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December 11th, 2004

The Opt-In Opt-Out

A few weeks ago I got a spam e-mail (ever heard of ’em?). This spam had the standard “click here to unsubscribe” link which lead to a web site where you asked to enter your e-mail address to get off of their list. Of course, we all know that you never do such a thing because all it does is verify that your address is valid.

So I decided to “unsubscribe” with a throwaway address at DodgeIt and see how long it took for my first spam to arrive. I opted out at 1:55pm on November 19th and received my first (and, thusfar, only) spam from “Asian Mag” on December 2 at 12:45pm. So, 13 days after supposedly unsubscribing at, the address was used for nefarious purposes.

I’m honestly a little surprised it didn’t happen faster and that the box hasn’t been deluged. But at least it proves that those “unsubscribe” boxes are really anything but, in case there was any doubt.

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