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July 22nd, 2000


One of many useful tools that Ryan introduced me to, is SpamCop. If you’re like, well, anyone and are sick of getting spam, this is a great tool. Simply copy the entire email, headers and all, and paste it in the form that SC gives you. It then dissects the email, figures out who to notify, and sends all the appropriate emails – with a note from you, if you wish.

I got a very specific spam this morning, with my email explicitly in the headers (doh!) – that’s been rare. Even without your specific email addy, you can file a report with SpamCop. It’s quite thorough.

In addition, here’s a technique I picked up that works if you have your own domain name and have aliases (ie, gets to you.) When you register at various sites, use the site’s name as your email address ( That way, you can easily see if someplace is using your email addy in, uh, questionable ways. -pm

Posted in Technology

FROM: Robert
DATE: Saturday July 22, 2000 -- 10:42:49AM
My dad uses a similar plan with junk mail. If he thinks that some business getting our address is going to sell it, he adds "Apt. 3" to the end of the street address. It has started to pay off, if you can say that.

FROM: Terry Murphy
DATE: Saturday July 22, 2000 -- 11:52:22AM
This is a crock. Since I believe in freedom of speech, and hope that you do too, anybody should be able to say anything to anybody, and pitching a sale is included. Anti-spam legislation is yet another step in making the government bigger and bigger, making them encroach further and further on our basic liberties, and more restrictive legislation of the once free internet. I don't like receiving spam, but I appreciate the right to free speech alot more than the two seconds it takes each day to delete spam from my inbox.

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Saturday July 22, 2000 -- 1:57:11PM
Terry --

The purpose of Spamcop is exactly that, to keep the government out of Net issues. In fact, Spamcop's tagline is "Protecting the internet community through technology, not legislation."

Spamcop is a godsend because it's helping to alert the locations that spam is being sent from, as well -- when someone exploits a hole or a poorly configured sendmail (ie, relaying turned on), it sucks unbelievable resources from the smtp server used for the spamming itself. When it becomes this much of an issue, spam has got to be stopped. And it's not like spam is going to be easily confused with regular mail -- there aren't very many people who would get nailed for spamming when they actually weren't.

Another great resource is Brightmail, which works as a proxy between you and your POP account. It filters out known spam before it even gets to you -- a wonderful service (and it's free). In one month, it stopped 75 spam from even wasting my time.

FROM: Paul
DATE: Saturday July 22, 2000 -- 3:47:40PM
I'm not for any kind of anti-spam legislation. I don't want the US Government getting its hands in what it doesn't understand (therefore, I'm against all net-based legislation.)

But SpamCop doesn't involve the Feds, which is one reason why I use it and like it, too.

I'm also for free speech, obviously, but I fear a time when the vast majority of sites on the net are owned by big corporations - and ultimately, they'll have the sayso when it comes to "free speech".

But that's another Ping :)

FROM: Robert
DATE: Saturday July 22, 2000 -- 3:51:16PM
If there is any free speech issue with spam, it's within the content of messages and has nothing to do with how they are transmitted. This would mean that crappy porn spam would enjoy the same freedoms as all the other junk.

What is this then?

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