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E-mail Stamps
Douglas Chick

Itís an interesting notion, the idea of weeding out spam by charging a price for each e-mail sent, much the same way that we use postal stamps. I donít think I really meant interesting as much as completely ridiculous!  There are some people that argue by imposing a small fee for each e-mail ďletterĒ sent would stop spam. 05. cents a letter for the common Internet user is hardly a burden, but to a spammer that sends 100 million spams a day, this could be a huge burden and possible put them out of business. At least, thatís the argument Iím hearing. However, considering that I get more junk mail than I do actual U.S. Postage, tells me that only large corporations would spam and it would become legal like junk mail is. Maybe you can be a ďLucky FinalistĒ in spam too?

Seeing Bill Gates explaining yet again what would be good for the Internet and computer users, is like the government explaining how sending jobs out of the country is good for the unemployed; they just donít have any credibility. Is charging a stamp fee for e-mail good for the users, or is it whatís good for the corporate monsters that needs additional revenue to save sliding stocks? And itís not only Bill Gates, there are others that think this is where e-mail should ultimately go as well. Perhaps Iíve become cynical in light of all the corporate lies that have taken so many jobs and robbed so many retirement funds, but imposing one more tax, even as minuscule as a few pennies, is always the beginning of a much larger obligation.  

Spam is certainly a terrible menace; it is an invasion into our homes and offices that carry viruses, claims of manly enlargements, and very often carry inappropriate pictures for our children to see. But taking advantage of our anger with a surcharge is simply ridiculous. If there was a serious movement to stop spam, than Internet providers would offer as part of their services an option to block incoming mail from other countries. Most people and businesses donít need incoming international access to their private networks; Internet providers should stop it at their source. (Or their gateway routers.) After all, donít most viruses, spam and hacker invasions come from across the big water?



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