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[ale]getting waaayyy OT It begins...

On Tue, 2004-01-27 at 23:31, ChangingLINKS.com wrote:

> Never ignore the fundamental reason why spam is being sent.
> If spam did not turn a profit it would stop. It's that simple.

I don't think that's necessarily true.  Just as there are those who are
duped by spam and fall for it, there are those who, given spam is an
unprofitable flop, can be made to believe that it's a way to get rich.
Eventually, it may die out if it's not profitable, but it's not an
immediate feedback loop if it is.  Haven't you gotten spam about the
"banned CD" of e-mail addresses?

I feel that we're merely seeing the beginning of an arms race.  If there
is a way to collect large quantities of known working e-mail addresses,
then those collections will be used to spam as long as the process is
even slightly profitable (see above).  Is it unthinkable that spammers
would go so far as to have people de-munge e-mail addresses?  No; it
depends on how profitable the process is.  It occurred to me that a Web
archive of a mailing list might go so far as to convert e-mail addresses
into messages to an inline image - but, sure as shootin' some spam
outfit will pull images and try to OCR them.  So the Web archive will
use bizarre fonts.  And the spammers will devise better OCR that will
read it. 

No, it seems as though e-mail as we know it now is going to turn into
the Internet's biggest failure.  It's just too damn easy to send
messages in large quantities, obfuscate the actual source, and use the
contents to mislead, deceive, and coerce.  

- Jeff