Tuesday, April 29, 2003

NYTimes editorial that suggests government should regulate email spam -- Crack Down on Spam
I fine idea to be sure. I do not really have anything against requiring spammers to abide by a no-spam list or to use valid e-mail addresses to send emails. I do have a couple of questions -- as a technologist. I wonder if NYT editors ever show drafts of columns that deal with technology to someone inside their own IT organization. How will this law deal with spammers from other countries? what if the entity is foreign but a server is in US? or vise versa? What is a valid email account?
Typically, US Congress has had a dismal record regulating technology because, well they have only one MD and 99 laywers in the Senate. The issue of spam is not a technological one, and will probably be bestdealt with via a legislative and regulatory approach. But the Congress, and the media need to understand the technological issues much better before trying to regulate and legislate. Their current record (DMCA!!!) combined with their tendencies to give in to the White House (Patriot Act) make me very hesitant to rely on their wording of the law to protect me from spammers. Somehow I get a feeling that anyone trying to circumvent a faulty spam filter will go to jail, and I will still receive a zillion emails a day encouraging me to inrease my ... mailbox.


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