What will happen, eventually, with spam?

At the moment, we’re in a situation where it’s a spammers’ paradise - they can spam all they want, with very little enforceable legislation to prevent them. A lot of spammers are overseas, where even if there were laws in the US, we wouldn’t be able to get them.

So, what do you think the future of spam holds? Will it just get worse and worse, until e-mail is pretty much unusable? Do you think everyone will have a “whitelist”, whereby only addresses in their address book can send them e-mail? Or do you think there will be a crack-down in the legislation, and spam will die a death? I dream of a world where we’ll be nostalgic for the days of “ENLARGE YOUR PENIS 2” OVERNIGHT!!!" because spam has become a distant memory.

I guess if we look at what happened to regular paper junk mail, we can assume spam will be with us forever :frowning:

The competition to make the larger-flashier-more-attention-getting-pop-up-ad ™ will eventually cause marketers to come into your home and tatoo the ads to your body.

I think there will be a technological solution. Whitelists are one good possibility because the amount of time taken to set them up is small compared to the time and annoyance they save.

Other potential plans for… escalating the battle, I guess, are automatic authentication methods that rely on some randomly created picture, so that humans will not have a problem, but mass email programs will not be able to deal with it. Throw-away email addresses that are given out for single use purposes.

I think legislation is likely, but I’m not sure how effective it would be. I think the most likely way for it to work is to impose civil penalties on ISP’s for transmitting spam. That way, even if off-shore companies don’t comply, odds are that your ISP is local, and will be able to pass the buck (or stop accepting spam from unreliable sources).

I wish there was a fee to send email (Internet, not Intranet), something like $0.05 an email. That would stop a lot of spam, since it would suddenly cost $500 for every 10,000 addresses they send to, instead of the mere pennies it cost now. And it would probably put a halt to all the Christian glurge my sister-in-law sends me, which is really why I want it to cost.

What would happen is that we would have to spend the nickle a note for e-mail, while the advertisers(through lobbying efforts) would get bulk e-mail rates of about 1/2 cent per e-mail, just like the special rates that cause your snail mail box to fill up every day.

After the world ends, only cockroaches and spam will remain.

That sentence works equally well for both kinds of spam.

My hope: it will be taken care of by U.S. Congress in response to vigorous outcry. All advertising material MUST contain the letters “adv” in the first three letters of the line of the mailing, thus making it easy to filter out.

Entire multiverse sings “Jub Jub” song from “Return of the Jedi”.

Did anyone see this article? Hopefully it’s the future

Read the article (thanks Tapioca) and had an idea. What would happen if everyone who received spam replied to it just saying, “No thanks”? Would the spammers end up with so much, “Reply Spam,” in their mail boxes that they would become effectively useless? Could we, the rightious and wronged, choke them to death on their own crap?

I don’t think it would work. The reply to addresses are almost always fake, so you can’t just reply to them. Most steal off into the night, with no way to contact them. Assholes.

How about if the government relaxed the laws on murder…but only for murdering spammers? :slight_smile:

Don’t ever reply to spam. The spammers get a confirmed e-amil that way:smack:

I say click on the spams to go to the websites, find the address of the uppity-ups of the website and spam them!
It’s more likely those addresses are real than the return addresses of the spam mail itself, so that’s a plus.

Spam is an international problem. So the US Congress (which cares more about corps. than people anyway) can’t really regulate it. (OTOH, while most spam appears to come from Asia, etc., it is only being routed thru open relays overseas.)

It’s time for a new RFC for a “certified” email system. Only certified sites can send email to other certified sites. A site that sends any spam immediately gets decertified. (That includes email from cos. that got your address when you signed up for something. If you didn’t ask for the email, it’s spam.) Among other things, all emails will be digitally signed with the sig. of the actual account from which it is sent. (That alone would help tremendously.) No header forging allowed. “From” means "From.

The major ISPs get certified, their users get a new agreement telling them the rules, etc. The certified mail starts being sent. After a transition phase, the uncertified stuff is dropped. Etc. Note that this will kill Hotmail like sites unless they go with a whole 'nother lever of signup security. AOL, as usual, will ignore it until it finds that their users can’t send or receive email from anybody else, join the system years later and then tout it in their ads as the latest and greatest thing that only AOL has. (Why do people still call AOL an “ISP” after all these years of this crap?)

Thanks for the article, Tapioca Dextrin - that made my day!

There is one thing and one thing only that can stop spam.

People must not, under any circumstances, ever actually buy anything from a spam ad. Spam is only worth it’s expense (and the email lists do indeed cost money) if there is a return. And people must be buying shit from these damn ads, or they wouldn’t exist.

And to these people I say stop it you stupid bastards!!!

Revtim - that’s never going to happen. As the saying goes, there’s one born every minute. People still buy stuff from regular paper junkmail ads.

I guess we’re stuck with it. I was just thinking - writing viruses is already illegal, but that doesn’t stop people doing it - so whatever the legislation is, perhaps the spammers will still be there. OTOH, virus writers don’t usually provide contact information…

This article is quite pleasant to read, but unfortunately, I followed the link appearing on this page , and found this

*It is intricate computer software, said Ralsky, that can detect computers that are online and then be programmed to flash them a pop-up ad, much like the kind that display whenever a particular Web site is opened.

“This is even better,” he said. "You don’t have to be on a Web site at all. You can just have your computer on, connected to the Internet, reading e-mail or just idling and, bam, this program detects your presence and up pops the message on your screen, past firewalls, past anti-spam programs, past anything. *
So, we could soon regret the times where we were spammed only via e-mail…

bonjour clairobscur - this is probably what he’s referring to. If so, it’s pretty easily defeated by disabling the (IMO) useless Windows Messenger Service. Yes, I know some anti-virus programs use it to notify you of things and there are a couple of other uses.

–hammers a sign into the ground, a la Bugs Bunny, that says ‘Open season on spammers.’