[Spambayes] Beyond Spambayes

Seth Goodman sethg at GoodmanAssociates.com
Fri Feb 24 00:18:28 CET 2006

On Thursday, February 23, 2006 3:30 PM -0600, David Reed wrote:

> (Which is not to detract from what a wonderful piece of coding that
> SpamBayes is, mind you...it is.  But in the grand scheme of things,
> REAL, paper, junk mail, is far more damaging and offensive, in my
> opinion.

For the case of large email systems, I beg to differ.  With postal mail,
the sender pays the postage, while in email, the recipient pays.  The
recipient's cost is incoming bandwidth, processing time related
infrastructure such as DNS and system engineering time.  Since most
incoming email today is spam, if you accept and filter all of it, spam
is becoming the largest cost contributor of operating a mail system.
Because so much spam is sent using hijacked resources, the sender pays
virtually nothing for sending millions of messages.  In aggregate, this
cost of receiving and filtering spam by mail servers is paid by all
recipients through higher internet connectivity fees.

Where I live, junk postal mail goes into the recycle bin with other
waste paper.  Like many localities, our city does subsidize recycling
costs, and mixed paper is not a money-maker.  So junk postal mail does
raise my local taxes to a small degree, but it doesn't have the nearly
same impact as spam on the cost of internet connectivity.  It would
obviously help if the Post Office would adjust bulk-mailing rates and,
get ready for a laugh, share some revenues with localities to dispose of
the mountain of junk they deliver at bargain rates.  This is in the same
spirit as the WEEE directive passed by the European Parliament to deal
with the disposal costs of used electronic equipment.  Basically, the
producer has to pay for that up front, and the same should be true for
junk postal mail.

Seth Goodman

More information about the SpamBayes mailing list