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A decline in email spam?

A decline in email spam?

Posted Jul 8, 2011 21:58 UTC (Fri) by blitzkrieg3 (subscriber, #57873)
Parent article: A decline in email spam?

I find it surprising that no one has brought up the work of Stefen Savage, who is following the money that is earned by these spammers. Apparently, %95 of credit cards are processed by just 3 financial companies, so if the credit card companies agree to blacklist those financial firms, we'll have a much easier time stopping the financial incentive to spam:

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A decline in email spam?

Posted Jul 9, 2011 5:19 UTC (Sat) by geuder (subscriber, #62854) [Link]

Interesting indeed. Shows how lame law enforcement in most "civilized" countries is. Sending spam is illegal in many countries, the related sales and financial transactions probably in even more. So even if law enforcement of the 3 "less civilized" countries in questions doesn't co-operate, I think Visa, Mastercard, our local banks issuing our cards all seem to act as an accessory to fraud as each time they process such a tramsaction.

Needless to mention the high-standing corporate ethics of Mastercard etc. They denied to process payments for Wikileaks, but they happily continue to earn with spam-related selling of illegal goods.

If media would write as much about spam as about wikileaks and show the connection we would all get rid of the pain very easily. Just a few IT guys earning their living on spam protection would need to look for new job.

Stopping spam through banking

Posted Jul 11, 2011 1:07 UTC (Mon) by giraffedata (subscriber, #1954) [Link]

But Savage admits it wouldn't work just for the buyers' banks to refuse to send money to the 3 crooks' banks. The crooks can just get new banks. He thinks it might be possible to set up a system that identifies crooks' banks quickly and shut them off faster than the crooks can switch, but I wouldn't bet on it.

I don't think the crooks' banks are totally crooked. I think lots of legitimate transactions go through them too and they are not violating laws of their own countries (and that doesn't make those countries less civilized -- it just means they have a different idea of how to distribute responsibility and think it's best if banks don't get involved in transactions any further than to move the money around when asked to).

Remember when some US ISPs declared the entire continent of Europe to be a spammer and blocked email from Europe for a day or so? They weren't exactly called heroes for doing that.

I think it's interesting that Savage implies that all spam-generated transactions are illegal. I know lots are, but I thought most of it was stuff people have a perfect right to buy and the sellers have a right to sell. Just not stuff any given recipient is likely to want.

And I don't think spam itself is illegal most places. I know some of the worst enablers of spam -- like fraudulent sender identity and misleading subject line are, but I myself would really resist laws broadly clamping down on a person's right to say something to me in email, and I think enough others feel the same way that spam has not been generically outlawed.

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