Tuesday, May 20, 2003

Beyond My Predictive Powers

Recently Chuck Kuffner was writing about the newest tool in spam fighting -- essentially opt-in whitelists, a concept that has also been championed by Robert Cringely, although I can't find the link at the moment. Earthlink has also started offering it as an option for its subscribers.

Anyway, I don't like these systems for reasons that I enumerated in an earlier post of Chuck's. But my reasons completely failed to anticipate something I read recently in Ed Foster's Gripelog. It seems that with astonishing chutspah, Spam Arrest, one of the company's offering this sort of service, decided to send Unsolicited Commercial E-Mail to all of its subscribers and everyone who had ever used the service to send mail to one of their subscribers. Of all of my objections to this type of service, I never thought that they would actually use it to generate spam lists.

According to the article they have now stopped sending spam, but they reserve the right to sell their e-mail lists as they see fit.