Stooping to a lower level

It what could only be described as a silly idea, a new startup aims to stop spam by inundating spammer websites with requests to quit bothering you. While the concept is a noble one, it smells a lot like a distributed denial of service attack (which by the way is against the law).

The company, Blue Security of Menlo Park, even admits that the sheer number of requests should be enough to slow spammers’ websites down, making spamming less economical be reducing the number of transactions that can be had.

The Slashdot crowd had this to say about the approach.


While I appreciate the comments that came from Blue Security, I still have to worry about the publicity trend that seems to be enveloping the company’s latest announcement. Don’t shoot the messenger here, but this will give you some idea about where I am going with this.


Eran Aloni says:

The Do Not Intrude Registry is an ethical and effective solution to spam. Clearly, every Internet user has a right to choose not to receive spam and a right to complain when this basic right is violated by a spammer – users can just browse the spam site and leave a complaint. The Blue Frog client helps users exercise this right in the exact same manner by complaining on spammers’ sites. We merely allow the users to do it in a safe and automated manner and employ many safeguards and procedures making sure it does not inflict any damage to third parties.

The community posts complaints at web sites advertised by spam only as a reaction to spam sent to the community – a single complaint is posted for each spam message it receives. Complaints are posted only after warnings are sent to the web site advertised by spam and to the hosting ISP. Spammers can easily avoid receiving complaints simply by cleaning their lists from our community members’ email addresses. We also provide a simple set of tools to make it easy for them to do.

DDoS, on the other hand, is an unprovoked and disproportional attack on a site. There is no doubt that it is an illegal and immoral action.
As a security company we are the first to recognize that and live by that rule.

Spammers make money since rogue advertisers pay them to do so. If advertisers and spammers see that the complaints posted by the community cause them to lose money, they would rather leave the community in peace.

As you can see, we make all the information about our service available to the public – including the source code of our client application and registry compliance tools. We are confident that our approach is an ethical one and that users’ have every right to actively work together to protect their online rights .

Eran Aloni
Director of Marketing
Blue Security

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