TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Today's Last Loser: Another Spammer

Re: Today's Last Loser: Another Spammer

Robert Bonomi (
Mon, 24 Apr 2006 22:19:28 -0000

In article <>,
Robert Bonomi <> wrote:

> In article <>, Mike
> <> wrote:

>> Spammer strikes again...

>> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
>> From: < <>
>> Date: Apr 6, 2006 8:47 AM
>> Subject: XXXX XXXXX, please call

>> Mike,

>> Please call us at 1-866-677-4100. We previously tried to contact you
>> at 1-248-XXX-XXXX, but were unable to reach you. This is reference to
>> an entry form you filled out, either on-line or at a major mall or
>> movie theater.

>> We actually have some decent news in regards to the Grand Getaways and
>> Ford Explorer contest. We have an address, claim number, and further
>> details for you. Since all prizes are well over $500, we will need a
>> few moments of your time to cover all related lottery-type information
>> from procuring your prizes due to any tax issues on them.

>> Sincere congratulations!

>> Verification Center

>> P.S. For your convenience, we are available 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM Central
>> Standard Time, Monday to Friday

>> <> Jan 30 2006 12:45PM

>> Please follow url below to stop further emails

>> Sender:
>> Verification Center
>> 105 South River Rd
>> North Aurora, IL, 60542

>> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: I can only presume that Mr. Bonomi (the
>> author of the note before this last one) places _me_ and this Digest
>> in the same category as the 'Verification Center' above since _these_
>> are the sort of things which AOL would require to pay their own way.
>> PAT]

> Ah, but the real question is: *WHO*decides* whether you are, or are
> not, in the same category? And what the 'definition' of that category
> is.

> I'm quite sure that if that 'verification center' was making the
> determinations, that they *would* put themselves in the "wouldn't
> have to pay" class, while it is unpredictable how they would classify
> Telecom Digest.

> It is also an undeniable fact that some of the mailings originating
> from the Digest moderator are *indistinguishable* from what the 'evil
> spammers' send out. If AOL, for example, looked at one or more of
> those instances where the esteemed moderator decided to 'share the
> wealth' of his incoming spam, by sending it on to *all* the Digest
> subscriber mailboxes, it _would_ be very reasonable to classify the
> sender as a 'spammer'. *NOBODY* signed up to the Digest with the
> expectation that the moderator would _deliberately_
> _and_intentionally_ send them 'lotto', 'Nigeria 419', bank/ebay
> 'phishing', and other scam messages -- but he =does=.

> Note, given that neither the original line-item ("E-mail, should the
> sender pay?"), nor our esteemed moderator's impassionedly affirmative
> 'answer' to that question made any reference to AOL or its policies --
> *nor* did my query regarding his answer -- it is hard to imagine how
> any rational person would/ could conclude that I was using AOL's
> categorization rules as the basis for my query.

> BTW, I *DO* have issues with the concept of "sender pays the receiving
> ISP to bypass all spam-filtering, regardless of the user's wishes".
> Some are of a practical nature, some are philosophical.

> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: The answer to your question is that the
> the present-day 'authorities' (who intend to make the decision on
> pay to send mail or not) are the AOL people;

Which means it affects *only* AOL's customers. The TLA BFD applies.

And the nice thing about it is it works _both_ways_.

If AOL starts mucking with mail that AOL's customers _want_, and that
mail gets delayed -- or even worse misrouted to a spam folder or
deleted -- AOL's customers have the option of going to another

And it doesn't take much to make that happen.

I consulted at a shop that did a paid-subscription electronic
newsletter. "Something" about that newsletter, on occasion, caused
AOL's mail-handling system to do strange things with it. Not every
mailing, just 'once in a while'. Of course, _we_ got the calls, when
the newsletter showed up 'unreadable'. The only answer we had, was
"it's a problem in AOL's system, to eliminate it, we recommend you get
an account at a different provider." Since the price of (and thus the
'value', to the subscriber) the newsletter was several times greater
than the cost of the AOL subscription, this advice was usually taken.

I'm pretty sure it wasn't 'spam filters' that were causing the problem,
the mailings were going to a maximum of about 2 dozen AOL addresses at any

> they have said that when _taken in context_ over a long period of
> time (_NOT_ message by message but the entire contents of a Digest
> -- several individual 'messages') this Digest and other established
> Usenet-style publications do not qualify as and will not be counted
> as 'spam'. Context is the all-important factor; not any one single
> message out of the thousands which go out. If YOU honestly believe
> that taken in context over the quarter-century this Digest has been
> published that it amounts to 'spam'

No, _I_ don't believe that the Digest, "taken as a whole" is spam,
however, it is also a fact that the single largest source of
advance-fee scams, make-money-fast scams, outright money-begging
scams, etc. that _reaches_me_ is "", accounting for
more than 40% of the total volume of such pollution that I encounter.
If the esteemed moderator of the Digest just exercised a little more
restraint, on behalf of those who _trust_ him, my spam load would
decrease nearly in half. And thousands of other people would see a
reduction -- although probably not to the same degree -- as well.

> set publishing schedule, etc, then God Bless You. I guess I will qualify
> as spam in your estimation. Yes, there could be a change in the
> authorities; yes, the new authorities could take a different approach
> to what is what; we will have to deal with it when that time comes, if
> it ever does. Furthermore, you read this Digest in one of two ways
> only: Either you subscribe and ask to read it (and I can document your
> 'asking' to receive it if you are a subscriber)

And just _where_ was it explained that this subscription included
anatomy enlargement/enhancement solicitions requests for assistance
in smuggling large amounts of money across international borders,
phony international order-processing and money-laundering schemes,

You hate them when they show up in your inbox coming from strangers.
Have you ever thought about peoples reaction when that cr*p shows up

The Digest subscribers trusted you to select _legitimate_ message
traffic, and what do you do, when your frustration level runs over?
You cr*p in the mailboxes of people who trusted you. It seems that
you have as little respect for _their_ mailboxes, as spammers have for

> 'asking' to receive it if you are a subscriber) or you read it via a
> public mailbox (Usenet) in the same way. You do _not_ recieve this
> Digest in some sort of shady way, where it just shows up in your mailbox
> each day with no documentation.

Absolutely correct. People, myself included, *TRUSTED*YOU* to "do the
right thing" and send _what_you_said_you_would_. When a 'trusted
neighbor' cr*ps in your yard it is more offensive than finding a turd
left by a stranger.

The 'betrayal of trust' is a bigger problem, and has far
more-long-lasting consequences.

> That (documentation of your desire to receive it) and/or the overall
> context of the publication demonstrates it is not spam/scam. For
> everyone that is, except very possibly you,

For people who have the time to do the 'research', that is.

For someone who doesn't have the luxury of time, and has to make what
amounts to a 'snap judgment',based on an 'unfortunate' and small
sample of our esteemed moderator's selections -- they *can* draw an
adverse conclusion. And, if you look at *only* what they had to work
with, their decision is not indefensible. Given the 'right' sub-set
of data, the hypothetical 'reasonable person' *could* come to that

Do I think they "should" do so? H*ll, no.

Do I think such a conclusion is justified, or appropriate? H*ll, no.

Do I think such a result is 'within the realm of possibility'? H*ll yes.

Do I think the esteemed moderator could eliminate that possibility, by
exercising a little more moderation? H*ll, yes!

Post Followup Article Use your browser's quoting feature to quote article into reply
Go to Next message: TELECOM Digest Editor: "Response Re: Today's Last Loser: Another Spammer"
Go to Previous message: Charles Newman: "Re: Texas Community College Bans"
May be in reply to: Mike: "Today's Last Loser: Another Spammer"
Next in thread: TELECOM Digest Editor: "Response Re: Today's Last Loser: Another Spammer"
TELECOM Digest: Home Page