Salon: Can spam be canned?

“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

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