January 08, 2004

Anti-Spam Law Needs Spammer's Heads On Pikes

I wrote the following to Dave Farber about a comment he made:

From: Seth Finkelstein
Subject: Re: [IP] So much for anti-spam laws

On Wed, Jan 07, 2004 at 05:05:33PM -0500, Dave Farber wrote:
> In 24 hours I have gotten 686 spam messages . That is up from pre 2004.

There won't be any change until some spammer's heads (or other organs) are nailed to the wall (metaphorically, under this law, I mean, I think ...).

Same as with the RIAA lawsuits, actually. A few high-profile high-penalty prosecutions, which hurt people, might cause a change. But the law has to be shown to be a real threat for that to happen.

"Send a spam, go to jail" needs to be the slogan.

I often say spammers have to be considered as gangs of thieves. That sounds like hyperbole, but I mean it. Would people say "So much for anti-theft laws - we PASSED A LAW, and the theft didn't stop!". I predict there's going to be quite a few of these sorts of complaints in the next few weeks (no offense to Dave). And endless Libertarian posturing: "Spam didn't stop! CAN-SPAM is useless! See, government doesn't work!"

Think of organized crime. Organized crime doesn't stop because there's a law passed against them. They stop when there are enough prosecutions so the leaders worry they will be next in line for a jail cell. Spammers won't stop until they see some criminal prosecutions come down, and have a strong worry they will be next.

By Seth Finkelstein | posted in spam | on January 08, 2004 11:59 PM (Infothought permalink) | Followups
Seth Finkelstein's Infothought blog (Wikipedia, Google, censorware, and an inside view of net-politics) - Syndicate site (subscribe, RSS)

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Please hold your breath. Some of us are doing what we can to toss these a**holes in jail, ok? I've been on the phone three times with the Secret Service this week alone. It's all just a matter of settling jurisdiction, then I've got a few I'm personally going to handle.

So stop whining, for now. If we haven't opened any caases by the end of the year, whine away.

Posted by: David Weekly at January 10, 2004 09:36 PM

On another hand, look at the war on drugs. More prosecution, more crime. It's not always that simple.

Posted by: Maxime Pich at January 11, 2004 11:43 AM

Some strange feeling seized me when I read your comment, David.
Does David's post look strange here?
No. So David, what is the point in your comment?
There always has to be some point.
Nothing personal tho.

Posted by: Anderson.J. at February 2, 2004 05:20 PM