11.0006 spamming

Humanist Discussion Group (humanist@kcl.ac.uk)
Thu, 8 May 1997 21:38:16 +0100 (BST)

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 11, No. 6.
Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London

[1] From: Francois Lachance <lachance@chass.utoronto.ca> (39)
Subject: unfair use: copyright and spamming

[2] From: "Espen S. Ore" <Espen.Ore@hd.uib.no> (14)
Subject: Re: 11.0003 spamming & how to avoid it

[3] From: mathew <meta@harlequin.com> (24)
From: Larry Taylor <ltaylor@stsci.edu>
Subject: Re: spamming & how to avoid it

[4] From: Bill Schultz <agnostic@crl.com> (43)
Subject: Re: spamming & how to avoid it

Date: Wed, 7 May 1997 19:44:05 -0400 (EDT)
From: Francois Lachance <lachance@chass.utoronto.ca>
Subject: unfair use: copyright and spamming


Geoffrey Rockwell quotes from Cyberpromo's page and suggestes we might
rethink how we sign WWW pages

> 5. Given that Cyberpromo is selling a product called "WebCollector" that
> "harvests" e-mail addresses from web pages, you may want to rethink how you
> sign your web pages. I quote from its promotional material: "And, no one
> can accuse you of 'violating their privacy' because you will be adding
> email addresses that are posted in a PUBLIC AREA!" It would seem that
> posting a signed web page or posting a message to a newsgroup is an implied
> invitation to get junk mail.

Now I ask the legal beagles among us would not copying (witout
permission) someone's e-mail address from a site constitute an
infringement of copyright? Seems like something the Electronic
Frontier Foundation might want to mull over in the safeguarding of
citizen privacy. But then by analogy with the telephone directory, the
question might arise as to whether an e-mail address belongs to the
user or the servicer provider. Whatever the case, the conjunction of
public display and private profit use of e-mail addresses is most
likely subject to the same provisions that protect telephone
subscribers from certain types of automated telemarketing (all this
depending upon where one lives on the planet). It will be interesting
to see how the case law and he ethical (self) regulation of the
industry develops on a global scale.

I wonder how far the trick of posting a fee schedule for any would-be
harvesters collecting an address from one's WWW site could be pushed.
After all magazines and newspapers sell their subscription lists for a
handsome return. If the bot or agent cannot read the contract is the
bot user still liable for the charges? Gives computer literacy a new meaning...

Finally, the spamming issue poses, for some jurisdictions, the inverse
of a freedom of assembly. In the digital world the right not to be
associated with a group in database may be as fundamental as the
obligation to be recorded as a subject of the state in census records
and voting lists. It is a question of guaranteeing a modicum of civil
society for the all moral persons be they individuals or corporate bodies.

In the pursuit of privacy in public, decorum rules as it does in all
true good commerce

Any harvesting of this e-mail address subject to payment in Cuban

--[2]------------------------------------------------------------------ Date: Thu, 8 May 1997 09:55:52 +0200 From: "Espen S. Ore" <Espen.Ore@hd.uib.no> Subject: Re: 11.0003 spamming & how to avoid it

Geoffrey Rockwell wrote a well researched note about fighting spamming. I would just like to add some ideas. If you look at the full headers in a spam message, you can at least find which was the last host that sent this to your own mail host. So one can send a message to their postmaster informing him or her that they are helping a spammer. There are also some spammers that have *real* URLs to their sites as part of the message. Do a traceroute on those URLs and send a message to the postmasters closest to it. As for filtering, I have set Eudora up so that if "cyberpromo" is mentioned in any part of the header, the message is automatically rdirected to "abuse@cyberpromo.com".


------------------------------------------------------------------------- Espen S. Ore Norwegian Computing Centre for the Humanities Espen.Ore@hd.uib.no University of Bergen Tel: +47 55 58 28 65 alt. tel: +47 91390748 Fax: +47 55 58 94 70

--[3]------------------------------------------------------------------ Date: Thu, 8 May 1997 10:25:55 -0400 From: mathew <meta@harlequin.com>

At 19:42 -0400 on 1997-05-07 Larry Taylor wrote: >1. Many junk messages include a line about how to remove your name from >their list. One way to minimize the junk mail is to systematically read for >this line and follow the instructions.

Many spammers put in this information as a means of obtaining confirmation that e-mail addresses are active. Others put in bogus "remove" information to try and mollify people who would otherwise complain.

In particular, I tried this approach with one spammer, submitting all my e-mail addresses for removal, and simply got four times as much spam.

The only thing that actually works is complaining to the ISP providing the spammer with service. I set up an auto-forwarder to bounce every piece of spam from the aforementioned individual, and I got an apology and he removed me a week later.

In general, having each spammer run a separate "remove" offer is useless as a means of avoiding spam, as new sources pop up every day.

CyberPromo recently managed to sign an account with WorldNet, by duping a salesman in their office in NY. When UUnet found out about it, they tore up the contract and said that they would not have any dealings with CyberPromo, now or in the future.


"It's fixed in R4."

--[4]------------------------------------------------------------------ Date: Wed, 07 May 1997 23:57:28 -0700 From: Bill Schultz <agnostic@crl.com> Subject: Re: spamming & how to avoid it


>2. One of the most informative and chilling sources of information on the >business of spamming is the site of the "king" of spammers, Cyber >Promotions Inc. Here you can read about the products and services that they >sell as they describe them to their customers, especially the >"Cyber-Bomber". I quote from the Cyber-Bomber page: > >> Everyone knows that bulk emailers don't actually *try* to offend >> people. It would be stupid to do so purposely. How can bulk emailers >> make money if all of their potential clients are offended? The truth is >> that most people don't mind getting solicited through email, and many >> people end up BUYING! But -- The biggest problem that bulk emailers face >> is that if even 1 out of 1000 recipients complain, the bulk emailers' >> dialup-service-providers receive enough complaints to cancel their >> accounts! > >What follows is a description of the ingenious ways the CyberBomber gets >around problem of leaving traces that would allow people to complain. The >URL is http://www.cyberpromo.com/, if you can get through. On the home page >there are instructions on how to remove your name from the list they sell. >Parodies of Cyber Promotions are available through yahoo: >http://www.yahoo.com/Business_and_Economy/Companies/Marketing/ Direct_Marketing/Direct_Email/Cyber_Promotions/Consumer_Opinion/.

This morning's Los Angeles Times carried two articles about Cyber Promo.

[LAT -- I found them at <http://www.latimes.com/. I had to use their site search to find them.]

1. Earthlink Networks, Inc. received an injunction against Cyber Promo using its servers to distribute junk e-mail to ANYONE. Apparently Cyber Promo was spamming through the SMTP server at Earthlink.

2. Cyber Promo settled a similar suit brought by Compuserve. Cyber Promo agreed not to send any more junk e-mail to Compuserve and to purchase advertising through the "normal" Compuserve offerings if it wanted to offset its judgment of $65,000 payable to Compuserve.

Hopefully the larger ISPs will continue to prosecute jerks like Cyber Promo. My hat is off to both Compuserve and Earthlink for making it expensive for those jerks to keep it up.....

-- Bill Schultz JOIN THE AGNOSTIC CHURCH: | agnostic@crl.com pope@agnostic.org http://www.agnostic.org/ | bill@freethought.org http://www.freethought.org/org/singles/ | Internet Infidel: http://www.infidels.org/ ------------- End Forwarded Message -------------