How the War Against Spam is Killing the Internet

Hands down, electronic mail is the maximum broadly used, and cherished computer software brought to life via the Internet. According to the ebook ‘Messaging Today’ (2000 Electronic Mailbox Report – Feb. 21, 2001), “Email is the most a hit communications generation for the reason that tv, and in a few years may even surpass that. There are presently more than 891 million email accounts in use Worldwide and 440 million within The U.S. By myself – with a median of more than 4 e-mail accounts consistent with man or woman.”

While more than 200 million folks use and revel in email, a few thousand people are abusing the gadget and unfavorable the conversation potential of email for the rest of us.


The most not unusual kinds of email abuse are as follows:

– Using electronic mail harvesters (software that gathers email addresses from the Internet for the cause of sending junk Mail messages).


Selling the addresses gathered from a real opt-in e-mail listing to someone who the recipient did not provide touch permission to personally.

– Buying the Millions of CDs after requiring humans to decide-out of email, in preference to choose-in to the e-mail.

– Providing takeaway addresses that don’t make paintings.

Generally, the persons using these unsolicited mail techniques are morons who are too lazy to learn how to increase a sincere online business or too impatient to build an enterprise so one can make final a lifetime. Let us now not overlook that “moron” is the keyword right here seeing that a spammers enterprise will no longer generate enough profits to justify the price of doing enterprise the outlaw way.


Spammers spam because they’re too lazy to build an internet commercial enterprise the old-fashioned way — with honesty and integrity. As a result of the spammer’s obnoxious laziness, the general public has been confronted with the growing nuisance of loads of junk mail messages in their e-mail boxes daily! I even have filtered more than 100 portions in step with day to my trash bin, and I nevertheless, acquire every other 2 hundred plus messages in keeping with the day that I even have now not set up filters for yet.

While I will admit that spammers are genuinely annoying, I ought to confess that the majority has created new problems for everybody! In the battle towards unsolicited mail, electronic mail account holders continuously advocate that their ISP’s ought to cope with the junk mail issue for them.


By placing the obligation of controlling unsolicited mail at the shoulders of ISP’s instead of hitting the delete key ourselves, we’ve opened an entirely new can of worms. In truth, ISP’s can not do too much to stem the tide of unsolicited mail. Yet, with so many irritated clients, ISP’s felt strongly want to locate some form of strategy to the trouble.

ISP’s had one in every of options:

– RBL (Real-time Blackhole List) http://mail-abuse.Org/rbl/

– Installing Email Filters

Neither is a great strategy for the unsolicited mail hassle… In reality, each is an absolutely very terrible answer to the spam hassle!


To recognize the predicament created by using filters within the struggle in opposition to junk mail, we have first to recognize how unsolicited mail filters work. It is important to remember that filters are virtually software packages.

The software isn’t intuitive!

While a few software programs might also seem intuitive, the phantasm exists only because the thoughts of the programmer were capable of foreseeing your dreams for using the software program.

Filtering software exists handiest as a set of regulations to decide the likelihood of a message being unsolicited mail. Here is a definition of a number of the primary policies that junk mail filtering software follows:

1. If the origination email server isn’t like the e-mail the server of the sender’s default email deal with, then it’s far likely
junk mail.

2. If the email is added to greater than 25 human beings, it is probably junk mail.

3. If the e-mail originates from a selected server, then it’s miles probable junk mail. (This is the handiest rule that the RBL follows.)

4. If the email originates from a specific usa TLD (pinnacle-level area), it is probably spam.

5. If sure phrases seem in the Subject or Email Body, then it’s
miles probably spam. (This is wherein the real problems begin!)


ISP’s who select the filter option will either install a clear-out on incoming electronic mail simplest, outgoing electronic mail most effective, or a mixture of both The 5th fundamental rule within the spam filtering software that most ISP’s use, every ISP has a listing of “junk mail words” that the software scans for.


A few of the simpler, more obvious “unsolicited mail words” comply with:



– Casino

– Gambling

– Porn

– Million

– Billion

– Viagra

The first time I had experienced the unsightly filter trouble was with my first ezine. My ezine became a laptop support book, and upon the introduction of a chief virus, I attempted to ship instructions to my listing on how to become aware of the virus and repair its harm. Unfortunately, my list server had blocked all messages that mentioned the call of the virus. (Never mind that the real payload email in no way noted the given name for the virus!)

My second revel in trying to send an editorial to a pal because I felt the thing’s content was important for my buddy to have. After seven attempts, I, in the end, realized what the blocked “unsolicited mail word” changed into. If you could believe it, the blocked word was Amazon.Com !!!

Within the ultimate 30 days, I had outgoing emails blocked with the aid of my own ISP. The first was being introduced to a consumer to tell them that I had obtained their price. The problem of the e-mail changed into “Payment Received” (a not unusual difficulty of spam messages) !!!

The 2d email hinged on a piece of writing I tried to deliver for any other purchaser. The dreaded “unsolicited mail word” changed into “gold” !!! We needed to trade the object’s call to get the article beyond my personal ISP’s filters.


Richard Lowe, the proprietor of http://www.Internet-Tips.Net, says, “The Internet is a conversation. It’s as easy as that.” The trouble with ISP filtering is that the ISP cannot recognize what we want to read and what we do now not want to read. A single ISP has customers who use the Internet for enterprise, fitness, the circle of relatives, studies, or any of a dozen special purposes. The man or woman who desires to use the Internet for the circle of relatives communications generally has no interest in commercial enterprise subjects. And the net commercial enterprise person may also don’t have any hobby in their own family tree software or fitness products.

Yet, the ISP has no preference to block all styles of “spam words” for the total range of communique subjects. As a result, the family person won’t see the statistics concerning their own family tree software program or different domestic life objects. The commercial enterprise character may not be capable of getting hold of facts crucial to their business’s operation.


We, electronic mail junkies, tend to enroll in ezines overlaying a wide variety of private possibilities. Unfortunately, a huge quantity of ezines is being blocked using ISP’s because ezines tend to meet at least two of the standards constructed into the most unsolicited mail filters (#1, #2, and occasionally #five).

Once more, the fifth basic rule is the damaging one. Spammers are using more common words in their mailings that the ISP’s are starting to block.


I can nearly guarantee that if your personal ISP changed to show off their spam filters for a month, you would get to peer for the first time a massive quantity of ezines which you subscribed to manner back whilst, but have by no means visible before.

Sure, you’ll see a massive increase in the unsolicited mail entering your electronic mail container. Still, you will additionally see all the mail that you need to receive that you haven’t been receiving.


If we depend upon our ISP’s to do the filtering for us, we commit ourselves to receive handiest the statistics that our ISP’s filters can allow us to receive. It is as simple as that.

Like the information pundits on tv say approximately the struggle on terrorism, “We have a preference for freedom and security. The greater of one we have, the much less of the alternative we will have.”

We have two alternatives:

1. We flip lower back the tide of ISP-controlled conversation and take delivery of the responsibility of setting up our own filters to take away the rubbish in our inbox.

2. Or, we keep depending on our ISP’s to filter out the spam with the aid of including new words to their “junk mail phrase” lists, doing away with all personal manage from our private communications.


Our ISP’s were asked for so long to be our “Big Brother” to stem the tide of junk mail. ISP’s have come to the point of
believing that we’re children who want to be protected from the “morons” who’re destroying these outstanding communications tools.

To flip lower back this tide, we must be equipped and willing to be given the non-public responsibility of controlling our very own communications.

First, we need to discover ways to use the tools protected in our email software program to install our own filters. Once we have the fundamental know-how of installing our own electronic mail filters, we need to progress to step.

In step, we must contact our ISP and allow them to recognize that we need to be answerable for ourselves. Our ISP should apprehend that we DO NOT need them to run spam filters on their email servers. We must claim that we do now not them to baby-sit down our communications for us. We have to emphasize that we want to determine what we need to examine and what we do not want to read! We should emphasize that we might instead use our delete keys than depend on their filters to no longer block any of our important communications.

You and I alone will not be capable of convincing our ISP’s to ditch the policy of appearing as our “Online Big Brother.” But, whilst enough folks have banded collectively and made our needs for open communications clear, ISP’s will ought to be aware and flip off their filters for fear of dropping their patron base.

If we allow ISP-managed filters to keep growing unabated, the filters will eventually take away the actual cost of e-mail as a communications tool. We ought to take a stand to reverse the focus of the War Against Spam! We should take a stand now to opposite the tide or danger the very actual death of e-mail communication and the Internet!

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