Thursday, August 21, 2003

Alert: antispam bills won't work

Finally someone with a bit of authority is telling the anti-spam "emperor" that his clothing is a tad transparent, if it exists at all. Federal Trade Commission Chairman Timothy J. Muris told a group of businessmen and government officials that most antispam legislation won't work.

The great bulk of the spam that gets to my mail client doesn't come from US-based companies who can be hauled into court. It mostly comes from overseas "script kiddies" looking to make a fast buck through an affiliate commission. But don't even try to suggest outlawing affiliate connections which violates freedom of association. Nor can you hold responsible the company they are affiliated with - the spammers are free agents. Better filters and better enforcement of existing laws (like those against fraud, for example) will do much more to control the contents of my inbox then any of the proposed legislation.

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