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Michael Gracie

CAN-SPAM poorly thought out, and everyone knows it

Network World ran an article a week or so back, postulating on the chance that an overzealous prosecutor (yes, I know that is an oxymoron) could use CAN-SPAM in an inappropriate fashion.

I have not studied the act in detail, but many have. Here are some of the responses in Mailbag: Thoughts on misusing the CAN-SPAM Act.

Please Mr. and Ms. Senators and Congresspersons, get some help next time, please.

If you want to read the original article, you can find it here: Could the CAN-SPAM law be misapplied?.

Proof Positive Spam Is Slowing

ComputerWorld just reported on the latest ultra-statistically significant study to come out of the fight on spam. In Symantec: Spam growth slowing at last – Computerworld, Brightmail, a subsidiary of Symantec, noted that in December, they received the same amount of spam they did in November (67% of total messages), and that they have seen only minor increases in the previous couple of months.

Meanwhile, MessageLabs data was entirely different. They state that the spam component of total email was 94% prior to the months in question, and that spam has actually fallen. Of course, MessageLabs runs a whole bunch of in-house Windows 2000 and NT4, so the fact that their numbers are so much higher comes as no surprise.

My conclusions:

1) Spammers took the month of December off just like everyone else;

2) Spammers have decided to pursue stealthly phishing techniques, because it pays better, and doesn’t mention the word Viagra; and

3) Nobody really knows what the heck is going on, but they are selling a lot of anti-spam software, so who cares.

Six Apart Guide to Comment Spam

Six Apart, the folks that bring you the MovableType Publishing Platform, recently released the Six Apart Guide to Combatting Comment Spam.

Pretty comprehensive look at the comment spam issue, and how to avoid big wastes of time deleting kazillions of un-approved comments that sound like complete nonsense, but do contain great links to cheap Viagra.

Anyway, between it, and a solid implementation of MT Blacklist, you should be wasting little time, and this is good. You will have to find another job in order to afford the pharmaceuticals at your local Walgreens, and this is bad.