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.