TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: More Subpoenas in Suit Over Obscenity Law

Re: More Subpoenas in Suit Over Obscenity Law

Garrett Wollman (
Sun, 2 Apr 2006 03:30:30 UTC

In article <>, PAT writes:

> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Is it just me, or do other readers
> agree there is a _huge_ amount -- more than even a year or two ago --
> of pornography on the net.

No, I don't. Indeed, I very rarely see any, unless I go out of my way
to look for it.

> Much, much more than there was even two or three years ago.

No, definitely not.

> If the amount and nature of the spam we receive is any indication,
> there is _much more_ porn around also.

I don't see that in my spam either.

I made a quick survey of the 84 messages currently in my spam box.
The breakdown is as follows:

24 finance, mostly pump&dump stock scams
15 entirely in a non-English language
9 consisting of "confuser" text and a GIF image (possible porn?)
8 advertising drugs (including ED drugs)
5 ads for diploma mills
4 completely unidentifiable (e.g., just a random URL)
4 419 scams
4 pirated software
4 offering credit (phishing attempts?)
2 complaints sent to the wrong abuse desk
1 advertisement for a sex toy
1 ad for judgment processing (pyramid scheme?)
1 ad for an art gallery
1 ad for a Chinese manufacturing company eager to sell me widgets
1 "backscatter" bounce message for spam sent to someone else

(I then deleted the contents of the spam box wholesale, of course.)

So in the category of "porn" or things potentially related thereto, I
see at most 14 out of 84 messages or 17%. This seems to be
substantially more that what I see regularly on the Web, although it's
hard to generate hard numbers when only the big search providers have
the databases. (There's actually an interesting theory problem here.
Given a map of the link structure of the Web, such as that used in
approximate form by the search engines, you can consider the average
path length of a random walk before it enters the "porn zone". My
intuition is that there are many connected subgraphs which have no
out-links closer to the "porn zone" than the average for all sites,
and that most unintentional access to porn sites involves either
searching for it or mistyping URLs. Has anyone done this research


Garrett A. Wollman    | As the Constitution endures, persons in every | generation can invoke its principles in their own
Opinions not those    | search for greater freedom.
of MIT or CSAIL.      | - A. Kennedy, Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558 (2003)

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: What I found out was I have an email address I had mostly forgotten about at Apparently, at some point or another, someone had signed up _my_ email address at Yahoo on some porn mailing list. I have been getting 300-400 porn emails per day via that address. And not just 'regular' or garden-variety porn either. Lots of extremely kinky, graphic, raunchy porn. And it keeps pouring in to that mailbox, much of it coming from Yahoo 'groups' with porn, kinky, graphic, raunchy themes. At last count, three dozen different Yahoo Groups on gay themes, each with slight variations in what they were offering were sending me things, each with pictures, stories, etc. I am sorry, but I did not realize there were _that many_ different ways of doing gay sex stuff. My problem is this: normally we are told do not respond to 'opt-out' notices sent in spam email; as often as not it is just a way to collect more names to use. Either filter it out or manually toss it; but do _not_ respond to it. I guess I will just tell Yahoo to please close that email account; the last thing I need is more email addresses. PAT]

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