TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: FTC Do Not Call List

Re: FTC Do Not Call List

Mark Crispin (MRC@CAC.Washington.EDU)
Tue, 13 Dec 2005 12:03:49 -0800

On Mon, 12 Dec 2005, wrote:

> I don't understand at all why there's no "no-spam" law passed.

There are "no-spam" laws. They are, at best, modest successes. For
those of us who receive hundreds of spams daily, and/or have manage
mailers which receive many more, the laws are miserable failures.

The general problem is the considerable cost in going after spammers.
It is almost impossible to recover more than a fraction of these
costs, even when there is complete success in prosecution and seizure
of the spammer's ill-gotten gains.

Don't forget that when spammers get money, it goes straight through
their nose (or in other non-recoverable means). For every big time
spammer with a million dollar house there are lots of small fry living
in his mother's basement.

> I don't understand Internet message addressing, but it seems to me any
> initiated message should have a secured sender's address address.
> There should be some technical way that something like that is
> reasonably tamper proof so it works reliably. Such an address would
> cut down "phising" and other fraudulent and abusive activity now going
> on.

Technically, this is impossible with the current mechanisms used by
Internet mail. Nothing short of a complete redesign from the ground
up will accomplish it.

Anything less is just a band-aid. We have had such mechanisms as PGP and
S/MIME for years.

An effort to create a new Internet email infrastructure would be
extraordinarily expensive and complex. It would make the conversion
to TCP and SMTP in 1983 look trivial by comparison.

It would put legions of programmers and protocol engineers on the
gravy train for many years. The people who you hear groaning about
the possibility are the vendors who *sell* the products. The
programmers who *write* the products (and thus are *paid* by the
vendors) are salivating at the prospect of a multi-year pork-feed that
would make a lamphrey look like a piker.

The new email infrastructure will also give the world email postage
stamps. And this time, it won't be just governments who get a cut of the
profits. The biggest objection to SMTP in the SMTP vs. X.400 wars two
decades ago was that SMTP's fundamental design made it impossible to
impose email postage stamps. You can bet that the new redesigned Internet
email won't have that problem.

Guess who pays for all of this.

Be careful for what you wish. You may get it. And there are plenty of
people who are quite happy to provide it to you (*ka-ching*!).

-- Mark --
Science does not emerge from voting, party politics, or public debate.
Si vis pacem, para bellum.

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