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Salon: Can spam be canned?

Apr 20, 2000, 13:55 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Damien Cave)

"Spam is the bane of Carmela Anderson's existence. Every week she must study the contents of hundreds of spams, looking for clues that might lead her to the senders. Every day the systems administrator of the Internet service provider she works for permanently blocks 15 to 20 addresses from sending more e-mail to its clients."

"A 1999 California law designed to squelch spam encourages ISPs to sue every time spammers route e-mail through their networks, clogging servers and harassing ISP customers who rarely want "The Internet Spy Guide" and other unsolicited offerings. The law also offers rewards: $50 per message, up to $25,000 per day from each spammer. That kind of money could help reimburse ISPs, which spend about $1 of every user's monthly fee to fight spam, according to a 1999 Gartner Group study."

"But Anderson and the owners of Redshift, the small Monterey, Calif., ISP where she works, have never taken spammers to court and have never seen much use for the state laws designed to protect them. "For us, the laws haven't really helped at all," Anderson says. "There's just too much spam, and it would cost too much to track spammers down and sue them. It's not worth the effort.""

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