It's remarkable to find such an intelligent, egalitarian view of the
commercial development of the 'net.
The big players in commerce with their major web attractions, their huge
ad budgets and tie-ins with access providers such as MSN, MCI, AT&T, and
on-line services such as AOL, etc., will soon 'black out' small business
on the web. Cyberspace, which holds so much promise for small business,
will be reduced to the same banality and brand name triteness of the
And small cyber business will be hung out to dry like their counterparts
on Main street.
In sum, spamming may be a problem -the result of a few- but unsolicited
e-mail, with a truthful "From", "To" and "Remove", provides opportunity
for the many with legitimate products and services, and diversity,
savings and serendipity for the public.
The root of the problem about UBE is the fundamental question as how to
keep the balance between the freedom of speech and the right to privacy.
Probably there is many good solution to the UBE, many that is no
technological challenge. I’d like to believe that even my idea how to
solve this problem, is a good one.
The first decision however not how to solve it but who should solve the
problem? May I invite you to visit my Web and cast your vote?
On the subject of unsolicited email -- the "net" must remain a free domain
for the exchange of ideas and commerce. Every person should be able to be
removed from email lists upon request, but we must not limit any business
from contacting potential customers with new products or services. Simply
counting on people to locate your website could mean disaster for a
business new to the web. There are just too many sites to search through.
Business owners must be allowed to call attention to their sites through
the use of email. Remember the USPS does not prevent direct mail
solicitation and for anyone to suggest that this should be done for email
is ridiculous. If a person receives an email from an unrecognized source it is just as easy to delete it unread as it is to throw away junk snail mail unread.
Thanks for letting me air my opinion and keep up the good work!
Let me preface what follows by saying that ... If you think the article
below is on target -- which was written to discredit the scurrilous
tactics of groups such as "CAUCE" in their fight against Commerce on the
Internet -- you will want to ask me to send you a copy of an article
written to Bill Gates regarding his stance in the matter of so-called
"Unsolicited Commercial Email" ... which could turn out to be the
greatest among futile wars fought by misguided men, on this planet. For
as 'the-ride-of-Paul-Revere' was superseded by the post office, so will
the post office be made redundant by the Internet.
Now, if only people could grasp the inevitability of that situation,
they would save each other and society-at-large the pains of needless
wars ... Would they not? In the case of the needless war being fought
over the commercial use of the Internet, our energies would be much
better spent devising means to make the Internet usable by all, with due
respect to all -- without trying to make the wishes of one segment of
society the rule by which all should live -- all over the world. It is
time those who fight against 'the inevitable' to be told the facts --
lest they cause unnecessary curtailment of our freedoms to suit their
selfish wishes for society.
Like, most people on the Internet I receive commercial email I do not
want. In the worst case -- some are from pornographers. As soon as I
recognize them, I delete them -- in exactly the same way I treat other
emails I do not want. Yet, somewhere within the total mix of emails,
there is usually something I can use which I am appreciative that
someone sent: and for that reason alone, I do not want any single
individual or groups of individuals on this planet banding together to
formulate laws that will restrict the free flow of information via the
Internet. For in trying to satisfy their own petty dislikes for
something they may not want or cannot use, they seek to cause the
enactment of laws that will deny the greater multitudes of people on
this planet, the freedom to receive information that could be valuable
As long as our society must have public means for disseminating
information, no segment of society, whatever their collective wishes
and/or dislikes, should be allowed to enact, or else cause to be
enacted, any laws that restrict the right of other indiviuals to
disseminate or to receive information, even if it is commercial in
nature and content -- and please! Toss out that useless and smelly
'red-herring' -- namely, the one about "unsolicited commercial email"
costing you money when you receive it. It is time to bury that rotten
piece of misinformation. For the fact is that, in life, it costs money
even to pay your taxes ... let alone to use services which are clearly
within the public domain. So consider that cost as ... more tax ... and
be prepared to pay it as long as you use societies services, however
much you hate paying taxes. You are not alone!
Thus, whatever personal costs one chooses to associate with receiving
so-called "unsolicited commercial email", they are subject to the far
greater social issues at stake arising out of the fostering of a public
ban on commercial emailing on the Internet. For even in the case of
pornography -- which, incidentally, a lot of those engaged in promoting
a ban on commercial emailing on the Internet do not find offensive
within our societies -- I give all "commercial-email haters" this one
option. Like commerce and pornography which seem to go hand-in-hand,
tolerate the advertising of both on the Internet, or else, remove both
from society ... if you think you can. If you cannot accomplish that
task, then do nothing to tamper with the universal right of everyone to
disseminate and/or receive any and all types of information over the
Internet. In other words, separate that which is pornographic in
commerce from that which is acceptable commerce; and throw out the dirty
'bath-water' after washing the 'baby' ... but leave the 'baby' alone.
With that in mind, please examine, the following article, carefully --
The Bulk-emailer's Defense:
"JUNK" FOOD and "JUNK" MAIL! -- WHICH IS WHAT and WHOSE IS IT?
On a planet where people have disparate needs to be met by different
means, whose food and whose mail is ... "junk" ? By what corrupt and
self-serving law, devised within the souls of self-righteous men, does
anyone on this planet refer to what is food for another as junk? Such
are the people who stand in the way to deny others the right to "food"
they could use or must have -- on the pretext that that which is fit or
necessary for another is "junk" because one cannot make use of it. So
these self-righteous men band together in the name of "CAUCE". They
seek to show just cause by enlisting men to make laws in support of
their 'cauce'. That is the cause which they hope to make into a
universal law for all men to abide by, on the Internet. Can men make a
universal law by which we should all live, that will be just to all --
and that will not deny others their 'unalienable' rights and freedoms?
Surely! -- the congress of men shall make no such law"!
Supposedly, the acronym "CAUCE" stands for the ... "Coalition Against
Unsolicited Commercial Email". The only validity any organization could
have that seeks to make one law for all men for banning that which they
do not want from those who could make use of it, is if man was indeed
capable of devising a universal law that would satisfy the needs of
all. Since such a device is not possible, then, inevitably, whenever
men seek to restrict the freedom of others on the basis of their own
preferences, the result is the denial of something to someone -- and
that is repulsive, repugnant, and just plain unacceptable in a free
society of free men. Yet, this situation persists because, by their
conditionings, self-serving men become slaves to their own cultures
which prevent them from deferring to the needs of others. Thus,
another man's food is regarded as "junk" -- when seen through the myopic
vision of the self-righteous. Surely! -- "man shall not live by bread
alone" is a fact -- but the rest of the living that man does is done by
commerce in all aspects of life: and, inevitably, that 'living' must be
extended to the Internet in unfettered freedom ... unless fools are
allowed to persuade other men to make laws against it, to deny others
their free enterprise. Yet, man's laws are only valid when they defer to
the universal laws of his creator.
In order to justify their positions, the agents of "CAUCE" devise
deceptive arguments based on material costs that must never take
precedence over the universal freedoms and rights of people to use the
societal facilities available to them for meeting their just needs -- if
men in their own self-sufficiency do not, by their self-righteousness,
label that which may be food for others, as ... "junk". No! ...
"CAUCE". Your selfish cause is unjust. The law of universality which
is the facilitator for all men will not let you prevail -- for the same
reason that slavery of any kind on this planet lasts only for a time --
until men come to their senses and abolish it so that the rights and
freedoms of men, that their creator subsists, will prevail in spite of
such aberrations as "CAUCE".
Authored by: H. Baldwin Jones, Canada
[Released for general distribution]
I can understand that isp's are against sending massive amounts of email
because of the potential to jam up their servers with undeliverables,
and most of all, the wrath of a few net terrorists that bomb their
servers repeatedly. With new technology, a lot of the undeliverables
are being done away with. A responsible mailer who wants to honor
remove requests cannot make their real isp known lest losing a dialup
account. So this is really a catch 22... Either responsibly mail and
lose your account, or mail with the use of somewhat unethical
practices. And hope. Commerce on the net is not going to go away. We
all need to learn how to coexist in a positive, and responsible manner.
I only have two complaints about SPAM. The first one is when I receive
their email and it says that if I want to discontinue their advertisements
that I should call this phone number. It is always a long distance call and
there is no email address listed to contact them and the reply will never
send them an email. It always bounces back.
The second complaint is when I receive SPAM without any phone number to
cancel their advertisements and the return email address is not valid and
they only have a 900 number that also cost to contact them. They give an
email address to cancel their advertising, but it does not work.
There should be a law prohibiting "blind" or missing return email addresses
and there should also be a law requiring them to furnish an email address to
discontinue their advertising that works.
Yes unsolicited e-mail is a problem to some but doesn't it take less
time to hit the delete button than to file a complaint about how junk
mail wastes your time. This form of contact will subside just like junk
mail from the Postal Service has gone down. Be patient and it will all
be over before you know it. Can't we all just get along.
As the owner of a small software development/website production firm I
am very interested in the debate surrounding commercial solicitation via
email. We haven't yet sent out any advertising emails but would like to
for a variety of good reasons. Email is very inexpensive and a great
way for us to communicate with current and future customers. I propose
that all commercial email have "AD" or some other standard flag on the
subject line. This would let users set up inbox rules that
automatically delete junk email or reply with an unsubscribe to stop
further email from that company. It would also allow customers who
appreciate learning about new products via email continue to receive
Michael Coon -- President
MC2 Consulting, Inc.
I believe that you are creating a great service. Although I agree
spamming is a problem, more importantly I belive people should have the right
to send solicated mail with some rules attatched. Perfectly defined in you
I look at this issue in some way the same as regular mail. People receive regular mail in thier mail box everyday from companies trying to sell them a product or service. THAT IS GENERALLY EXCEPTED. Now, why are some people upset with the same principle being applied to e-mail? I think it is the simple fact that they are likely to receive 10 times more unsolicited mail than they are regular mail. Of which most of them can be considered junk because there are very little cost involved.
I REALLY BELIEVE THAT MOST PEOPLE DON'T MIND RECEIVING INFORMATIVE MATERIALS - Afterall, that is what makes us interested as humans.
NOW THAT WE KNOW WHAT I THINK IS THE PROBLEM - which is the much higher
volume of solicited mail being received. We need to take care of that issue
which is ( the high # of unsolicited mail) AND NOT the idea of solicited mail
itself. So how do we cut down on the amount of unsolicited mail while at the same
time, not deeming solicited mail illegal?
Well my answer is just about the mirrored image of what you defined as
solicited mail, which is if someone complains about receiving the same solicited mail from the same sender more than once. Then that certainly falls into the abuse
category. Pay close attention to the word SAME- and what I mean is that if a
person or company is offering more that one product/service, they have every
right to send a second solicitation on a completely different product just as
the did with the first product. You cannot draw a distinction, unless the
receipient specifically says that he/she does not want to receive any
solications from that domain.
In a nutshell it is not solicitation that's the problem it's the abuse of the
There are a myriad of reasons why unsolicited commercial e-mail is
offensive. Proponents wonder why people can't just shut up and hit
the "delete" key instead of lashing out with a complaint. They fail
to realize that recipients are paying, directly or indirectly, for this
material. This is akin to receiving junk e-mail at the post office,
BUT WITH POSTAGE DUE. Would you telemarket by calling me collect?
I was in Japan for a month last year, and had to rely on an Internet
Cafe to check my e-mail. We all know how strong the yen is! I checked
my e-mail after a week of inactivity, and was stunned by all the crap
in my e-mail box. Believe me, when you're paying big bucks for 30
minutes of access, and you spend the first 10 of those minutes wading
through piles of crap, it gets to be more than a little offensive. I
felt my blood boiling, and if I could have gotten my hands on the
Also, some people do pay for volume of information. Some are connected
via UUCP dial-up lines, some long distance, and the more information that
comes down the wire, the longer the site stays connected, and the higher
the costs are involved. Or perhaps the person is located in a foreign
country (such as Japan), who have to pay a per minute charge of even
There's also the issue of cost of resources. I am the system administrator
for an Internet server at a school board, and believe me, money is tight.
But with our mail spools filling up with spam, what alternative do we have
than to buy an additional hard drive with real dollars -- dollars that might
not have had to be spent *this* year if a bunch of slimy weasels with dollars
in their eyes hadn't have sent spam to a good percentage of our users? As
a result, our taxes go up. The same thing goes with the university I attend.
More purchases of capital equipment also result in higher tuition fees and
Finally, there's the issue of my time. Sorry, but it's worth money, and I
don't like wasting either. I open up my regular post office box, and I grab
the handful of trash, with the costs bourne *entirely* by the advertiser,
and toss it in the recycling bin, costs me little effort (it *is* annoying
but the fact the sender is solely responsible for paying for it is
reassuring). But receiving e-mail messages involves having to wade through
piles of stuff, essentially "opening the envelope" each time before
realizing I don't want any part of it. Sometimes, the spammers are quite
talented at hiding the essence of their gameplan until you're a number
of screens into the message. There's also the time I waste by attempting
to have myself "removed" (as if that ever works) from the lists by sending
off a complaint -- only to find, in many cases, that the complainee is not
reachable because they have made efforts to conceal their return address.
It's funny how the weasels have no problems dishing it out, but don't like
to hear the resultant complaints.
I will continue to vehemently oppose unsolicited commercial e-mail, and
will respond appropriately whenever I receive one in my mailbox. I won't
hesitate to complain to the Better Business Bureau, or contact the spammer's
ISP or their upstream providers. I will also continue to look for ways
of building up group support to convince politicians that laws are needed
to allow these people to be punished for their actions.
I hope I have gotten through to potential future spammers, but I'm not
holding my breath over it.
Being new to the Internet community, I had no idea how rude and vulgar
some people could be. After e-mailing a few people about a service that
I truly feel could help them, I have been reported, harrassed, and
verbally abused! I guess that receiving hundreds of unsolicited e-mail
advertisements could become a nuisance, but really! My simple three line
request to look at information was not intended to insult anyone. I
receive unsolicited phone calls, faxes, and mail every day, but I have
never been rude or vulgar to anyone, even the most persistent ones. If
the internet is to be a medium of free speech, as I'm sure those who so
freely use vulgarities hope it continues to be, then it must remain free.
THE NEXT TIME YOU GET UNWANTED E-MAIL, TRY THE TRASH BUTTON INSTEAD OF
This is in response to your request for opinions concerning unsolicited
e-mails and spams.
At our company we observe a strict policy
against spamming that is plain and simple:
1. We do not spam individual e-mail addresses.
2. We do not spam newsgroups.
We view it as a matter of common etiquette. We believe that unsolicited
e-mail and newsgroup spams (like unsolicited telemarketing telephone
calls) are inappropriate and rude. Just because it might be legal and
profitable does not make it right! We prefer to earn our profits in a
more honorable fashion.
We maintain a guestbook on our WWW site. Visitors are encouraged to leave
as much or a little information as they please about themselves. We
respect the confidentiality of that information and we never release it
to anyone. Our guestbook serves to help us better know our internet
friends. We will occasionally e-mail and/or snail mail to those who have
signed our guestbook when we have information that we believe will be of
particular interest to them. Naturally, we would immediately remove
anyone from our guestbook upon request (although we have never had a
request to do so.)
I am glad to see someone taking a honest look at the issues behind spamming.
I along with most other people get many unsolicited e-mails every day and
dislike "wasting my time" reading unwanted mail. One thing that people don't
think about, is the fact that they don't have to read the mail. I have yet to
see a computer that doesn't have a delete button. Taking a good look and
compare the mass e-mail and the bulk mailings that companies do all of the
time. I have never head the public cry outcry as much for the bulk mailing as
I have about mass e-mailings. Other than the fact that they are paid
advertisements, the flyers that are put into the newspapers everyday are just
as annoying. Still most people just throws those away.
As long as we have Constitutional freedoms and wish to retain these freedoms,
we will have to put up with advertising. If it is done in a tasteful and
polite manner without attempting to defraud people it is something that we can
allow. Understanding that as the world gets more technical, mass mailings
either electronic or conventional will become more common, and since I can
always 'throw away' anything that I do not wish to read, I would rather retain
our freedoms than to sacrifice them on something as petty as spamming.
Some people have to pay for each incoming email message. This is
especially true outside of the United States, for example in Australia.
Many others have to pay for connect time, and downloading a large
number of advertisements could be expensive. This is the real reason
why email advertising is wrong, rather than merely annoying. I am
disappointed by your stand on this issue.
Also, advertising is generally accepted on Usenet, provided that these
conditions are met:
1. The message is on-topic in the selected newsgroup.
2. It is only posted one time. (not every week)
3. It is free of marketing hype.
There is an article in news.announce.newusers which gives more
Did you know that? Unless there is criminality involved, to send
unsolicited e-mail, it should be treated just as regular mail is. Thus,
if offensive, and unprotected by the First Amendment, as in sexually-
oriented matter, then there may be a balancing test to see if restricting
same is in order, but even if it isn't, the receiver can merely toss it
into the trash, as many noteworthy justices have written and opinionated.
I don't know where the issue of unsolicited e-mail and spamming came
about, but most people like getting e-mail. Those who subscribe to too
many mailing lists, however, without knowing how to properly unsubscribe
may be part of the cause of this commotion.
Submitted With No Name
I believe the entire subject of "mass email" as ridiculous and petty.
If you can't handle the heat then get out of the kitchen. I've
received "unwanted ... junk ... crap ... " you know what from the
United States Postal Service for over 35 years and never ONCE did I
consider shooting the postman or wasting the time to answer all the
ANY intelligent person should know if you ONCE order any junk from a
junk magazine, then your on this list for ever! So, if you can't
handle the mail....then don't "Mail Order!"
I've sent mail to specific web sites I've found that I believe would
be interested in my services. But about 1 out of every 200 I find
through pain-staking hours of searching has to be a total asshole! It
makes me want to "internet stalk" them for the next 10 years. Don't
these people have anything to do other than complain to every Tom Dick
and Harry they can complain to?
GET A LIFE...IF YOU SUFFER FROM "INTERNET STRESS SYNDROME"... THEN DO
AWAY WITH YOUR MAILBOX AND JUST "WATCH" THE REST OF US.
As it's best said...If you can't run with the Big Dogs, then stay on
David W. Bolick
We use email solicitation to notify computer merchandise sellers and
buyers about our service. This is an important function for us because
it directly informs our target market about our benefits.
Incidentally we may solicit one address more than once. Often, we hear
about it, usually in graphic language.
We quickly apologize and list them on our "do not contact" list.
Sometimes, we get an apology back and maybe even make a friend.
The problem seems to be insensitive businesses who send multiple
unwanted solicitations, and don't even respond to our requests not to be
bothered. This makes all of us boil.
A case in point might be the largest software company, who, in releasing
a new internet product sent no fewer than 6 notices to our business.
These were duplicate messages knowingly sent to the same address.
Multiply that by a hundred businesses and it becomes impossible to do
anything but discard junk mail.
One Of The Last Great Stands To Speak Freely To One Another, Unsolicited Email
The Criminal, Main Stream Press & Big Business, The Politician, and the Do-Gooder against the Citizen!!!
In the forty plus years I have been alive I have seen much, and much of
it not good when it comes to our rights. When I was young I walked through
the streets and was taught to be friendly, say hi and great those that
would be on the street with me. That everyone should put forth an effort to
meet each other, meet the new arrivals that moved in on your block and let
them know they were welcomed in the neighborhood.
Now we listen to the Main Stream Press, The Politician, and the Do-gooder
our teachers at school, etc.… And we’re told that because the criminal
element is on the loose you cannot trust anyone and especially the
stranger. Their ultimate goal means to lock your doors and keep to your
immediate family since everyone else is a stranger.
Because we listened to this we have given further to criminal control and
sheltered ourselves away. Only to find, we know less as a group by closing
out the stranger and has allowed the powers that run our world to control
We should have fought back and made the powers in-charge fix it with more
and more law, I do not mean laws, and force them to do their job and drive
the criminal element out. Yet we did not!
Now theses same groups are at it again, just when we citizens have broken
free with a new medium, the Internet. The Internet will make it possible to
talk to everyone in the world openly, sharing with each other our good news
or bad. The Internet makes its easy for the businessmen to share globally,
product knowledge and offer each other savings with advertisements. Then
here they come again to take it away!!!
I, now at over forty, have to think that all these groups must be in bed
together, plotting to take control of us and destroy our free society. How
much more must we shelter ourselves away or give up to those that control,
as they continue to neglect and dissolve our freedoms in this our Free
If you take away the right to use Unsolicited Email, then you take away the
right to send a message to anyone. Unsolicited Email is the right to mail
somebody you don’t know a message. It could be a health warning , a
special offering to senior citizens, an update to events that are just
around the corner or a new business offer or job opportunity and on and on.
It’s our right to meet a stranger, or ask someone we don’t know for help.
This is the heart of a free society where one person unknown to another
can talk or meet and through their meeting grow an understanding.. To give
up this right is to say that you can’t call someone you don’t know or walk
up to and knock on any door and ask for help or show them something they
hadn’t seen. Unsolicited Email is that same right using computers and the Internet to
communicate. The right of a businessman in one part of the world to offer
his or her goods to someone new in another part of the world electronically.
You must not let the powers that control us the ability to take this right
away from any citizen if we are to keep free speech within a free society.
This right on the Internet is the same right used everyday in society.
It’s called Free Speech and on the Internet it is called Unsolicited Email.
Just another way of communicating to each other.
If someone contacts or solicits you the first time and upon this contact
you feel you are not interested or want them to go away. Then they should!
If you tell them never to contact you again. Again, they should!
Now here is where it gets mixed up and misunderstood. After you have
contacted a person or place, group etc. and they have asked not to hear
from you again and you continue to contact them regardless of their wishes.
This is now considered a crime, a crime of harassment. This is no longer
Unsolicited Email at this point. What this person is doing now is
harassment. Nothing more, nothing less.
The person that breaks this right and uses harassment is now a criminal and
should be prosecuted according to the law. Laws that are already passed for
this crime. Know ask yourself, does their need to be more laws written on
harassment? Isn’t this what were talking about? Isn’t spam or spamming
just a word for harassment? If this is what were talking about, which it
is, then what is spam or spamming? Nothing!! Then who is the anti-spammer
that wants it stopped? That’s right……. It’s The Criminal, Main Stream Press
& Big Business, The Politician, and the Do-Gooder against the Citizen!!!
Fight back!!! Stop the crime and Save our Freedoms. Stop the anti-spammer
who would make up words like spam and spammer. Place these words on those
that would use Unsolicited Email, then call these words a crime. Then the
anti-spammer uses this so called imaginary crime to further their goals by
adding more bogus laws to the books. Laws that would remove our ability to
freely communicate with every citizen. Laws that cannot nor should not be
there. Fight back and in doing so you’ll insure your rights to free speech
through Unsolicited Email. Keep your stake in citizen rights within this
powerful new medium, The Internet.
Stop and ask yourself who is an anti-spammer? Where did he or she come
from? What is his or her purpose? Why did they create these names? What
will they get for doing this? You will see quickly that this is about your
rights and control of your freedoms. These freedoms and rights in exchange
for billions and billions of dollars, maybe even trillions, in profits.
Profits created from you for giving up this freedom. Profits you the
citizen will be giving directly to Big business right out of your pockets.
This plot, if achieved by the anti-spammers, will bring a blanket of unjust
laws and lawsuits. Laws that will insure only Big Business having these
rights, hidden within a mask of red tape exclusively for their use under
another assumed name chosen by them. Then they will charge us by placing
toll fees or tariffs on this name, and calling it a service we must pay
for. Fees, like that of a postal stamp placed on an email between you and
anyone else on the net, or charges from your local ISP per megabyte of data
sent or both.
You can not imagine all the ways they intend to charge you "The Citizen" if
this happens. Fight for your rights as a Citizen! We can not afford to let
this happen! Unsolicited Email is EVERYONE’S CURRENT RIGHT!! It’s
virtually FREE and it should stay this way. Don’t lose your rights on the
Internet to the anti-spammers that would then use it for profit, paid for
by you and your freedoms.
Speak out! Help stop these Anti-spammers from this terrible and costly
plot against the Citizen! Stop them from placing words like spam and the
spammer on us, our rights, then calling it a crime.
As a citizen support putting those that would distort the truth, sell away
our freedoms, lie and cheat for profit and destroy personal property of
other citizens in jail. The anti-spammers are guilty right now of all of
these crimes and more. The anti-spammer is fearless in breaking laws and
committing crimes to reach his or her goal of taking our freedoms away
within the Internet. Fulfilling there greed for profit and control. Just
ask the major backbone providers currently hiding and conforming to there
demands by not allowing Unsolicited Email even though its not illegal.
The injustice being done to Unsolicited Email is now widespread brought on
by anti-spammers through their ongoing criminal attacks of Internet
terrorism, sabotage, and blackmail. These attacks have been fueled by big
business to stop the vendor, small businessmen, and you the everyday
citizen from ever realizing the full power of your rights within the
Internet. Rights like talking to anyone anywhere in the world with lights,
sounds, animations, video, TV, phone and more at a fraction of what it
costs in any other medium anywhere today. That combined with the ability
to transact business right down to the transfer of money, goods and or
services makes the Internet an untamed international market place that big
business, and big business alone, wants to control and make everyone else
their meal ticket. The Internet is the most powerful global medium, yet
devised, available for all to use. This medium must not be controlled and
ran by big business as a way of extorting money from all citizens. Save our
first amendment right of Free Speech by insuring our rights to use
Unsolicited Email and keep the net open to everyone.
Don’t forget, someday you may need to talk to a stranger or show someone
you never meet what you have to sell or call on someone you don’t know for
help. We can never, I mean never, give up our rights as average citizens to
freely share our products or goods together, or tell our stories to one
another, or ask for help or directions from a stranger in our home town or
in a foreign land. We can never give up this right if we are ever going to
keep our freedoms intact within our free society. Please support Keeping
the Right for Unsolicited Email! One Of The Last Great Stands to Speak
Freely To One Another.
In regards to "spamming" or unwanted/unsolicited email...It is my
experience that advertising on the major search engines and commercial
advertising spots can be done for zip, nada, "0". So, that as an
excuse to spam or use email to advertise to me really doesn't hold
up. Any thoughts on that perspective?
Thank you very much for your enlightening debate about e-mail and spam. To
begin with, I have sent out one message at a time to an individual and I
have only sent it once. Never bothering the person again, unless they ask
for more information.
However, this works both ways, apparently someone did not appreciate my
mail. They have some program that can send e-mail special. I received 74
of the message that I sent to someone. The To and From address was the same.
The person that I work under also received the same e-mail only 40+ not 74, all with my e-mail address as to and from. I also have been subscribed to several e-mail
digests that I did not subscribe to and I do not know how to get off of
them. They are Cyberpunks and something about censorship.
Please keep up the good work about keeping the internet a nice place to be
and a great place for opportunity.
As far as I'm concerned, Junk E-Mail is just a part of being on the
Net. Just like Junk Mail is part of owning a mailbox. You have the
privilige of sending mail across the country for a few cents, so what if
you get something you don't want to read, just throw it in the recycle
bin. The LAST thing anyone needs is official action against
Spamming. That would replace one minor problem with a much
With regard to: Unsolicited Email
I feel as you do, that a little tolerance would make for a happier network.
Individually sent letters to promote a home-based business to people the
sender feels might be interested in the product or service the sender has to
offer, with the subject matter layed out very simply in the Subject Line and
First Sentence, should not upset the normal, well-adjusted human being. As
you say, it is a very simple matter to just trash any unwanted email.
I have had marvelous response from simple, short fliers I have emailed to
individually selected persons, referring them, as a Rep who receives
commissions, to a company selling website and domain name packages; however,
there have also been a few "foul mouthed" ones who not only responded to me,
but to my ISP. We are a little community, not a lot of selection in ISP's,
so in order to prevent any further complaints to my ISP, and lose my
connection to the outside world, I have discontinued the practice. This was
an opportunity to supplement my Social Security Disability, while caring for
the children of my working children (grandkids).
I think mailing out thousands of fliers, as you mentioned, is absolutely
outrageous. None of the people in the company that I am in do this, to my
knowledge. My respondents have been college students trying to finance
their education through opportunities that can be done in their spare time
from their computers, and people just like myself, that find it physically
impossible to continue in their former line of work, and one in particular,
a couple out of work with two "special needs" sons that find it necessary to
find something they can do from their home with their computers. We aren't
some kind of thoughtless monsters trying to make a "fast buck" by bombarding
as many people as we can to get rich. The last thing any of us wants to do
is to offend anyone.
I think it is a shame that I have had to discontinue a form of "free
enterprise" that was within the realm of my capabilities simply because
someone found it more convenient to be a "vulgar trouble maker" than to just
trash my little flier.
Thanks for giving me the opportunity to let my feelings on this
controversial subject be heard. Now shall we talk about abortion? (smile)
An Ethical Statement from a bulk e-mailer
In regards to the costs involved in receiving advertising. If the argument that if you must pay for it, you should not receive advertising via, it is absurd.
Do you pay for cable tv? I guess we should ban all the commercial stations as you pay a monthly fee for that bandwidth. Hmmmm.....
Do you pay a fee for the phone? ... Telemarketers have got to go.
Do you pay property taxes, a mortgage, rent? ... There go the door to door salesmen, junk mail and ice cream men.
Do you pay for newspapers and magazines? ... They have advertising.
Do you pay to access a commercial network of computers? ... That is what the internet is. A commercial network (thus the .com) for business communications, and knowledge base access.
When the government opened the 'net for commerce you would have to expect commerce to take place.
As much as you may feel, it is the internet, not your personal playground. There is a point behind it's growth and the birth of these new industries.
If we are to advance to the next level of commerce we must be tolerant and patient. Or, if your so inclined, kill off yet another industry, and another freedom in the name of personal comfort.
I would be suprised to hear any of commerces detractors could sleep as Americans, espousing the destruction of a harmless industry. These are the people who are killing our freedoms. Those who would sacrifice liberty and freedom for the sake of safety and
comfort deserve neither.
Direct mail has been with us for some time now. It is a tried and true method of
marketing products and services to a massive segment of our population. Every one of
us receives many of these traditional "junk mails" each week. The obstacles set up make
it all but impossible to stop them, and after a while they build to a mountain of unread (for the most part) papers representing millions of dead trees.
Direct E-Mail marketing is a new application of an exciting new technology. I am now in a position to quote some real figures on the negative responses. I do get
a few irrate, nasty, abusive and threatening responses to our offerings. These
responses add up to one quarter of one percent! These I call the "free the 'net, but only as free as I want it to be" crowd. I don't think I want my business or the internet controlled by such an insignificant but vocal minority. They have a right not to receive any more mail if they tell me they don't want it. For this reason I will not authorize the selling of our e-mail list. When I am asked to remove someone from our list they are put in a remove file which "flags" their e-mail address with a "false" parameter. From then on our database is unable to mail to that address -- even if we receive the address again!
Another one percent ask to be removed from our list. That leaves 98.5%
who either don't mind receiving, or actually enjoy getting these offerings.
For the hundreds of unpleasant and occasionally verbose, e-mails I receive I get thousands of appreciative letters telling me what they'd like to find on the 'net. Or amazed responses at the bargains I point people to. It is for these people I am doing this. Face it, folks: if it didn't work, no one would use the service.
But there are people out there who are looking to make a quick buck by
pulling down e-mail addresses and selling them to whom ever they can find. Anyone who
has had an on-line service account who gets on one of the "resale" lists will
receive 10, 20, 30 -- upwards of 100 e-mail marketing messages a week. It's a fact of life. However from our company, you will not receive more than two "bulk"
style e-mails and two issues of webspinz a month. That is four e-mail
messages in a month.
We are trying to create customers, not antagonists. I don't want to over run anyone's e-mail box any more than I want mine to be over run. However, I do appreciate receiving timely information about products or services I need.
We don't sell our list so you will not be "abused".
We take some time to look over the people whom we work with, and we
don't send anything we don't feel would be a benefit to the people who inhabit our list. We do keep firmly in mind that these are people out there who are receiving our messages. Not just numbers, not just markets, but living breathing neighbors and
friends who deserve the best we can give them: That is our aim. That is our goal.
To bring to you the best the net has to offer and to bring to the business we deal with the market that is looking for them but can't find them among the crowds.
I of course like many receive junk e-mail. Since then I have come up with a reply to those junk mailings. I have an e-mail ready made which I send in reply to the junk mail, offering them a legitamate business oportunity. This seems to be working, my junk is shortening, and my clientelle increasing.
I think the key issue here is bandwidth and 'per packet' email cost. It
has little to do with the fact that the majority of people mind/don't
mind e-junk mail. It's more an issue that some people have to pay for
their email on a per received or mailed basis. For those people, I think
there should be a way for them to limit their unsolicited mail. In fact,
many 'email agents' allow those kinds of selectivity. Find an email
agent that allows you to block out the spam and get on with your
For there rest of us, the 'delete button' is a marvelous tool! And every
once in a while, there are even hidden pearls in that deluge of junk!
It is crass for someone to do direct emailings, I agree. However, that's
how businesses advertise. Out of those mass mailings, electronic or
otherwise, they realize a certain percentage of their bottom line. While
I am not personally an advocate of email spamming, regardless of
subject, I take no real umbrage at these individual's lack of tact or
class. It works for them -- I delete most of it unread -- big deal. It
generally takes me all of five to ten seconds to trash all the e-junk
mail. In fact, it took far longer to voice my opinion on the subject
than it takes to delete e-junk mail. Go figure!
David L. Rice
I firmly support the freedom and lack of censorship afforded users of the
internet. I even go so far as to acknowledge that spammers - as shallow as
their gene pool may be - have the "right" to do what they do. I object to
the fact that our e-mail addresses become a commodity over which we have no
rights or control. Once a person's address falls into the hands of
spammers, the amount of junk mail increases exponentially. I object to the
fact that on-line services do NOTHING to protect the privacy of their
customers - and why don't they? because time is money: Your on-line time is
their money = e-mail takes time to download.
The secret lies with us. These creeps distribute to a million people in a
matter of minutes. If they attract just ONE customer, then their efforts
were worth it. The technology DOES exist to control spam, but few want to
challenge the magnitude of the Pandora's box they would open by
implementing such "censorship".
I am not so opposed to the _ACT_ of bulk e-mail, but the unresponsible
persons who hawk their scams, schemes, pyramids, etc. I own a business, and have
begun promoting on the Internet. I have considered a massmail campaign, I have all the
software installed and configured. I am, however, a bit hesitant to go with the
mailing because I do not want to associate my product with the "spammail
It is the spammers who have made their bed. They chose to promote a
scam, scheme, or illegal pyramid, thereby giving the act of spamming the reputation it
has. I believe it's not even the unsolicited e-mail that has everyone
so uptight, it's the fact that most (99.9%) of the unsolicited mail we receive is truly, junk. Crap. Scams.
By forging headers, giving bogus addresses for remove requests,
continuously mailing and re-mailing the same scam offers to unwilling recipients, they have set themselves up for this battle we are now engaged in.
Personally, I would like to try a bulkmail run...I believe it would
benefit my business immensely. But the act of sending unsolicited e-mail has such a bad name, I'm afraid it would associate my business/product(s) with a negative force, thereby reducing mycredibility. Even though I am offering a legitimate and credible
product. Not MLM or some phoney bogus income opportunity.
I agree with your stated position on unsolicited E-mail. What I don't
like is when they say to be removed, reply or send to some address with
remove in the subject and the E-mail comes back as undeliverable because
the address doesn't exist ! I think this is a sleazy business practice
and would not want to do business with anyone using such methods !
Just to voice my opinion on spamming:
I don't particularly like unsolicited e-mail, but for the most part
it doesn't bother me too much if they are offering a real product or
service - after all, I can just hit delete and it's not wasting paper.
But what really pisses me off are scams asking you to send $5 names
on a list to recieve "reports" on MLM, or scams or that ilk.
Also, i hate it when a non-commercial bulletin board is filled with
advertisement havng *nothing* to do with the sublect.
The spam e-mail I wanted to report didn't have a real address and it's
original address had been deleted in the routing information.
I hope this is more helpful than bothersome,
I don't consider the use of bulk e-mail as a legitimate way of
advertising. I am personnaly bombarded daily by e-mail offering quick
rich schemes and adult services and products. (I have yet to see a
legitimate product or service being ofered in this fashion.) Yet, many
of these unsolicited offerings do NOT come to you via fax, telephone, or
Nor do you see any of the big companies send you blanket e-mail offering
their wares or services.
These "spammers" give the legitimate companies a harder time selling
their serices and wares. And, most smaller companies would really do
much better advertising and selling in their own localities where the
bulk of their business is. However, that is not to say that I don't
discourage these smaller companies to advertise on the web. I encourage
them to do so. Afterall, they want to be big just like the big guys.
While advertising is very costly for small companies, every one should
realize that advertising on the web should be considered a marketing
tool, much like advertising in a trade magazine, newspaper, circulars,
or direct mail. There are ways of advertising on the web without it
costing much (i.e., many web sites offer free advertisments, some offer
linked banners at no cost).
I personnaly use banners, and take advantage of the free advertising
whenever I can. Afterall, it's free. I do realize that there is a
drawback -- limited audiences. But that's true with most forms of
As the faxing of advertisements is not legal (why, it wastes your time
and money), so should e-mail that is unsolicited. If they really want
to send me something, send me a letter so I can prompthly throw it in
the trash with the rest of the junk mail without ever opening it.
With e-mail, however, I never have a way of knowing whether what I
received is legitimate or not without actually opening it up. And, as
I'm trying to sell my services and products the legitimate way - by
advertising - I could get an e-mail form someone who wants to really buy
from me. Thus, I have to read every one in order to sift through what I
consider important. A waste of time, money (when you consider that time
is money), and effort.
I agree that the the web is a great way to promote your company
nationally and worldwide, and it can be done on a shoestring budget
(that's how I'm doing it), but these unsolicated e-mails have become
more than a nuisance. They are a complete waste of my time -- so much
so that I'm beginning to wonder if having a web presence and e-mail
address is really worth it.
Lewis J. Corcoran
Comment on Unwanted Email:
I read your page regarding filing complaints about undesired email. I
agree with your stance, but I would offer this thought:
I have no problem with someone sending a targeted email ad to me ONCE.
But if I respond that I wish to be removed from the list, I shouldn't be
pestered repeatedly. Just as telemarketing calls are regulated, so
should email. If the remove request is not honored the email becomes
harassment and should be a punishable offense. Many broadcasters are
responsive to the request, but some, even if they indicate a way to be
removed, simply ignore the request or, worse yet, the email gets
returned as undeliverable.
READ THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION
If I remember right, it is still our right to print and say what we
please, at least in America. I don't know about the international
community, but people will always do offensive things as long as they
have a forum to spread their displeasure of other people who share the
It is too bad that some of the people that complain and whine about this
problem, don't have "real" lives where they can vent their frustrations.
Like the old saying goes, "If you can't run with the BIG dogs, stay on
the porch and piddle like a puppy!"
from a fellow web surfer
One Of The Last Great Stands To Speak Freely To One Another,
To those who complain about
advertisements I say: "Where have you been" It's been going on for a
long time in the US Mail, On our doorsteps, in our newspapers,
phonebooks, etc. etc. etc. Get a grip, This is America! By outlawing
Unsolicited E-Mail Advertising you risk pushing the little business
person out of business. It threatens the free enterprise system, and
also alows big business more opportunity to monopolize industries and
price gouge. And everyone knows that there is good ads and bad ads,
but in America Americans get to decide. The delete button is my
option, not America Online's CEO.
Anyone Who has become so hyper-sensitive over unsolicited E-Mail is
obviously over-worked, stressed-out from too much time in front of
the computer. My suggestion would be, take a vacation to Disney World,
take some Ex-Lax and ride the roller-coaster. Get it out of your system.
Then return home and read your E-Mail.
My take on unsolicited e-mails are:
"Work at home" in the heading.
I then proceed to say
It can be very frustrating getting these long page after page e-mails
which don't really say anything.
I rutinely delete an e-mail if it gives instructions about how to be
removed from future mailings.
I do not believe in mass mailings as in 1000's where they go to every
Tom, Dick and Harry. But I do believe that an e-mail to a targeted
audience is acceptable. I am in a multi-level-marketing business
(Herbalife), and do send what I feel is appropriate, a very short
message with the words
"Take a look at [web location]" "if you like what you see, enter code 5520
and request more info"
This message is only sent to people whose e-mail address I have come
across as they indicate they are looking for work or additional income.
I have received a number of positive responses from people saying they
appreciate the short and to the point format, but that they are not
interested at this time.
I have mailed out more than 1000 of these messages, and had 2 "TWO" who
requested to be removed from my mailing list, and I respond to them and
apologize for the intrusion, and I do keep a list of people not to mail
to again, and that they are added to the list.
I have received more than 200 responses to this point from all six
Again I feel that unsolicited e-mail can be ok as long as it is done in
a responsible manner.
Subject: Unsolicited Email
I appreciate email advertisements -- They point me in directions that I
may not otherwise have considered going.
As an adult I have the capability of pressing delete or save -- It's a
simple process that requires little thought and minimal effort.
More thought should be given to the unsolicited snail mail that has to
go through the process of being printed, folded, sorted, stamped,
walked, driven, flown, delivered never to be opened and thrown into the
garbage. -- I suppose it is the antiquated respect for the process that
is most irritating about unsolicited email -- It's just sent.
It' ll be interesting to see if this gets posted, as it runs contrary to
the opinions on your Point/CounterPoint page. Also note, this email is
NOT A REQUEST FOR ADVERTISING INFORMATION. *Any* commercial e-mails sent
in response to this will be cause for action to have you disconnected
from the Internet.
There is a reason that certain forms of unsolicited advertising are
tolerated - they subsidize the media through which they are distributed.
TV commercials pay for network broadcasts - if I don't want to see
commercials, I get premium cable, and watch only the premium channels.
Newspaper and magazine ads pay for the newspapers and magazines. Ads on
the sides of buses pay a large portion of the mass transit fees. Postal
junk mail subsidizes Online Content,Services or Information
(or, at least, it did in the
past). Unsolicited commercial e-mail *does not subsidize my Internet
connection*. It *costs me money*, in both connect charges and disk
space. It *invades my personal property*. Your "right" to send any
e-mail ends at the border of my mailbox, just as my right to swing my
fist ends at the tip of your nose.
Let me ask you this - if I came to your house, and painted an
advertisement on your front door, would you complain? I'm only
exercising my free speech rights! If I stood outside your bedroom window
at 3AM, and shouted advertising slogans to you through a bull horn,
would you complain? I'm only exercising my free speech rights!
Get a clue, folks - the First Amendment to the Constitution only
prevents the government from censoring you because it doesn't like what
you're saying. It *doesn't* prevent private companies (like Internet
Service Providers) from saying that they don't wish to carry your
advertising. More importantly, it's been proven in the Supreme Court
that commerical advertising is *not* subject to the same protection as
other speech, because commercial speech is bound by "time and place"
No matter how many times the "just hit delete" argument is slam-dunked, someone always brings it back up again. Folks, my daily record was 50 spams received in a single day, which is peanuts compared to what others have experienced. If you UCE'rs think for a minute that I am going to sift through 50 unwanted spams to get to the email I have asked for, think again. Time spent complaining to your ISPs has paid off. I no longer get anywhere near that much spam. And lets not even talk about the trips I have been on when I've watched my notebook downloading spam over a modem AT MY EXPENSE. Go back up and read the pro-UCE articles on this web page that try to debunk antispammers' cost shifting arguments. Take a big red dry-board marker and mark through all of those, right on your computer screen. They are ludicrous.
UCE advertisers who want to show good faith will put the word "advertisement" in their subject line or will have an "X-Advertisement:" header so that those of us who are tired of receiving spam can have ONE FILTER line to take care of it, without having to keep adjusting an ever-growing procmail script, and without having to read the spam and then hit delete.
Unscrupulous UCE advertisers will not flag their ads in this manner, because they do not want the general public to be able to block commercial email.
BOTTOM LINE: Spammers, while all this legislative wrangling is going on, some of us will meet you half way. But your end of the deal is FLAGGING YOUR SPAM. I am going on a self-imposed moratorium--for the time being I will not report you for spamming me if you place the word "Advertisement" in your subject line or include an "X-Advertisement:" header. In fact, I won't even clutter your email box by bouncing it back to you. (You ARE using a valid return address, aren't you?)
Subject: The Spam / Anti-Spam Debate
Well, I've been reading through this, and I notice an ominous similarity
between a lot of the arguments about "spam" from the people who are
pro-spam. A lot of the arguments rely on the First Amendment of the
Constitution of the United States of America. Others state that "it's
not so bad, and you've been getting stuff like that in your mailbox for
ages anyway". Then there's the "it doesn't cost you anything, just hit
So, let's address these in turn.
"It's Protected By The First Amendment" - not over here in Australia it
ain't, chum. Now, oddly enough, this comment *might* be applicable *if*
spam stopped at the borders of the US of A. It doesn't. Spammers don't
care *who* they send their junk to - whether it's a housewife in
Illinois, or an entire university in Israel.
Oh, and just for those who haven't quite caught up, the Universe (like
the Internet) *does not stop at the US borders*. This means that *any*
pro-spam argument which is reliant on geographical location and social
conditions *is not valid*.
"You Get Junk Mail In Your Ordinary Mailbox" - Yes, and I throw that
out, too. The big thing about the advertising that you get in your
mailbox at home, and the ads you see on TV, and the ones you read in the
magazines and newspapers, as well as the ones you hear on the radio,
along with the predominance of advertising on the World Wide Web, is
that they *pay* to advertise. The costs for these forms of advertising
are met by the advertisers themselves. Spammers don't pay to send out
their advertising email. They don't actually contribute to reducing the
cost of the medium they're using for the consumer. Rather, they *add*
Many ISPs have policies which *prohibit* spamming from their servers -
because it places an unacceptable load on their servers. So what
happens now is that the spammer (yes, that wonderful, public-spirited
citizen that he is) hijacks a server which *isn't* blocked to external
relaying, and sends out their spew from that, instead. One crashed
server later (overloading a mail server causes it to crash - and means
that someone else gets the joyous job of ressurrecting it later...
*after* the people who have legit mail waiting on that server have lost
*their* mail), the spammer goes on their merry way, leaving a massive
clean-up job for the administrator of the hijacked relay. Very
public-spirited, I'm sure you'll agree.
"It Doesn't Cost You Anything - Just Hit Delete" - care to pay my phone
bill sometime, mate? Or better still, find someone with a .uk
net-address, and ask tell *them* that spam costs them nothing... but
find something solid to hide behind first - they pay by the *second* for
data downloads, and a spamload of just 10 messages per week adds a fair
whack onto their bill. This is a subset of the group of arguments which
assert that the US of A is the world, so I won't go into it too deeply -
suffice it only to say that the situation in the US of A with regard to
telco and ISP charges is somewhat anomalous on a world scale.
As for "just hit delete" - why should I have to? Why should I have to
munge my email address (making it hard for legitimate email to get
through too!) to prevent getting spammed? I've been asking this
question for a while now, and I've still not got a reasonable answer.
Just a few thoughts there...
Meg the Magpie