Friday, April 28, 2006

The U.S. Government vs. SPAM

Do you remember the CAN-SPAM Act? Awhile back, I wrote a blog posting entitled the CAN'T-SPAM Law.

Supposedly the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) was going to pursue law enforcement actions against people who send deceptive email. The volume of spam daily cluttering my email suggests pretty strongly that the FTC isn't exactly enforcing this law.

How do you handle spam? Personally, I use three Message Rules inside Microsoft's Outlook Express.
[Note: To create a rule for Outlook Express e-mail messages, on the Tools menu, point to Message Rules, and then click Mail.]


  1. The first rule I've named Spam White List Addresses. It's purpose is to identify email messages I know are not spam. I don't want these emails tested against my other two spam rules. In specifying the message rule, where it says "Select the Conditions for your rule" I have the first entry checked, "Where the From list contains people." I then populate the rule using either complete email addresses or string portions extracted from email addresses. Where the rule says "Select the Actions for your rule" I have checked "Stop processing more rules."

  2. My second spam rule deals with Spam Black List Addresses. Where it says "Select the Conditions for your rule" I again have checked the first entry, "Where the From list contains people." Then I populate the list with portions of text extracted from spam email addresses. For instance: 'service@amazon.com', 'netscape.net', '.au', 'email.com', '@mail', etc. Note that complete addresses are not required, just strings of text. This list is constantly growing. Where the rule says "Select the Actions for your rule" I have checked the entry "Move it to the specified folder." I also have checked "Highlight it with a color."

  3. Finally, I have a third spam rule called Spam Black List Subjects that's very similar to the second rule except where it says "Select the Conditions for your rule" I have checked the second entry, "Where the Subject line contains specific words." The words in my list include many variations of spellings, for instance: 'Viagra', 'V1agra', 'Vi-agra', and so on. My list of spam black list words is quite large and constantly growing. Again, where the rule says "Select the Actions for your rule" I have checked the entry "Move it to the specified folder." I also have checked "Highlight it with a color." I use the same folder as the second rule's list, but these entries are highlighted in a different color.

I periodically go through my SPAM folder, adjusting my three spam rule definitions as necessary. I then forward each spam email to spam@uce.gov. I wish I could also forward each spam email to every congressmen and senator, except most of those folks nowadays only accept emails via web forms.

I've watched enough CSI and Law & Order television shows to know that if the government really wanted to it could easily track down where spam messages originate. Frankly, I don't think anyone in the Bush administration cares about individual people, only corporations. Spam will probably be one of the excuses that will be used to allow the free Internet to be usurped by the huge goliaths like AT&T, Comcast, Verizon and AOL. Money corrupts everything and big money has totally corrupted America's government.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Robert Pearson said...

I couldn't have said it better myself.
You need to look at posting, not commenting, on Arianna Huffington's Blog at
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/
or some other vehicle to get you the exposure you deserve.
I am not sure why you are not more widely read for your insights into
EA, IT and the current "Politically Incorrect" state of things.
I have an opinion but I am just one point of light.
One of the goals of my life was to collaborate with you. It looks like it will be by commenting in your Blog. Better than nothing, I guess.
I've always likened our lack of a connection to something like Alfred Russel Wallace and Charles Darwin. I got into the game late with less training, talent and ability than you. I still think my contributions would be complementary.
I've always had a catalytic effect for the good.

1:35 AM  

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