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AOL Sues Porn Spammers

CmdrTaco posted more than 13 years ago | from the make-boobs-fast dept.

Spam 136

MasterOfDisaster writes "c|net reports "that in a crackdown on spam, America Online is suing a company that owns and operates pornographic Web sites, accusing it of sending junk e-mail to AOL members." My favorite part is the comment from the accused, "We do not knowingly profit from unsolicited e-mail." Ah, blessed ignorance.

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Re:Pointing AOL in the right direction... (1)

packphour (257276) | more than 13 years ago | (#529081)

Cussing's bad, Mm'kay. You shouldn't cuss, cause if you cuss- you're bad, Mm'kay.

Re:Those damn CDs!! (1)

um... Lucas (13147) | more than 13 years ago | (#529085)

I'm sorry, but i don't feel like leading legal mumbo-jumbo... :)

What you're saying though, can't be true IMO, because why would Fedex offer 2 or 3 day delivery, and UPS offer 5 or 7 day ground delivery? That'd be breaking the law according to the rules you laid out.

Re:Unsolicited commercial junk email not Spam (1)

mazur (99215) | more than 13 years ago | (#529087)

But then again, you could also first learn what you're talking about, so as not to show your ignorance, before you make a judgement.

Hint1: 127.0.0.1 is IP for "this host which I'm currently (ab)using."
Hint2: abuse is (nearly) a required email address on any mail server.

Now picture in your mind a mail server that doubles as a webbrowser server. True, a very bad idea in the first place, but what is management for if not for the bad ideas?

Stefan.
It takes a lot of brains to enjoy satire, humor and wit-

Re:ICQ (1)

Nos. (179609) | more than 13 years ago | (#529088)

Real simple answer to this one. My firends and I all sit in N/A mode. I think I've gotten two or three spam messages in several years. We can still send each other messages, but no spam - ah its wonderful :)

Re:What about the spam I get from AOL? (1)

Inigima (47437) | more than 13 years ago | (#529091)

Also, one thing to keep in mind is that if you are on AOL, and you get e-mail from blah@aol.com (unless it's from a mailing list or something) then the address is most likely forged.

To clarify: not all spam you get from AOL-based email addresses actually comes from AOL members. They're often forged. I have seen AOL in action, as it were, and since AOL-based email addresses are shown to AOL members without the domain, the presence of the domain in the source address proves more or less conclusively that spammers often forge their headers to fake an AOL source.

You might think that spammers would realize they shouldn't spam AOL members with obviously faked AOL source addresses, but apparently they're not a bright lot.

inigima

Re:Those damn CDs!! (1)

Arcanix (140337) | more than 13 years ago | (#529092)

I love receiving AOL CDs because I know the money they wasted could have been used for more TV ads which I find more annoying...

Re:Those damn CDs!! (5)

FFFish (7567) | more than 13 years ago | (#529093)

Because, Santa, receiving AOL CDs doesn't cost you a penny, whereas receiving spam EMail does cost you.

"But I've never had to pay for it!" you cry.

Actually, you do. The Euro recipients know this right up front, because they get cold-cocked with per-second telephone access charges.

Americans *should* know it, if they'd only just think for a moment. They get higher ISP charges and/or go over their transfer limits because of the spam email.

Yes, yes. You only pay $35/month for your whizbang ADSL connection. But that $35/month *includes* the cost of spam. Your ISP is paying for the transfer, storage and processing of that spam EMail -- and you *know* that the costs are passed on to the consumer, with a few percent tacked on for good luck.

You pay for the spam, sure as god/dog made little green apples.

Ergo, no double standard.

--

Wasting bandwidth (1)

autocracy (192714) | more than 13 years ago | (#529094)

Damned spammers! They're taking up the bandwidth I need to download kernel 2.4! They're also costing AOL users money because money has to be spent to accomodate the traffic generated by junk mail on AOL. This may be a rather high number, but I'd say that AOL loses at least 3% of its bandwidth to spam, and probably more. In order to handle that bandwidth, they have to buy equipment for it - and high-end high-bandwidth equipment costs money (believe me, I purchase some). Perhaps if AOL can cut down on spam, they can buy more modems and cut back on busy signals :)

OTOH, as said earlier, there is somewhat of a hypocracy in their user agreement...

CAP THAT KARMA!
Moderators: -1, nested, oldest first!

UUNET dialup spammers active again today (2)

Wills (242929) | more than 13 years ago | (#529095)


The UUNET spammers collective is still being allowed to operate -- one of them tried a stealth port25 probe today but hit our firewall:


00:22:03 (EST) 04 January 2001: Port 25/smtp ACK/no_SYN connection DENIED from: 1Cust180.tnt38.det3.da.uu.net (63.44.201.180)

Coincidentally no doubt, this was quickly followed by the Harvard dialup scanners collective checking our netbios availability:


23:28:10 (EST) 04 January 2001: Port 137/netbios SYN connection DENIED from: sfp220-198.harvard.edu (128.103.220.198)

Someone please tell me UUNET and Harvard are doing something to stop these guys.

Re:Those damn CDs!! (1)

vperez (162398) | more than 13 years ago | (#529098)

If anyone installed AOL on my computer I'd be forced to kill them...

Re: real or feigned ignorance (2)

frankie (91710) | more than 13 years ago | (#529099)

This dosn't mean "We are making money from spam we just fain ignorence" but "We never bothered to learn what spam is"

That may be true for some real-world businesses who are taking their first dip on the web, but it's clearly not true in this case. All of the big players in online porn are fucking brilliantly net-savvy. They keep up with the bleeding edge of technology, and they know exactly what they're doing.

If you read between the lines you'll see that Cyber Entertainment set up the anti-spam policy as a weasel dodge. As long as they don't do the actual spamming, and "don't ask don't tell" about spam sent by their licensees, the devilish contract stays intact. AOL is working hard to prove that even without direct orders to spam, their "wink wink nudge nudge" is bad enough.

Personally, I'd love to see eBay shot down for the same exact thing. eBay knows damn well that their auctioneers spam the hell out of off-topic Usenet groups. Unfortunately, Usenet doesn't keep a pack of rabid lawyers on retainer...

Re:-1 Overrated please (1)

packphour (257276) | more than 13 years ago | (#529100)

I wasn't really going for funny as much as I was going for clever.

Those damn CDs!! (2)

Dancin_Santa (265275) | more than 13 years ago | (#529101)

Isn't the junk mail (including AOL CDs) that comes to my real life mailbox just as annoying and using more resources than Spam? Why the double standard? Where is the clamor for ridding ourselves of *all* junk mail?

Dancin Santa

AOL and Wal-Mart (1)

kettch (40676) | more than 13 years ago | (#529102)

I was in Wal-Mart (large variety chain for the non US'ers) last night, and what did i see just inside the entrance? A display with a sign that said "Get 750 free hours" and under it was a container full of about a thousand AOL gold cd's. Needless to say, it was creepy.

pr0n spam (2)

Dancin_Santa (265275) | more than 13 years ago | (#529103)

If these spammers go out of business, will I still be allowed to opt-in to their helpful pr0n newsletters?

Dancin Santa

Re:ICQ (1)

tkdkid (266285) | more than 13 years ago | (#529104)

Set it so that it doesn't accept messages from users not on your contact list. Works for me.

In UK you can opt out of paper junk mail (3)

Wills (242929) | more than 13 years ago | (#529105)


In the UK you can opt out of paper junk mail by registering your name and address with the Mailing Preference Service. After I registered I got no more paper junk mail addressed to me. Occasionally I get junk mail sent to my address which have no name on them.

  • Mailing Preference Service

  • Freepost 22
    London
    W1E 7EZ

I was wondering whether there is a similar service in other countries?

Re:Those damn CDs!! (1)

Sabalon (1684) | more than 13 years ago | (#529106)

Because, Santa, receiving AOL CDs doesn't cost you a penny, whereas receiving spam EMail does cost you.

Isn't the price of a stamp in the US going up in a few days?

Perhaps instead of charging people who have legit uses of mail, they should charge the junk mail people more. Every day someone wants to loan me $70000.

Aol is the worst spammer (1)

Aquafina (198114) | more than 13 years ago | (#529107)

My friend has an aol account. I used it the other day and boy, spam doesn't get any worse than aol's own!

Upon logging in, there were a total of 4 popup windows! Yes 4! The first one, you had to cancel before you were even let in to aol. If you didn't acknowledge it you'd be prevented from logging in.

Then there's another one, the "welcome" screen, that you can't close. All you can do is minimize it.

But of course, Aol doesn't tell you you can disable 3 out of 4 of these annoying popup windows. To get to it you have to dig real deep into aol's "personal preferences".

Screw aol. They're the biggest hypocrites if I've ever seen one.

AOL Sues Porn Spam(m)ers: The True Story (5)

packphour (257276) | more than 13 years ago | (#529108)

FADE IN:
  • INT. - STEVE CASE RESIDENCE - NIGHT
We see a restless Steve Case logging into the internet. Signs as on his screen name, 'BigDaddyBlingBling6969'. Network busy error, reconnecting. Network busy error, disconnected.
STEVE
"Damn, AOL sucks."

Trys connecting again, success.

COMPUTER VOICE
"You've got mail."

Steve scrolls through his new messages, eagerly looking for:

STEVE
"Yes! My, She-Male E-mail Newsletter."

Click-Click-Click. Viewing tonights new additions to the website, he hears a noise.

MRS. CASE
(shocked!)
"STEVE!"

STEVE
(erect)
"I can explain!"

Quickly clicking OFF the porn.

STEVE
"It was those evil spammers honey. I thought I was getting a message from my mother, you know what a mamma's boy I am, and next thing I know that awful porn site pops up."

Nervous, she's not completely buying the story- he takes it one step further.

STEVE
"But don't you worry, I will take care of this first thing tomorrow. I will sue those evil spammers until and rid our world of corruption."

CLOSE face shot with intensity in his face.

STEVE (continued)
"Oh yes, they will pay."
(makes a fist and shakes it at the camera.)
MRS. CASE
"Oh, honey."

Kiss.

CUT TO:

  • INT. - AOL HEADQUARTERS - STEVE'S OFFICE

In front of the board, he announces.

STEVE
"Gentlemen, we are suing the porn spammers."

BOARD MEMBERS
(in unison)
"Dammit Steve, you got caught again!"

Grumbles and disgust everywhere.

Articles and stories surface on C|Net, Slashdot, and other reputable news sources with better spelling skills.

FADE TO BLACK:

Re:Those damn CDs!! (1)

Radish03 (248960) | more than 13 years ago | (#529109)

There are plenty of fun things to do with all those CD's though. You can:
-Use them as frisbees. They don't fly as well, but it can be fun nonetheless.
-Simply throw them at the wall to see them shatter. Great stress reliever.
-Use them to install AOL on friends computers when they aren't looking. A great practical joke to play on someone.
-Mount them on the wall with the shiny side out. If placed right, it makes for some sweet lighting effects.

Too bad you can't reformat the CD's, like you clould the floppies.

Re:What about the spam I get from AOL? (1)

Kierthos (225954) | more than 13 years ago | (#529110)

They try to, at least from my experiences. I've gotten dozens of screen names, if not the entire account canceled, but I honestly have no idea if that will do anything. Does AOL block addresses? In other words, if Joe Spammer at 1313 Jerk St., East Armpit, SC is a spammer who loses his AOL account, is anyone from that address banned, or can Joe just continue to buy new accounts?

Also, one thing to keep in mind is that if you are on AOL, and you get e-mail from blah@aol.com (unless it's from a mailing list or something) then the address is most likely forged.

Kierthos
(Yeah, I use AOL... at least it's not MSN)

Re:Louisiana Pests and Spam Hunters (1)

GungaDan (195739) | more than 13 years ago | (#529111)

Are you suggesting that we create a violent new super-race of attack-nutria to sic on spammers? I'd go along with it, but as folks in Looserana have found, there's no market for nutria pelt. Surely spammer pelt is equally worthless.

Re:Hey Anonymous Coward (1)

Brian Dupuis (124800) | more than 13 years ago | (#529112)

Oh, I dunno... email? I'm reasonably certain that correcting timezones is off-topic to this conversation. As is this topic.

Re:Unsolicited commercial junk email not Spam (1)

Chagrin (128939) | more than 13 years ago | (#529113)

That is what your beef is about? What the hell is a "webbrowser server" anyway?

Re:Sorry, but.. (1)

spankfish (167192) | more than 13 years ago | (#529114)

Sic some bounty hunters on the bastards!

Imagine those spammers running with Boba Fett on their ass!

Woo hoo!

--

Re:Unsolicited commercial junk email not Spam (1)

mazur (99215) | more than 13 years ago | (#529115)

What the hell is a "webbrowser server" anyway?

The server from which the users start their webbrowser.

Stefan.
It takes a lot of brains to enjoy satire, humor and wit-

Then we should all sue AOL (1)

billcopc (196330) | more than 13 years ago | (#529116)

Since AOL is suing spammers, we should then sue AOL because the users are much more affected than the ISP. Sure they suck down more bandwidth at the source, but it's the users' rights that are being violated and their time greatly wasted as well. If AOL scores a buck from spammers, then I want my share of that buck for being one of the end victims.

Re:Those damn CDs!! (2)

Fishstick (150821) | more than 13 years ago | (#529117)

>Because, Santa, receiving AOL CDs doesn't cost you a penny, whereas receiving spam EMail does cost you.

I would argue that point. Many are pointing out that spam costs the end user because it inflates the IPS's operating costs which are then passed on to the end user. Get rid of spam, reduce the ISP's costs, reduce the end-user's monthly bill, right?

Assuming that is the case, doesn't the same thing sort-of apply to the USPS? Did they not just raise rates again? [usps.com] Isn't it possible or even likely that some of the cost of building up USPS infrastructure to be able to handle all that junk mail ends up being passed on to consumers in the form of postage rate increases?

Ok, maybe not that much. The junk mailers obviously have to pay postage, but I'm wondering if that bulk rate has gone up as much (proportionally) as 1st-class postage has over the years. Just a thought.

Re:Those damn CDs!! (2)

FFFish (7567) | more than 13 years ago | (#529118)

Well of *course* they raise the cost of your AOL subscription. So what?

Coca Cola spends a fortune on marketing. If you purchase a Coke, you are implicitly choosing to pay Coke for its advertising.

If you choose to purchase a Pepsi, you are *not* paying for Coke's advertising. Coke's advertising costs are born only by Coke, and you have chosen to not support those costs.

Spam doesn't offer you that choice.

No matter which ISP you subscribe to, you will be paying for the advertising of several hundred spam-using companies.

You are *forced* to subsidize their marketing costs.


--

1 down... (1)

nocomment (239368) | more than 13 years ago | (#529119)

14 billion more to go...


Porn spam. (2)

Matt2000 (29624) | more than 13 years ago | (#529120)


Ok listen here, this is AMERICA. When we start to persecute those who like a little spam in their porn, who's next? The very framers of our hallowed constitution so many years ago?

If we start with the little people, the men and women of otherwise fine moral upstanding nature who just happen to enjoy copulation with meat products in all its varied depravity, then who among us can truly claim to be an AMERICAN?

Come on people, this is what /. is all about. It's Your Rights Online, it's your right to receive lewd ASCII art for FREE! Don't let evil companies like AOL take that away from you.

I think it was Mark Twain that said "When you lose the freedom of expression, then you're just fucked." Weighty words indeed.

Louisiana Pests and Spam Hunters (5)

Alien54 (180860) | more than 13 years ago | (#529121)

I recall that some years ago some portions of the State of Louisiana had a pest problem. There was some sort of largish introduced animal that was tearing up the swamps and it was a ecological disaster. I think it was introduced from South America or something

They had a horrible time getting rid of it, and were losing the battle, until they came up with a unique solution.

Someone did some research, and figured out how to cook it, and promote it as a delicacy. The result was that suddenly you had a whole bunch of people hunting down the critter so they could cook it themselves, or sell it to a restaurant, or whatever.

The population is now very nicely under control, and is no longer an ecological threat.

So what has this got to do with spam?

It is my contention that spam will continue to exist as a problem until we make it profitable to go after folks who are spammers. Then it becomes a business.

that is why I have advocated a spam licensing program in the past, so that it would become legal for everyone to bill the spammers for traffic, etc. and business would pop up whose sole purpose in life would be to hunt spammers. The spam hunters would get a piece of the action, and send you a check.

It has to become advantageous for someone to have a business billing spammers on a general basis. Everyone hates bill collectors. We could turn them on the spammers.

Re:In UK you can opt out of paper junk mail (1)

GreatUnknown (160372) | more than 13 years ago | (#529122)

In Australia (or WA at least) you put a sign saying "No junk mail" on your letterbox and it's illegal to put any unaddressed mail into it.

Re:Those damn CDs!! (2)

LS (57954) | more than 13 years ago | (#529123)

Wrong. The time cost to me in sifting through snail spam everyday is probably similar relative to AOL's cost of storing and routing spam. This one instance of pr0n spam is probably negligible, and so is the one instance of AOL CD spam. But just like the spammers, AOL was still unsolicited, they wasted my time, they polute the front of my apartment visually, and they polute my mind with their branding techniques. They are just as bad as the spammers they are suing.

LS

Re:Worse is **idiots** running open mail relays! (1)

Jace of Fuse! (72042) | more than 13 years ago | (#529124)

> What is it with Red Hat (l)users anyway?

Don't you know?

Installing Linux turned them into a 1337 455 h4x0r d00d.

*sigh*

-=-

Re:Those damn CDs!! (1)

Fishstick (150821) | more than 13 years ago | (#529125)

>...wonderfully idiotic marketing morons don't seem to realize that they don't need to send 15 AOL CDs to someone who already has AOL.

Heh, when we had AOL (my wife and kids) we got half a dozen CDs mailed to us every month. Since we've been off for a few years, it has dwindled down to next to nothing. Strange.

I'm just worried that if AOL gets it's way and the FCC forces AT&T to unbundle Cable access from ISP service, we would get bombarded again with unwanted CDs.

Re:Those damn CDs!! (1)

SomeoneYouDontKnow (267893) | more than 13 years ago | (#529126)

Since you're most likely filtering against the IPs of dialup POPs, all that would really work is the DUL, and you have to bear in mind that it isn't really a blacklist, just a list of IPs that are dialups and that shouldn't have access to mail servers other than their own. This will help somewhat, but it still isn't a complete fix.

Re:Those damn CDs!! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#529127)

Because, Santa, receiving AOL CDs doesn't cost you a penny, whereas receiving spam EMail does cost you.

You really think this is true? Look here [zerojunkmail.com] and here [stopjunk.com] . I also like this quote from stopjunk.com:

Junk mail causes the average American to waste 8 months of his or her life just sifting through mail solicitation

Still think junk mail doesn't cost anything?

Re:Bandwidth cost of spam is negligeable. (1)

FFFish (7567) | more than 13 years ago | (#529128)

That was a wonderful, nearly-incoherent post. I think I've got the gist of what you're saying, though, and I regret to inform you that you're wrong.

It isn't "really" another form of a company attempting to get your attention.

It *really* is a way for a company to force you to subsidize their marketing costs, whether you purchase the product or not.

In all other cases of advertising, you implicitly choose to suppose the costs of advertising when you choose to purchase the product.

About fifteen years ago, an exactly analogous situation existed: spam fax. In those days, faxes were thermafax: they used special paper that was bloody expensive.

Spam marketers had no problem using war-dialers to spread their marketing information to every fax machine they could. The costs to businesses were obvious, as their thermafax paper was rapidly consumed.

Unsolicited faxes were made illegal. It was decided that no business should be able to force others to pay for its advertising costs.

It's only because EMail costs are hidden, mainly unaccounted for and are new-tech, that the governments haven't stepped in to ban EMail spam.

The legal and moral issues have already been determined, by the previous spam-fax ban.

Your points re: porn advertising, AOL et al are irrelevent.

--

Re:In UK you can opt out of paper junk mail (1)

egburr (141740) | more than 13 years ago | (#529133)

I wish that were the case here in USA. It doesn't matter what I put on the mailbox or tell the mail carrier, it is illegal for the post office to not deliver the mail, even when I clearly state I do not want it.

Edward Burr

Re:Those damn CDs!! (1)

um... Lucas (13147) | more than 13 years ago | (#529134)

i don't pay per kilobyte or even by the megabyte i download. Those CD's do take an actual toll on the environment, especially consiering that every one they send me ends up unopened in the trash. Same with 99% of the junk mail i receive. Yeah, someone out there may need to pay for the bandwidth, and yeah, call me whatever you'd like, but i figure a few cents here and there is much better than the waste that real world junkmail does to our real world environment.

Money comes and goes. We, and our world, don't.

Re:Those damn CDs!! (3)

caskey (226047) | more than 13 years ago | (#529135)

Money comes and goes. We, and our world, don't.

Bad news... you, me *and* our world come and go. Everything will be recycled eventually. What you're really worried about is the 'us' and frankly I doubt 'us' will be around long enough for the universe to take notice.

Mother nature is my recycling bin.

Re:Bandwidth cost of spam is negligeable. (1)

Felinoid (16872) | more than 13 years ago | (#529136)

>I don't *like* spam, and I don't think I should be *sent* spam, but the "time to download" argument doesn't hold water.

Kinda...
I'm affrade the "Americans pay for it too" argument isn't reasonable..
UK has this small problem of a phone monopoly who is also an ISP and wanabe Internet monopoly.. (Not yet but not for lack of trying)

But some Americans DO pay for time on-line or bandwith... charges for calling an ISP long distence mean spam costs money..

Also we don't allways pay directly.. We all pay for spam in the form of disk space... Your ISP pays for disk space on the bulkload so the added spam dosn't need to be added in..
Same for desktop users.. larg hard disk is used for e-mail, data files, porn, etc.. You really don't notice becouse the spam is really less noticable than the disk space used by your web browser cache. But when using a PCS or a Palm pilot your storage is considerably smaller. Spam could mean buying a unit with more memory or buying an upgrade to what you have.

Also some of us use free services... my free e-mail accounts grant me 10 megs to 30 megs of disk space to store e-mail.

Also spammers may seem rude but at least they try to matain a one time contact rule. Some spammers won't do that. The worst spam I got came from CyberPromo itself.. once every 30 min.. every day.. around the clock... That nonsence adds up..

While thats not happening anymore... Spam means BBS sysops can't afford a Usenet feed (and most ISPs won't provide same)... the FidoNet gateway is (basicly) shut down... etc... We may not be paying in dollers but we most certenly pay in lossed connectivity.. lost time.. and lost posabilitys...

Re:unsolicited snail mail (1)

cjhui (301368) | more than 13 years ago | (#529137)

Well, you can't sue them because it didn't cost you anything. However, I don't mind getting AOL CD's anymore, they come in the DVD style cases now. Free CD cases for Charlie's CD-Rs!

Re:Louisiana Pests and Spam Hunters (1)

qazxsw (207003) | more than 13 years ago | (#529138)

The animal you're referring to is the Nutria, and they *tried* to get people to cook them, but no one did. Think about it. Would _you_ trap Nutria out of drainage canals and eat them? Finally some people started shooting them.

Re:i thought it was (3)

SomeoneYouDontKnow (267893) | more than 13 years ago | (#529139)

No, you're thinking of a bill that was introduced into Congress in 1998 by Sen. Frank Murkowski. It passed the Senate as a rider to S. 1618 but died in the House after organizations such as CAUCE and FREE mounted a huge phone-in campaign. They were against the bill because it was seen as pro-spam because it implied that spamming was fine as long as the spammer provided a way to get removed from his list. Aside from the obvious problems with an opt-out system, there were major loopholes. For example, there wasn't much to prevent a spammer from removing you from one list, then adding you to others later, since you'd have to somehow figure out that the same person had spammed you twice. There was also nothing to prevent your address to be sold or given to another spammer. So, Party A could spam you, get your remove request, remove you, then give your address to Party B, who is spamming on Party A's behalf, to spam you again. (There was no penalty for the person _sponsoring_ the spam, only for the one actively sending it at that moment, so each and every spammer could spam you until you asked for removal.) Finally, neither you nor your ISP could sue for damages if a spammer didn't remove you. All you could do was report the spammer to the Federal Trade Commission, who had sole authority to levy penalties. Aside from these issues, ISPs were afraid that the bill implied a right for their customers to spam if they followed certain guidelines, and the ISPs feared that they would lose the ability to enforce their AUPs. For example, what if a spammer obtained a Hotmail address to receive remove requests, and Hotmail closed the account. Could the spammer argue in court that Hotmail had no right to do this, since the spammer was using the account to perform a legally-required function, namely, to receive and honor remove requests, as required by law? Luckily, this monstrosity died before it became law.

Sevral notes (3)

Felinoid (16872) | more than 13 years ago | (#529140)

"We aren't knowingly making money off of spam"
This dosn't mean "We are making money from spam we just fain ignorence" but "We never bothered to learn what spam is"

Thats the problem with a lot of busnesses. Our luck that spam simply dosn't occure to most people when they first start doing busness on the net. When they try to addapt the old postal junk mail anolog they print up post cards and mail them out. I rember when TI did this.. The first postal junk mail I ever got reguarding the Internet,... I was kinda supprised... But it wasn't the last junk mail.

Still when someone new to the Internet dose his homework often Spam supplyers strike.. They latch on and teach the ways of spam... "Ohh ignore those techno dweeb hippys... they aren't up with the cutting edge..." or some such nonsence... By the time they run accrost matereal against spam they think it's all nonsence and BS.
Then they spam.. lost all credability.. lose money.. and drop off the face of the net never to return again...

Then there is the other side of this...

"Ignorence is bliss" the reply to the comment..
We've come to expect Spammers to lie.. but for many spam hunters this has lead to a gult before innocents addatude..
Just becouse a person says "We aren't knowingly proffiting from spam" dosn't mean "We fain ignorence and spam anyway" they could simply be saying "Look we aren't sending spam.. someone COULD be spamming in our name.. but it's not us" For someone new to spam it seems a reasonable assumption... "Fans" do all kinds of nutty things to premote someone they like.
(Linux advocates are a good example.. some are really painfully annoying...)

At times it's a matter of chilling out...
For a while it was a spammers tactic to clame support (in some way) from a larger company. AoL and Microsoft got hit with this and for a long time (Becouse AoL and Microsoft are "Bad guys" in other areas) people belived it..
But realisticly AoL and Microsoft have allways been against spam... AoL sued CyberPromo on occasion and was sued by CyberPromo... Bill Gates wrote an artical trashing spam as a total waist of time.

So basicly when dealling with a potental spammer two rules apply.. Spammers lie convencingly and innocent victoms tell the truth unconvencingly...
Some times it takes work to find the guilty party.. some times it just takes work confermming the person you have in your claws really is as gulty as you think he is...
You can't use simple rules to base your judgment.. Spammers will just use this against you... They love it when you come down on an innocent victom... "See.. they just resisting change..." and they also love it when you pass over an gulty party.. "Encorcement..."

In the end I don't believe in letting them go easy I also don't believe in being trigger happy...

Re:Those damn CDs!! (1)

kiwaiti (95197) | more than 13 years ago | (#529141)

I make use of some of them -
usually I put the shiny side up to use them as beermats.

Kiwaiti

Re:Those damn CDs!! (1)

Kierthos (225954) | more than 13 years ago | (#529142)

I daresay that the cost of those AOL CDs raises the prices of AOL subscriptions for those who use AOL (like me, unfortunately). Also, they wonderfully idiotic marketing morons don't seem to realize that they don't need to send 15 AOL CDs to someone who already has AOL.

I use the damn things as coasters.

Kierthos

Re:Those damn CDs!! (1)

um... Lucas (13147) | more than 13 years ago | (#529152)

reply what are you talking about? Theres still FedEx, UPS, and Airborn... Not to mention the numerous couriers in every city. I do believe anyone could try to compete against the post office, it's just that they're so entrechened it makes no sense to attempt to under cut them, but rather offer a faster more efficient service than they do...

1st class postage costs so much more than bulk mail because even if it's 1st class bulk mail, it;s pre-sorted. And then if you send enough and can stand the fact that it'll arrive slower, you can opt for 3rd class. Direct mailers send so much that they have buying power in a sense. They pay so much more that anyone else does they deserve lower rates...

Of course a year or two ago when the rates last increased.... it was 2nd (magazine) and 3rd (bulk) class mailers that got hit with the brunt of it. Should have read the DM News then to see some true rage!

Re:In UK you can opt out of paper junk mail (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#529153)

The same thing exists in the US with the same name. It gets posted in popular columns like Dear Abby, Ann Landers, etc. all the time. IMO, people prefer to just bitch about it, as if it were no more changeable than the weather.
http://www.unt.edu/legal/mail_preference_service.h tm [unt.edu]

Re:In UK you can opt out of paper junk mail (2)

um... Lucas (13147) | more than 13 years ago | (#529154)

it's been a few years since i worked for a mailer, but so far as i remember, the DMA does infact maintain a "not list" of sorts. You can put your name in there, and 90% of mailers will run their lists against that list to make sure they're not wasting printing or postage costs on someon whos sure not to respond.

Yes, it's not 100% reliable. And yes, there's no recourse if someone decides to not run their list against the DMA's. But hey, that's free enterprize, right?

legality (1)

erotus (209727) | more than 13 years ago | (#529155)

'My favorite part is the comment from the accused "We do not knowingly profit from unsolicited emai". Ah blessed ignorance'

The legal term for this kind of ignorance is called "plausible deniability." It is a clever way to escape guilt by claiming ignorance and surprisingly has worked for many people and companies.

Re:Those damn CDs!! (1)

HobophobE (101209) | more than 13 years ago | (#529156)

receiving AOL CDs doesn't cost you a penny, whereas receiving spam EMail does cost you.

and you *know* that the costs are passed on to the consumer

Wouldn't the argument you make about the cost being passed to the consumer also cause postal rates to increase (effective Jan. 7 USPS is charging more [usps.gov] )?

-HobophobE

Charge 'em (1)

Gunnery Sgt. Hartman (221748) | more than 13 years ago | (#529157)

I know this goes into another touchy subject but...why not charge spammers to email? Make the people that send out large quantities of unsollicited email pay postage. This would generate some lost revenue for the Postal System and it would make some companies think twice before clicking on "spam" err i mean send.

Sorry, but.. (1)

raistlinjones (246692) | more than 13 years ago | (#529158)

This wouldn't work at all. First of all, in order to JUST charge "spammers", or "people that send out large quantities of unsolicited email", you would have to have some system of knowing if there were actually doing that, and also a system of actually making them pay. If they are using some other server without that server's permission to send this spam, as many of them do, then it would be impossible to charge them without finding out who did it. It's also difficult to have a system of knowing whether they are sending the email unsolicited. There just doesn't seem to be any feasible way to charge the spammers.

The road to nowhere leads to me-Ozzy Osbourne

Re:In UK you can opt out of paper junk mail (1)

Martin Spamer (244245) | more than 13 years ago | (#529159)

The only problem is the MPS (and the FAX & Phone version) do not work very well.

We registered with MPS in Nov 98 because the amount of junk mail we where getting was becoming unreal, (~6-10 items a day).

We still get a dozen items a week which we dilligently forward to MPS, only for them to make an excuse.

We've complained to the DTI, and are seriously considering legal action.

The MPS is self regulation by the people responsible for the problem in the first place. Self regulation never wins over the profit motive.

Bandwidth cost of spam is negligeable. (2)

Christopher Thomas (11717) | more than 13 years ago | (#529160)

Storage and mail server meltdown may be issues, but the time spent downloading spam isn't. The banner ad at the top of the screen here was 10k. That's the equivalent of five moderately lengthy spam emails. A typical web mage has many images (adverts and non-adverts), and Joe User will surf through many pages in a day. Someone who never touches a web browser might see their charges rise due to spam, but anyone who browses even a little bit has a much, much bigger drain on their phone bill than spam would ever produce.

The ISP, too, is processing image and other binary data as the bulk of its traffic. Spam does load down the mail server quite a bit, but not the pipe.

I don't *like* spam, and I don't think I should be *sent* spam, but the "time to download" argument doesn't hold water.

Unsolicited commercial junk email not Spam (2)

Martin Spamer (244245) | more than 13 years ago | (#529161)

Guys,

We should call this stuff what it IS. This is Unsolicited commercial email / junk email it is not Spam or done by Spamer's.

Spamer is my family surname (Try searching Google, you'll find hundred of us), and you can appreciate the unrestricted use of the expression Spamer, Spam, Spaming causes me (and my Brother who both work in IT/Internet industry) considerable problems. I've been flamed, mail bombed, had my machines attacked, this has become seriously unfunny!

This is plea that everybody be responsible, use and encourage others to use, the most accurate term Unsolicited commercial email / junk email.

Re:Porn spam. (1)

Sc00ter (99550) | more than 13 years ago | (#529162)

If you don't like AOL's policy, don't use AOL.


--

Re:Worse is **idiots** running open mail relays! (2)

mpe (36238) | more than 13 years ago | (#529163)

Lately, I've been getting spammed from "sexyfun.net". Every time it comes from a different site with a STUPID ASSED sysadmin with his wide open for relaying mail server he probably never bothered to actually configure after initial installation.[*]

If this is the case then IMHO the vendor/supplier is at fault. There is no good reason to supply an MTA configured to relay at all. i.e. the sysadmin should have to explicitally configure it to relay. (Especially since the primary reason for needing third party relays at all is to handle crippled software which won't work without one.)

[*] Most of these sites are is asia, or some schmucks cablemodem/DSL conencted Red Hat box. What is it with Red Hat (l)users anyway?

It's Red Hat who are at fault here. They put together a system with inappropriate defaults. If they were doing this 15 years ago they might have some excuse, but there has been no legitimate reason for supplying an MTA which is an open relay in its "out of the box" configuration for well over a decade, assuming there ever was a good reason in the first place. Since RFC821 allows for relaying to be refused with a 551 return code.

ICQ (1)

Beowulf_Boy (239340) | more than 13 years ago | (#529164)

I wish ICQ would do the same thing, I usually just leave it running, and about every 15-30 minutes you get a message asking you to llok at someones PornPics, I hate it.
maybe AOL suing will scare off the ICQ people.

Re:Unsolicited commercial junk email not Spam (2)

mazur (99215) | more than 13 years ago | (#529165)

We should call this stuff what it IS.

[SNIP]

I've been flamed, mail bombed, had my machines attacked, this has become seriously unfunny!

Then why, oh overwrought one, do you specify your email address on slashdot as it is? Do you get your jollies thinking about how now and again overworked and underpaid email server administrators get an email intended to you, but incomprehensible and not truly trackable to them?

I think you need to think again and recalibrate your sense of humour. Hint: specifying an email address is not mandatory on Slashdot.

Stefan.
It takes a lot of brains to enjoy satire, humor and wit-

Re:Those damn CDs!! (1)

Helge Hafting (14882) | more than 13 years ago | (#529166)

Wouldn't the argument you make about the cost being passed to the consumer also cause postal rates to increase

No. AOL pays the post office for sending CD's. The postal rates don't increase as a result of this. The price of AOL services may increase, but nobody have to use AOL so no problem.

Re:Bandwidth cost of spam is negligeable. (1)

Helge Hafting (14882) | more than 13 years ago | (#529167)

Storage and mail server meltdown may be issues, but the time spent downloading spam isn't

Time spent when thousands of employees (including the well-paid) deals with their daily email.

What about the spam I get from AOL? (2)

vapor2000 (59123) | more than 13 years ago | (#529168)

I get tons of porn spam from AOL accounts. Shouldn't they make sure their own house is in order?

irony (5)

AcidMonkey (188562) | more than 13 years ago | (#529169)

I would e-mail AOL's legal department to show my support...

...but I'm afraid they'd sue me.

Is spamming, in and of itself, illegal? (2)

Pherrite (138134) | more than 13 years ago | (#529171)

If not (and I doubt it), of what law has Cyber Entertainment run afoul? The C|Net article only mentioned (as far as I bothered to read) that Cyber Entertainment violated its own anti-spam policy.

more on the blessed ignorance... (1)

deander2 (26173) | more than 13 years ago | (#529172)


and i do not knowingly benifit from viewing such unsolicited e-mail... my brain isn't getting enough blood for it to register. :-)

-1 sp (1)

tomblackwell (6196) | more than 13 years ago | (#529176)

Please, it's spammers. The spell checker would be an invaluable addition to the Slashdot arsenal of text manipulation tools.

Re:Those damn CDs!! (1)

bjvora (173856) | more than 13 years ago | (#529182)

You forgot one thing! Whenever I get AOL CDs...I put it in the microwave, turn off the lights and heat it for about 5 seconds...and watch the fireworks! It's a lot of fun...I highly recommend it! :) Oh..and make sure the back side(where the data is) is laid down face up!

Re:Those damn CDs!! (1)

gavcam (120595) | more than 13 years ago | (#529183)

Scribble out your name and write in large letters "Return to Sender. Postage will be paid by addressee" and pop them in your closest mailbox.

Re:In UK you can opt out of paper junk mail (2)

Helge Hafting (14882) | more than 13 years ago | (#529184)

In the UK you can opt out of paper junk mail
I was wondering whether there is a similar service in other countries?

You can do that to some extent in Norway too. You can tell the post office to not deliver "unadressed mail". That don't stop others (local shops etc.) from delivering junk themselves in densely populated areas. And it don't stop junk mail explicitly adressed to you. The latter can be stopped by calling/writing the sender and tell them to remove you from their database, something our database law require them to do. But there are many senders, and they will sometimes re-aquire your name when they buy an adress list from someone else. You can of course use the law and force them to reveal their source and tell the source to delete you from their list too, but who will bother with doing that all the time?

Fortunately, the same law apply to telemarketing. I don't need to call them - they call me. And then I just say "please delete me from your database, you must according to the law. And then they don't call again. :-)

Re:UUNET dialup spammers active again today (1)

sik puppy (136743) | more than 13 years ago | (#529185)

no they aren't

just do the following

forward all spam sent by uu.net customers to the sales@uu.net, and info@uu.net. add hostmaster and webmaster if you like. I forward all 5/6 spams/day/email account to them, and now they are starting to complain about the constant forwarding. I told them I would stop when they cancel their pink contracts and cancel the spammers accounts

i am wondering about taking legal action against uu.net for aiding and abetting a harrasser

any thoughts?

Re:Bandwidth cost of spam is negligeable. (1)

Red Barchetta (301767) | more than 13 years ago | (#529186)

Well - "SPAM" (aka - Junk Mail) is a part of life. The way I see it - while it annoys me at times, all it REALLY is is another form of a Company attempting to get your bussiness (advertising) - however - when it comes to "Porn" ads - I neither object to, nor odvocate use of such services (I MIGHT occasionaly use them myself - but RARELY) - the fact is - I am not sure of laws in other countries - but in the US I know that no Co. can snail-mail you any information at all containing "Porn" or other related topics (Sex Toys, exc.) unless it is specificaly requested. - All other types of Ads are just fine however - My feeling - Junk E-Mail should be treated the same way.
Besides it is "Porn" Co.s that are the ones jamming Email boxex - even if you are interrested, you are not going to respond to all of them (that is what you get through AOL).
However - on the other hand AOL themselves could do more to prevent it - an I know it! - I use AOL through Bring Your Own Access - and I use my Primary ISP for most of my Email (POP3 mail) - I have no blocks set and in 1 year I do not get as much "Spam" on that Mail account as I do in one day on my AOL Email addresses - and it's even more public than my AOL Email addresses are!

Re:Those damn CDs!! (1)

God! Awful (181117) | more than 13 years ago | (#529187)

I don't think the US postal rate increase (and Canadian as well) is due to junk mail (a more likely target is fuel prices).

After all, higher volume is supposed to give you an economy of scale.

P.S. Doesn't the post office give discounts (the bulk rate) to companies who send a large volume of mail? I wonder who those companies might be...

Re:In UK you can opt out of paper junk mail (1)

Kryptonomic (161792) | more than 13 years ago | (#529188)

Can't you opt out simply by putting a sign on your mailbox saying that "No advertisments or unaddressed mail"?

Re:Those damn CDs!! (3)

SomeoneYouDontKnow (267893) | more than 13 years ago | (#529189)

Perhaps, but consider this. Some estimates have put the percentage of spam coming into AOL as high as 30% of e-mail traffic. Now how many terabytes of storage do you suppose AOL has for e-mail, not to mention how much bandwidth is needed to receive it? If you figure that 30% of that goes to spam, you can see that there is a real cost, one that the spammer isn't paying. If AOL is going to send out a million CDs, they have incremental costs associated with doing that, costs that _they_ must pay. Your garden variety spammer signs up for a dialup account with an ISP, then spams away like there's no tomorrow, until the ISP is alerted and pulls the plug. What does the originating ISP get? $19.95? Maybe, unless the spammer used a fake cc number or requests a chargeback, which credit card companies often give. And what costs has the ISP incurred? Well, the spammer used their bandwidth to send out his spam, and he costs their sysadmins time (translation: money), since they have to deal with the mess the spammer leaves behind, plus, he causes the billing/collections department time (translation: money) as they try to get some money out of him, and he might also cause legal fees to pile up if the ISP decides to sue. As a matter of fact, I sold dialup ISDN to a guy who I later found out wanted to spam. Let's look at what this one incident cost in terms of time. 20 minutes for me to explain the product set and sign him up.
10 minutes to speak with someone in QA about his nasty e-mail she received telling us he wanted to cancel because he objected to our AUP.
10 minutes discussing it with my supervisor.
15 minutes for me, my supervisor, the QA representative, and the QA manager to discuss the situation.
5 minutes for me and my supervisor to tell the manager of billing that the customer was definitely to be billed for the time he used, even though he stated in his message that he wouldn't pay.
30 minutes for the manager of QA to speak to him and tell him that he was going to get charged, since he had asked and was told at the time of signup that we don't do refunds. It was at this time that his intention to spam was revealed.
10 minutes for me to spaek with our sysadmin to find out if he had spammed while he was connected, which he hadn't, as far as we could tell at the time. Now you can add up the time above and get an idea of the cost. Keep in mind that you'll have to double, triple, or quadruple some numbers based on the number of people involved. And I don't even know if we ever got our money out of him. And don't forget the costs to another organization if the spammer hijacks a mail server to relay his junk. Sure, anyone running an open relay these days is asking for trouble, but there are times when closing them can be a huge pain, such as on an old mainframe running an old MTA and an outdated OS. There are some machines out there that are old enough that there just aren't any upgrades available, and the organizations that own them might not be able to justify replacing them solely for that reason. My point isn't to downplay the annoyance of regular junk mail, but spammers cost lots of people lots of money, and I didn't even get onto the subject of fraudulent spam, which most of it seems to be. IMHO, AOL is right to sue them. Hell, I wish they'd do this more often, and it'd be nice if other ISPs did the same. If these lowlifes want to use the resources of others to try to squeeze a buck out of some newbie, then they need to get their balls nailed to the wall for it.

Re:Those damn CDs!! (2)

Monte (48723) | more than 13 years ago | (#529190)

I do believe anyone could try to compete against the post office, it's just that they're so entrechened it makes no sense to attempt to under cut them, but rather offer a faster more efficient service than they do...

It's against the law to compete with the USPS. FedEx, UPS et al deliver things that the USPS either doesn't want to (packages) or generally can't (overnight). In fact, it's against the law to send something via an overnight service that doesn't actually have to be there overnight.

The USPS is a federally guaranteed monopoly.

Check this [emory.edu] out.

Quality of service too (2)

DrXym (126579) | more than 13 years ago | (#529191)

Another point for usenet spam is that your local news server must delete older, legitimate posts to make room for it. Instead of having a news server which holds a month of articles, you have one that holds only a few days with the rest being clogged up with "Make money FAST!" & "H*O_W_TO_A=T+T*RA-CT_W_O_M-E-N" shit, binary porn spam and the cancels of course. So the server wastes space and must spend a sizable percentage of its time just receiving and filing all the unwanted crap. This all leads to a slower and poorer news service.

Short of blocking all binaries, limiting crossposting and honouring cancels (and hoping they arrive in a timely fashion), there's not much else a server can do.

Why is it... (2)

Snowfox (34467) | more than 13 years ago | (#529192)

Why is it that whenever I send -anyone- on AOL mail, I start getting spam for a few days after?

I've long wondered whether AOL might be selling lists of external e-mail accounts to spammers.

To those saying they aren't paying for spam (5)

Bedemus (63252) | more than 13 years ago | (#529193)

Hi all,

A lot of people seem to be under the impression that since their own personal download time for spam messages is next to nothing in comparison to regular browsing traffic, it can't be costing them much.

As a sysadmin for an ISP, I'd have to disagree. Spam in general raises operating costs quite a bit, ad that's what a customer's bill pays for. What users aren't thinking about is that it isn't just a few users that get spammed. Let's say a mid-sized ISP, with maybe 40,000 customers, suffers a spam attack in which 50% of their customers receive a 5k e-mail. You're looking at almost 100 MB of traffic generated by just one spammer in a short period of time.

This isn't the worst of it, though. It used to be that spammers used lists of valid e-mail addresses to send their spam from... Now, going by what I've seen lately on our mail servers, spammers have taken up what I've coined as "shotgun spamming." They fire off e-mails alphabetically, from multiple sources simultaneously, choosing common last names and pairing them up with first initials, first names with last initials, etc, knowing full well that the bulk of their mail won't get anywhere, but be bounced back. During such an attack it is not uncommon for a server to get hammered with several thousand messages a minute assuming the hardware can handle it without deferring connections. By the time the attack is over, a server will have received somewhere along the lines of 100,000 to 200,000 messages.

The problem that makes this sort of spamming worse: MTAs will attempt to send a bounce message back to the sender if an address doesn't exist on a given server. The spammers know this, and don't want to catch all that traffic themselves, so guess what? They use an address that doesn't exist as well, causing the attacking server to bounce the bounce message our victim server sends right back again. This is known as a double bounce, and once it occurs, the message does finally die... But let's look at what damage has been done:

Using the hypothetical ISP outlined above, let's assume a fairly small attack of 100,000 5 kilobyte messages, of which 50% of the 40,000 customers end up receiving a mail... This results in the aforementioned 100 MB of traffic, and leaves us with 80,000 bounce messages to send. These bounces generally include the contents of the original message plus some additonal text describing the problem, so they'll be a little larger than 5k, but we'll ignore that.

Now, we've got another 400MB of traffic in bounce messages to send, to which we'll get another 400MB of double-bounces in reply. This results in 900MB (that's bytes, not bits, for hose of you counting at home) of total traffic from one such salvo of spam, not counting the endless amount of resends on each side since both servers will likely be deferring acceptance of messages by about halfway through, causing a buildup in each server queue and wasting HD space to boot. This is a fairly tame example.

I personally spent an entire week recently monitoring the mail queue of a mail server being shotgun spammed ("TURNKEY E-COMMERCE SOLUTIONS"), and shutting down acceptance of messages from their sources -- It was disgusting to see the Net's lowest life form next to child pornographers (spammers) sink to a new low in their tactics. Automated spam-blocking tools can't fully alleviate this problem, no matter how well designed. Heck, even non-automated attempts can't. As I was shutting down acceptance from one relaying machine, another would pop up and start spamming, taking the place of the one just blocked... It was like trying to fight a DDoS being done through SMTP!

Anyway -- in short, spam will cost you, not matter who you are. I'd recommend http://www.cauce.org for more information on this issue.
--
NeoMail - Webmail that doesn't suck... as much.

Re:UUNET dialup spammers active again today (1)

arseonick (28913) | more than 13 years ago | (#529194)

Aww, university competetion! How cute!

AOL has long fought with spammers (2)

Chuck Flynn (265247) | more than 13 years ago | (#529195)

They had a little turf battle back in 1997 [cnn.com] where bulk-mailer threatened to release five million AOL email addresses. It was all over the news at the time, because AOL was the big enemy on the horizon and it was fun to see them blackmailed. Now that I think of it, it still is. It takes something as evil as AOL to make spammers look nice by comparison.

Remember back in 1995(?) or so when AOL changed its terms of service to allow AOL to profit from charging businesses for access to AOL's mailing lists? The hypocrisy is revolting.

Pointing AOL in the right direction... (1)

packphour (257276) | more than 13 years ago | (#529196)

AOL should be suing themselves. Their users wouldn't receive spam if AOL didn't provide their users with e-mail addresses.

Besides, all AOLers have to do is activate their quality "Spam Blocking Feature." Pfftttt.

And lastly, I'm suing AOL for the UNSOLICITED pop-up ads that they spring on me when I go to lau- ehh log into their site.

Re:irony (1)

packphour (257276) | more than 13 years ago | (#529197)

This was funny- I would mod you up but I'm not special enough :(

i thought it was (1)

pezpunk (205653) | more than 13 years ago | (#529198)

didn't the telecommunicatios act of 1996(?) make it illegal to send someone unsolicited email without a way to be removed from a mailing list? or something like that?

Re:Those damn CDs!! (1)

LiteForce (102751) | more than 13 years ago | (#529200)

All you do is recycle an old 386/486 or something like that; install a Linux distro on it and simply filter using RBL, MAPS DUL, and ORBS - anything that passes those tests can be safely relayed through the legacy mail server.

Update the primary MX records for any domains it hosts to go to the newly installed Linux box and then firewall the old machine's SMTP port when DNS has fully propogated around the Internet (usually 48/72 hours).

On the Linux box; configure it to relay mail for those domains directly to the IP address of the legacy mail server - as it is behind the firewall, it can connect to the SMTP port of the legacy mail server with no problems.... voila, no more spam - and no more open relaying!

The only problems with this is if you can't get hold of an old box (unlikely; hardware is so cheap nowadays you could probably pick up a low-end Pentium for next to nothing) - or if you don't have some way of filtering packets, in which case, you're screwed anyway :-)

Organizations may complain about the cost of getting someone versed in UNIX to install such a system; but I would like to remind them that having an open relay on a network often breaks the ToS and AUP of the upstream ISP/bandwidth provider.

"Be vewy vewy quiet, I'm hunting wuntime ewwors!" - Elmer Fudd

Email spam is actually quite easy to stop. (2)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 13 years ago | (#529202)

And there isn't a massive amount the spammers can do about it. I don't see a lot of spam these days, the occasional one gets through though.

Basically, every time someone spams you, they give you information about themselves. You can use this information against the spammers.

Give the spammers a bunch of nice juicy spam trap aliases to fill their mailing lists then just /dev/null anything which is addressed to the spamtrap account.

It's documented here:
http://www.yelm.freeserve.co.uk/spamido/

Excuse the spelling.

Header forgery as trademark violation (1)

ab762 (138582) | more than 13 years ago | (#529204)

A point I found interesting was that AOL sued for header forgery, according to c|net

The complaint includes ... breaches of federal trademark laws. AOL charges that some of the Webmasters forged the company's name in email headers.

I'm not completely sure that this will stand up, nor that it should. Typing aol.com is, after all, necessary to send email. OTOH, intent does matter in trademark suits, so maybe this will be a useful tool.

Henry Troup, hwt@igs.net

My own little test (1)

Seeka (258435) | more than 13 years ago | (#529206)

One time I set up a blank AOL account and told no-one the address.. The result? When I had returned, my box was filled with spam mail. I have no idea how it got there, since my email is supposed to be secret, but I think the quality of the provider has something to do with it. Blocking certain domain names, and erroneous combinations (and/or putting the blocked mail in a seperate folder for later checking) are good ways to prevent Spam, but it seems these guys will stop at nothing. AOL says they have an Anti-Spam program, but it doesn't seem to be doing much good when I forward MY messages -- I don't even get an autoreply. Much less a personalized message at the end.


Seeka

I like the AOL CDs (2)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 13 years ago | (#529208)

There are loads of uses for them. Coffee mug coasters is number 1 and I've tiled my cubicle with them but I have a pal with a sideline in cheap wallclocks. I don't know where he'd be without a steady supply of CDs from AOL.

Others think so too:

http://www.wanderlist.com/aolsux

http://www.networkboy.com/humor/aolcd.htm

http://www.aolwatch.org/disks.htm

My experience with Cyber Entertainment... (3)

Floody (153869) | more than 13 years ago | (#529210)

My company does business with Cyber Entertainment.

Specifically, we provide them with a fair number of email boxes.

While I certainly cannot attest for their practices with regard to AOL, I have noticed that they appear to follow their AUP closely; at least when it comes to us.

In every instance where a large number of complaints have come our way (generally because someone found one of the email boxes, discovered who the ISP was, and started hammering our abuse department), Cyber Entertainment has handled the issue quickly and professionaly, instantly terminating (or at least we never heard another word about it) their relationship with the offending spammer. In fact, we've seen numerous misplaced emails from former "webmaster affiliates" who are VERY upset that CE refuses to do further business from them.

Logically, I think CE views the whole thing (until now) as quite a scam.

Think about it: They get to have other individuals/companies spam for them, but once the spam is reported, CE can sever the relationship, not have to pay the spammer a dime, yet still reap the benefits of spam.

Find your own place to sell... (1)

Mordanthanus (300840) | more than 13 years ago | (#529212)

Seems AOL doesn't like the competition to it's own SPAM or to it's dirty chat rooms.

User logging on... 300 baud... 300BAUD?!? Click... NO CARRIER.

Re:In UK you can opt out of paper junk mail (2)

radja (58949) | more than 13 years ago | (#529213)

in the netherlands you just put a sticker on your postbox that says:

NO, I don't want any unaddressed mail | No, I don't want any free local newspapers

good thing is: its binding...the stickers are readily available for free.

//rdj

Re:UUNET dialup spammers active again today (1)

Kreeblah (95092) | more than 13 years ago | (#529214)

You're forgetting that people can spoof IP addresses. One day, when I was bored, I decided to test my firewall, so I had a friend of mine ping me/portscan me/etc. w/a spoofed address of 64.28.67.48 (look familiar, anyone?). Just because it looks like Harvard's trying to connect on prt 137, that doesn't mean they really are.

Just can't contain myself... (1)

packphour (257276) | more than 13 years ago | (#529215)

Sorry, third post regarding this issue already but I just can't help it. AOL, porn, and spam all in one subject line! Thank god this story had no ties to Napster or I might have had an annuerism.

Re:Is spamming, in and of itself, illegal? (1)

befletch (42204) | more than 13 years ago | (#529216)

of what law has Cyber Entertainment run afoul?

From the article,

The complaint includes several counts against the defendants, including trespassing under Virginia state common law, violations of Virginia state law--which outlaws the transmission of spam--and breaches of federal trademark laws. AOL charges that some of the Webmasters forged the company's name in email headers.
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