[Mailman-Users] The economics of spam

Mark Sapiro mark at msapiro.net
Sun Jan 4 00:01:28 CET 2009

Jan Steinman wrote:

>> From: Rich Kulawiec <rsk at gsp.org>
>> On Tue, Dec 23, 2008 at 10:15:43AM -0800, Jan Steinman wrote:
>>> I would willingly pay a hundredth of a cent (or so) per email sent  
>>> if it
>>> would reduce spam to near-zero.
>> This is a thoroughly-discredited, utterly broken idea... based on  
>> the ludicrous
>> notion that abusers... will, for absolutely no reason
>> whatsoever, suddenly and magically behave honestly and pay to send  
>> mail.
>No, it is based upon the idea that a system could be implemented  
>whereby it would be impossible to avoid the payment.
>Or should we just admit that any crook can hack any arbitrary ATM  
>machine, or that any mass-marketer can send paper mail without a stamp?

That's not an apt analogy. The issue here is not whether a system can
be developed that would require mail delivery to be paid for. The
issue is whether the spammers can figure a way to shift the payment to
someone else in the same way that they already hijack the resources of
unsuspecting user's machines to enable them to send much more spam
than if they actually had to pay for the hardware.

Mark Sapiro <mark at msapiro.net>        The highway is for gamblers,
San Francisco Bay Area, California    better use your sense - B. Dylan

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