Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(September 1996)
 

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Subject: Re: Jodge orders AOL to allow junk email...
From: Eric Thomas <ERIC @ VM . SE . LSOFT . COM>
Date: Sat, 7 Sep 1996 01:57:49 +0200
To: list-managers @ greatcircle . com
In-reply-to: Message of Fri, 6 Sep 1996 15:22:51 -0400 from list-managers-owner @ GreatCircle . COM

The problem is that  AOL is blocking all mail from  company 1, company 2,
... company 5, based on origin rather than contents. Thus, AOL is
preventing these  companies from communicating with  AOL customers, which
clearly stands in the way of doing business with AOL customers.

Solution  1 is  to offer  AOL customers  the ability  to block  mail from
certain companies, and then provide a  clickomatic way for an AOL user to
say "I  never want to  see mail from this  company again" when  reading a
spam.  Then the  user  expresses a  desire not  to  communicate with  the
companies in  question and that's  too bad for  the spam factory.  If AOL
were to  provide a pre-built  list of  companies, they could  probably be
sued  for libel  (I'm not  saying they  would win,  but that  there would
probably be grounds to actually go to court).

Solution 2  is to  filter the messages  based on having  been sent  to an
indiscriminately broad  audience, rather than  based on who sent  them or
what they were about. AOL could publish  a policy that it will not accept
e-mail sent  to more than  500 AOL users, regardless  of who sends  it or
what  the message  is about.  All they  would have  to do  is update  the
paperwork that people have to sign before  joining to ask AOL to take all
steps to  please suppress as  much unsolicited e-mail as  possible (maybe
users should be given the option to get all the junk if they want it). Or
AOL could say this is a necessary step due to the load it places on AOL's
servers or  whatever. The spam  factories are  still free to  do business
with AOL, they just can't send spams any longer.

I can't  release details, but  some spamming  joints seem to  have gotten
major financial help lately. We're  talking about people who are ordering
a T3  and have  six figure  money to  buy hardware  and software  to spam
millions of people in a matter of hours. Make that tens of millions.

  Eric


Follow-Ups:
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Next: Re: Jodge orders AOL to allow junk email...
From: Mitch Collinsworth <mkc @ graphics . cornell . edu>
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