Deal with spam problem

Letter to the editor

Posted: Wednesday, January 08, 2003

Lisa Carlson's Jan. 6 response to my letter about spammers' abuse of the Internet makes my point for me. Lisa obviously is jumping through hoops and inconveniencing herself to guard against invasion of her privacy by these jerks. Changing e-mail address(es) is not an option for everyone, and certainly in the case of businesses is self defeating. Businesses must maintain a fixed contact address to stay in touch with their customers and others who have legitimate reasons for contacting them. Having a secret address is defeating the purpose.

Closely filtering messages inevitably means many legitimate messages get discarded and that is a definite drag on efficiency. Many individuals and businesses are forced to wade through ever more garbage and filth to mine out the legitimate, and desired messages.

Internet regulations doesn't mean closer monitoring of our private communications - and that's going to happen anyway whether Lisa likes it or not because of the "Homeland Security" excuse. A few simple and enforceable rules are needed: Require all messages to have legitimate "source" addresses; require any unsolicited sender to stop after sending two or three messages without response; fine the dickens out of those who violate the rules. Lack of rules leads to the anarchy and chaos we are now seeing.

Who can argue that closer regulation of unsolicited telephone calls, and unsolicited faxes has not helped those problems? Those regulations came about because of public clamor for solutions. Yet, in the case of the Internet, our politicians are sitting on their duffs and doing nothing. I think it's high time they earned some of their keep by solving this invasive and costly problem.

Anne Pennington


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