The Bitter  Network Administrator 

A Website Dedicated to Computer Professional...and some not so Professional

No Spam for me!
by Graham Parks

Spammers, I hate them! I first started using the Internet in early 1995 and shortly afterwards a small amount of spam started to appear in my inbox. Luckily I had already read an article which imparted the advice that under no circumstances should you ever apply to be removed from a spammers list as it just gives them knowledge that the account they mailed is a live one. Over the years I have received very little spam and have been very surprised by the amount the friends and colleagues have received compared to me. I thought my anti spamming tactics were working just fine. In fact I still have a mail account in use that I have had since 1995 and it does not get deluged with crap.

But recently spam has started appearing every day. I have been disgusted at the html messages from adult service providers, which show hardcore porn. It does not shock me but I am sure that some of these end up in the mailboxes of kids and I find this totally unacceptable. Quite often I can tell from the message title what is spam and so I delete them without opening them. However some messages have started turning up with innocent message titles which at first I opened. More spam! I quickly noticed that most of these the senders ID was a female first name only, so now I delete these as well. Others claim not to be spam and say that I have signed up at an adult site for such material to be sent. Like hell I have.

All in all, the situation is not good. But the fight back has begun.

The European Union has agreed to bring in legislation that will ban spam. More details here. However I doubt that spammers outside the EU will take any notice of this whatsoever. There are other ways to fight back. Internet users themselves are now starting individual and group action against spammers and hoaxers. Not only is this a very welcome development, but the results provide some very enjoyable reading. The techies amongst you will probably be familiar with, a website for all sort of technical news items. Some users of the site have gathered together and started spamming a spammer. But in a much nastier way! They have signed the spammer up for snail mail brochures and catalogues of all kinds. And the spammer is going nuts about it. Read the wonderful story here Like me, you might also have received mail from Nigerian fraudsters. These messages are obviously fraudulent to anyone with half a brain, but no doubt some particularly stupid or greedy fools are taken in. I just delete these messages, but others have started stringing these people along. Fraudster baiting is becoming something of a sport. Check out this hilarious chain of communications here. Also follow the various links on the page to other fraudster baiting sites, it really will brighten up your day to see these scum getting taken for a ride.

I also read recently about another sort of retribution. Sorry, I cannot remember where I read about this so I cannot provide any links. A group of guys somewhere in California (I think) were requesting that people in their area provide them with as many AOL CDs as they can. They are collecting them and when they reach the magic total of a million, they are going to dump the whole lot in their local AOL building lobby as a protest against the waste of resources AOL is using bombarding people with an endless stream of these things.

So join in the fun, spam a spammer, string along a hoaxer or come up with your own way to fight back against these scumbags.