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MMD > Archives > May 2003 > 2003.05.14 > 07Prev  Next

Junk E-mail Problem
By Bill Mackin

In John Miller's article (, he mentions the junk
email problem, and a possible solution of charging a small amount of
money for introducing mail into the system.

Unfortunately, the bulk of spam these days is not inserted legitimately
into the email system.  Instead, people find a 'vulnerable' email
server, usually in a small country or run by a business, and send
the emails through those.  In that manner they avoid putting on a
legitimate return address, which makes it impossible to track back
to the source, and keeps their ISP (Internet Service Provider) from
deleting their accounts.  This means that charging legitimate users
for each email sent will not deter the spammers.  Also, as you all know,
charging postage doesn't even deter all junk mail.

The next suggestion, about not buying anything from anyone who
advertises via spam, is the next best option right now.  He's right;
don't buy _anything_ in that manner.  Better yet, if you have time,
find out if the company has a legitimate web site or email, and send
them email saying that you will never buy a product that you get
spammed about.

What I believe the final solution will be is to improve the software
which handles the mail.  SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) seems
to be just that: simple.  If it were "Secure" instead of "simple",
it would validate all the 'from' or 'return' addresses of every email
before forwarding it.  That way, it could only come from legitimate
ISP's and accounts, so spammers would be traceable, and would have
their accounts shut down.

Robbie is doing a smart thing by adding the '.geentroep' to every
email address.  My only suggestion in that area would be to change that
string every once in a while, or it's position.  And I would suggest to
everyone else that you set up a "throw-away" email account using Yahoo,
Hotmail, or another free email service.  Use that address for all your
web browsing, knowing you will be dropping it when the spam gets too

Bill Mackin

(Message sent Wed 14 May 2003, 12:49:06 GMT, from time zone GMT-0500.)

Key Words in Subject:  E-mail, Junk, Problem

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