The CAN-SPAM bill examined
Posted Nov 26, 2003 6:32 UTC (Wed) by AnswerGuy
Parent article: The CAN-SPAM bill examined
Thus U.S. legislative process is systemically broken at this point. Almost no consideration remains for mainstream popular interests --- it's all special interest pandering; mostly purchased by professional lobbyists, with a few
nods to politically influential extremists on a few knee-jerk issues (abortion, gun control, etc).
It is almost inconcievable that any law could materially reduce spam.
A "do not spam" list could be implemented in a distributed and technically sound way that didn't give spammers a simple new target list. I would specify a sort of DNS query sort of like a negated SMTP VRFY --- call it a "NOMAIL" query. So, if I have a purported e-mail address in your domain I can make the query --- if I get a "TRUE" back it mean that I may NOT send mail to that address at that domain.
Trying to harvest addresses through this won't work --- if you make up addresses I'll just return a TRUE for any possible address. I will ONLY return a "false" NOMAIL for those (very few) people who *want* to receive spam. I'd extend that spec. a little to provide rate throttling. So the extra fields for this query would say: "don't ask about *any* other NOMAIL addresses for at least N minutes" It would be illegal to violate that part of the spec (from the client side) :)
In my version of the "opt-out" list each ISP would be free to have a policy that all spam is unwelcome (if you want spam go join another ISP) or to treat the default as "NOMAIL" and internally implement it as more of an "opt-in" mechanism. Commercial mailers would be required to make a NOMAIL query before sending unsolicited bulk mail (defined as 100 or more recipients in 24 hours, 1000 or more per week or 10000 or more per year).
Would this be too much of a "burden" for legitimate commercial mailers? Certainly not on a technical level. There is only a tiny incremental cost to the extra DNS query. On a political level --- HELL YEAH! It would prove to all and sundry that almost NO ONE wants to get unsolicited mail. Almost NO ONE would sign up for this (and many ISPs would publicly state that customers who did want spam were unwelcome at their site).
In other words it would reveal, even more starkly than the U.S. national "Do Not Call" list, that people are tired to pushy forms of advertising.
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