View Full Version : Spam vs. the right to ignore

Johnny L.A.
01-16-2005, 05:35 PM
A lot of people object to certain films. The common advice is 'Then don't watch them.'

If I get junk mail in my mailbox, I can ask the distributor to remove me from his mailing list.

If I don't want to be bothered by telemarketers, I can be put on the do-not-call list and they'll leave me alone.

I pay a fee for my mobile phone, and there are laws against telemarketers calling mobile phones because people pay for them.

So why can't there be laws against e-mail spam? I pay for my internet connection. I shouldn't be bothered by spam. It's not as if I can ignore them. If I did, then there is an excellent possibility that I'll miss legitimate e-mails. There is the definite fact that they can fill my web-accessed e-mail box to the point that legitimate e-mails will not be received at all.

I can choose not to go to a movie. I can change the channel on my television. I can opt out of almost all telemarketing calls. I do not get telemarketing calls or spam on my mobile phone. I should have the right not to get spam e-mails.

That's the debate: Where does the right to be left alone run afoul of the First Amendment right of advertisers to advertise?

I don't need penis pills. I don't need any of the pharmaceuticals I'm being offered. I don't want to hear about MILFs, 'grrls fukking farm animals', 'cummmm drippin cnuts', etc. In fact, I'm offended by sexual spam. In my current state of affairs, I might have a claim against these guys for 'psychological damage'. I don't want a fake Rolex. I don't speak Russian. I should have the right to be left alone.

Oh, sure. They say you can 'opt out'. But if you do that, then you'll just get more spam.

At the very least, ISPs should be required to verify the validity of every e-mail address and domain before the e-mail is delivered to the recipient. If they were required to do this, then they would be more likely to be proactive against spammers.