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Originally published July 30 2004

New international anti-spam council pledges to fight spam around the world

by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, NaturalNews Editor

A new international anti-spam group has been formed and announced. It is called the International Council on Internet Communications, and the purpose of this council is to coordinate international efforts to stop spammers. This sort of international group is necessary because spammers operate internationally. They can use mail relays from countries like China or Russia, or hijack so-called zombie PCs from any country in the world in order to send their spam messages. For example, spammers' headquarters could be located anywhere, and their products might be shipped or delivered from different countries than the one sending the e-mail. So the thinking behind this international anti-spam council is that fighting these international spammers requires an international effort.

As much as I applaud the motivation and intention of this group, I think it's just one more fight that's destined to lose the battle against spammers. That's because spammers have such an easy time sending millions and millions of e-mails (and it makes financial sense for them to do so). If you want to stop spammers, you have to change the economics of spamming, which is something I've been proposing and standing behind for quite some time now. To effectively stop spammers, you either have to make spamming less profitable on the sales side, or more expensive on the sending side.

The only way to reduce the sales revenues from spam is to get end users to stop purchasing products promoted by spammers. My own effort, called "Spam. Don't Buy It." has been attempting to do this, but chances are some people are always going to purchase from spam simply because they don't know any better, or they really want those products.

So the answer is to make sending e-mail more expensive for spammers, and the only real way to do that is to adopt something like the Microsoft puzzle solution, which adds a small amount of friction to the sending of e-mails -- just enough to frustrate spammers, but not enough interfere with the sending of e-mail by everyday users.

It is this puzzle solution which offers a real, permanent solution to halting spam, not another international anti-spam police force or enforcement council that will spend even more time hunting down and trying to block spam from individuals who will simply run to another country and do the same thing over again. The bottom line is that the spam problem is not a regulatory problem, nor a legislative problem. It is a problem of economics, and until you shift the economics and make spamming unprofitable, we will never see an end to spam, no matter how many people get involved, even if they have the right intentions.


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