I like most people that use the internet detest spam. I hate it. I want it to go away. And that’s just the meat product. Email spam, now that’s just plain criminal. There’s just no innocent motive behind that one. Spammers try to make a quick buck by betting on the odds that one in ten thousand recipients will reply. In the process, they abuse our good will. The internet relies on the existence of good will, that its users won’t abuse it. Sure, a spammer pays for access to the Internet, just like everyone else, but the network itself is not the line they lease from their local phone or cable company, or the bandwidth they use on their end. The network is machines and people, all across the globe that react to the communications sent down the pipe. The spammers abuse the good will that we give to the network that allows anonymity to rule, for mail to travel freely between its nodes, to pass between router and bridge, machine and man.
You might say its no different than bulk-mail. We tolerate that. Yes, but we shouldn’t. Of course I mean junk-mail, not subscriptions or other expected forms of bulk-mail. Yet, certainly, junk mailers pay the fee to send the mail. The post office is compensated, but I am not. I must spend my time and effort to wade through the unwanted advertisements disguised as urgent notices and bills, in order to discover the real bit of mail that needs my attention. Junk mailers should be imprisoned, or at least the defendant of a class-action suit for every batch of junk they send out. And the post office should be held accountable and sued as well. They should require mailers to obtain licenses to bulk mail, and those licenses should be revoked if used to mail advertisements or offers.
Why am I so upset now? Well, I’ve been spammed to death. My on-line identity has gasped its final breath, keeled over and gone kaput. Like most everyone reading this I have mail accounts at various on-line locations. I’m a Microsoft guy so mine are at hotmail. These are in addition to my work mail and ISP accounts. Why? Because I only give out my ISP account address to close and personal friends, and those identities tend to change as megacorparations are bought, sold and merged in to even large behemoths. Really, why? Because I don’t want junk mail getting to me at work. Some still does, but not a lot. Where it really goes is to my hotmail account, because that’s the address I give out to the general populace. That’s the address that gets sniffed and crawled, bought and sold by other unscrupulous institutions that I don’t have the time or inclination to rant about just yet.
And I do get the junk mail, and its has been increasing its frequency lately, some of it viruses, that I don’t open thank-you-very-much. So that’s the problem. The in-box is filling, and there’s not much I can do about it. What about spam filters you say? Of course, why didn’t I think of that? But my hotmail account has wonderful spam filters built right in, even better filters (it seems) than the ones built into my outlook mail client. It works so well that just about every spam mail is sent directly there before I even get a chance to roll my eyes at it.
So what’s wrong? Well, even filtered, spanked and sent to bed without supper, spam mail still chokes my in-box to death. It’s not that I get so much spam that even a tiny fraction is too much to handle. It’s that the totality of the spam, filtered or not counts to my storage quota.
You see, hotmail doles out the bytes like they are scarcer than droplets of water on Arrakis. Sure, I could beef up the account by actually paying for the privilege, but it wouldn’t solve the problem. The rate of incoming spam will only climb, and eventually I’ll be back in this same predicament, only I’ll be shelling out a monthly fee for the right not to get mail.
This is because hotmail counts the bytes consumed by junk-mail against my total. When my total is exceeded, I stop getting mail. Right now, my account fills up in a matter a few hours. If there’s any legitimate mail out there trying to reach me, I might not ever know.
But I digress