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Thursday, October 16, 2003

A Call to Arms: On Fighting Spam

How many times can you see again and again these criminal intruders asking, as if we come from the same kindergarten or family:

"Do you know what Women like best?"

(No. Tell me. And since I'm empty-headed, repeat, repeat, don?t give up).

"Do you know at all what Men like best?"

(No. And why should I care? What am I, a welfare officer?)

"Enlarge, Enlarge the Holly Name, more and more!"

(What is it, a Bible contest?)

It has reached the magnitude of Chinese torture, endless dripping, dirt, dirt. How to kick them out when they see and are not seen in person.

So many rules I've laid down, more than the rules of any Parliament wherever - yet these horrible creatures, they are transparent, come in with the air.

While those rules affected only my correspondents!

So I closed down both my e-mail addresses.

No mail came in.

The silence scared more than the previous noise of the trash trucks.

I reinstalled my e-mail addresses.

The trash smoothly returned.

My correspondents disappeared, assuming that the addresses are no more valid.

I called my server, "Barak".

The man says, "Nothing to be done."

Sent me a link to a "MailWasher".

The software blocked indeed the content and attachments, yet the subject line continued to show up.

The Enemy couldn't care less.

I wrote Barak:

"A server is like a hotel. I've rented a room. At a hotel the contract is clear: I am the only one who gets the key. No hotel allows strangers to intrude and invade my room, or throw heaps of trash whenever I open the door. The hotel shoulders this responsibility as a matter of fact."

The laconic answer was to the point indeed: "Nothing to be done."

In an interview at an North American newspaper, one of these criminals says: "What's the big deal, all it takes is one click on Delete. But thanks to my ad someone in need for a mortgage is saved!"

Really? I have to read carefully the Subject line of over one hundred e-mails, so as to pick out my mail, not to lose any.

Can you imagine a Post Office offering this kind of service: Go to the trash bin and look through the dirty paper to find your own mail.

It turns out that only 1 in 100.000 is tricked into the Lords of Trash bait.

The rest of us should altruistically suffer, for the benefit of this bunch of no-goods.

I'm learning, especially from some of Eric Olsen's posts, on BlogCritics, that large companies like Microsoft, AOL, Yahoo, EarthLink, are suing the trash mailers, and winning in court.

Not enough. The problem is still with us, daily.

While we've been reduced to discussing the problem as we discuss Climate.

What happens to the money won in court? It should go to each one of us. And: apart from the monetary compensation, each court should decree this punishment on the guilty invaders:

Have them seated at a computer for twenty years, and click endlessly on Delete.

Behind a glass wall.

In a Zoo.

Let's raise our voice to demand worldwide Fully defined Laws, Comprehensive action.

We need laws to pronounce the servers as responsible toward their clients. Then and only then we'll see servers unite globally to fight trash mail everywhere.

Before the whole system collapses in dust.

Here is my suggestion:

Let's set a day as our Day of Protest, and on this day let's close down our e-mail boxes: no mail sent, no mail received. Worldwide.

One single day of complete Silence, to exemplify the danger, to express our Just Demand.

Let's make it the 31st of December.

As in the most appropriate Hebrew proverb: "Let the old year leave with it's Curses, Let the New Year arrive with it's Blessings."

Let the Law Makers, the Servers and the No-Goods come up with some Resolutions.

There is a lot to be done.

We can see this action as an experiment in Protest.

Do pass the call on.

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