually track what happens to what you send. And that is what makes it so valuable.

"Those like you who can't seem to figure this out for themselves are the only reason spammers can afford to avoid getting a real job"

Actually, I quit a real job at EDS for 25% less pay to do this. Why? Because I am now working for a company that works _for_ it's customers, rather than against them (if you've worked at EDS before, you know what I'm talking about).

Measurable SPAM results, posted 20 Dec 2002 at 16:35 UTC by robilad » (Master)

I think you only measure the positive effects of your mails. For every 10% that clicked through, you've wasted the money of 90% others that didn't want your SPAM to begin with. For them, your customer's reputation has just dropped to the level of Nigerian mafia. Can you measure the damage you're doing? You can not, because these people won't click through.

SPAM is for me any communication I don't want to receive. How should you know what I'd like to receive and what not, as a marketing person? The answer is simple: know your customer, and be polite. Advertise in public space where you foot the bill, not on my property (my inbox).

My two cents..., posted 20 Dec 2002 at 23:17 UTC by robocoder » (Journeyer)

I don't think it's a question of legitimate spam or not. It's a matter of personal preference. For me, the only desirable spam is the stuff I opt-in (presuming it'll interest me), where I really do win oodles of cash, or I indeed get something of value that's absolutely free with no strings attached.

An "allowed senders list" works better if you, the client, or receiving MTA can verify the authenticity of the sender. That is, there should be a reliable trust mechanism.

As for SpamAssassin, I find it's (1) still not as effective as the client-side rules I had before (although I did get the occassional false positive); and (2) after a while (largely because of the volume of junk email), I got complacent and simply stopped checking for false positives.

Has anyone considered developing a new email mechanism that includes a policy on conditions of use? [X.400?] At the same time, it could incorporate encryption as a core feature, rather than some weakly integrated add-on.

Not Getting Through, posted 21 Dec 2002 at 06:54 UTC by ncm » (Master)

It's clear that nothing is getting through to this johnnyb person. I'm not sure it's worth putting time in trying to explain any further, but I'll try one more time.

... sending it to small, targetted audiences is what makes it stand out in the customer's mind

Receiving your message in the form of spam makes the company name stand out among its competitors as a compatriot of penis enlarger salesmen and former Nigerian government employees. What distinguishes them from legitimate businesses is that they must have idiots as customers. It is precisely those idiots who will respond to any spam, including yours. If spamming is a company's main marketing medium, the quality of its customer base will decline until it finds that those interested enough to buy have already been fleeced by somebody else, or been fired for incompetence.

I see that I misunderstood your posting: you don't have a product to sell by spamming; rather, you are evaluating spamming as a product itself. Your customer is not the spam victims, but the sucker I mentioned earlier who doesn't realize you are about to drag its name through the sewer, and the product is the eyes of all the victims on your list, and the bottom-feeders who actually read it and, worse, click on it. We, the product, are supposed to offer "input" on your plans.

Now you know. Your plans stink. They reek. It is now clear why you have not revealed who this employer is. Try to find an honest job. You owe it to your son to be a father he can be proud of.

Who benefits?, posted 21 Dec 2002 at 19:27 UTC by jennv » (Journeyer)

Here's my personal view: uninvited commercial email is spam.

> If a person at a trade show writes down their email address, are the emails they are sent considered SPAM?
If I give my email address out at a trade show, I am giving it out on the assumption that the person I give it to is interested in doing business with me, one-on-one. Unless you explicitly state before I give you the address, that you will be putting me on a mass-market list (or even a narrowcast marketing list), your emails are spam.

> Is mailing product information to your customer list considered SPAM?
How did you get the list? Are you inviting people to subscribe specifically to a list for product information, or is it your basic list of 'people who have bought a product from us at some point'? If the former, then no because people specifically signed up for it. If the latter, then I would put you on my 'never buy from this company' list. And yes, I do keep one.

> Are puchaseable lists considered SPAM if you include the ability to unsubscribe?
Yes. Unsubscription is meaningless. How many businesses are created in a single day? If every one of those sent email to me once, my email address would be unusable. If even 1% of them sent email to me once, my email address would be unusable.
Opt-in is the only way to allow email to remain usable. Opt-out is meaningless.
And that's before we consider that noone with any 'net experience trusts opt-out.

> Also, what responsibilities to I have to the postmaster of receiving sites? Do I need to inform recipients such as hotmail and AOL about large campaigns? Is there a rate limit I need to obey when sending messages to the recipients?
No, a warning isn't enough. You have the ethical responsibility to pay their costs. It's YOUR marketing campaign. It doesn't benefit the reader. It doesn't benefit the carrier. The carrier's customers don't want your ads. The readers don't want your ads. The only person who wants the ads is you.
So pay for them.
Pay the carrier, at minimum. Include the cost of complaints from the readers in your payment.

Get the message?
Good.

Jenn V.

Solving the dilemna..., posted 21 Dec 2002 at 19:52 UTC by jennv » (Journeyer)

> Obviously, you don't want to send to people who don't want to receive it, and I think there should be a global list somewhere of people who don't want to receive commercial email. However, I would say that the vast majority of the people we send to actually appreciate what we are sending, because we are usually presenting a product or service that they needed, but didn't know where to get. If they had had to opt-in in order to receive the email, they would have never have gotten their problems solved.
> And there you have the dual dilemma. One group of users only wants commercial email upon specific request, and another group wants unsolicited email so that they can know what exists out there without having to do the digging themselves.

A lot of companies think they know what I want, but I've found out about new things I actually was interested in through magazine articles or word of mouth. There are almost no cases where an ad other than an opt-in mailing list ad (or non-profit ads about mammograms etc) actually told me something I wanted to know.

Spam email is particularly bad. I don't have a penis to enlarge, I already have E cup breasts so I definitely don't want them any larger. I'm perfectly happy with my husband, so dating isn't interesting. I don't want a Russian bride. Nigerians who want an American national to 'partner' with have no luck with this Aussie. I don't have any desire for more traffic to my websites, and someone is doing a dictionary attack emailing everything possible at LinuxChix to invite me to pay big bucks to 'dress up my website'.

In other words, you and some percentage of your customers may think your item is the crash hot hit of the month. But I don't. And while I'm paying by the byte to download my email, I resent every ad that arrives in my mailbox.

Why don't you invite everyone who DOES want unsolicited commercial email to subscribe to an email magazine? I know there are companies that do direct-snail-mail that way. Go for it - create the first direct-email ad magazine. Just be careful to make it opt-in, and have an easy way to unsubscribe.
Then all the email marketers can go for magazines like that, and the people who want ads can subscribe to them, and the rest of us can be happy with our nice, clean, spam-free email accounts!

Jenn V.

Opt-in works!, posted 22 Dec 2002 at 14:58 UTC by abraham » (Master)

To repeat myself: The Danish opt-in site jatak is a big success, with a significant fraction of the Danish Inter-users subscribed.

The kind of advertising you get through them is basically the same as yu get from junk mail, advertizing from mostly local shops, which for some reason interest many.

Advertisers have to pay to use the service, so they tend to follow the interest profiles the users have entered, which again mean the messages tend to be read.

It is a win-win situation, unlike opt-out which is a lose-lose. Users get messsages that annoy them, which mean ordinary open email is dying in favor of whitelist filtered systems, which mean the advertisers are killing the medium the (ab)use.

SPAM Clearing House, posted 23 Dec 2002 at 00:58 UTC by robocoder » (Journeyer)

A while back, someone suggested using the exchange of signed keys between trusted individuals to authenticate identity.

What if we did the following:

1. Outlaw unsolicited email.

2. Establish trusted "central authorities" to manage signed keys. Consumers would register with these authorities, providing their email address, white list, opt-in categories, and two public keys. One key would be provided to authenticated advertisers so that they can send email to a designated consumer. The other key would only be used for the central authority to contact you.

3. Users could periodically update either key (like expiring passwords), and would presumably maintain separate keys for other email (e.g., personal, business, etc). Your email client (or MTA) would simply accept/reject email depending on the validity of the keys.

4. The cost of this infrastructure would be funded by advertisers (paid to the central authority, as in a user or transaction fee). Even better ... if the central authority operates as a non-profit agency, proceeds could be paid to consumers.

central authorities..., posted 26 Dec 2002 at 20:21 UTC by mrsbrisby » (Journeyer)

"In January 2001, an attacker fooled VeriSign, the parent company of Network Solutions, into signing a fake ``Microsoft Corporation'' ActiveX key. We're supposed to trust these people?" <URL:http://cr.yp.to/djbdns/forgery.html>

Presently, Verisign is delivering spam to my mailbox. Telling me that my domain name has expired and that I need to renew it through them. I could never trust them for these practices, let alone with all my email.

What needs to change is a major overhaul to internet mail. Sender-responsibility does not work. The recipient needs to do this.

I propose mail/notify extensions to an instant messager application (e.g. Jabber) that would tell the user when mail was available from a site. This notification would be encrypted (PKC) against a key published in the Jabber profile.

The user would then download mail to their local respository using HTTP or NFS using their secret key to sign a challenge for authentication purposes.

This is one way IM2000 <URL:http://cr.yp.to/im2000.html> could be implimented. If critical mass could be generated, not only would bounces stop clogging up internet traffic, but spam would disappear almost immediately. You wouldn't need whitelists; it simply would no longer be economical for spammers to maintain their current business practices.

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