Eclectic Curiosity

Posted on November 23rd, 2003, by Steve Hardy in Archives, Uncategorized. No Comments

A problem crying out for a solution. The Dirty Little Secret About Spam

The most fervent antispam activists now predict that the world’s email system will seize up within six months. Some organizations just won’t have the server capacity to handle the onslaught, and our inboxes will be so packed as to be useless. Even more circumspect forecasters agree that small ISPs and businesses may soon be overwhelmed. …

The economics of email are just too seductive: It’s relatively easy and incredibly cheap for anyone to send out millions of messages to anyone with an email account. Unlike any other form of marketing in history, most of the delivery costs are borne by the recipients: by the Internet-service providers (ISPs) and corporations that maintain our mail servers and by us. Anyone who has had to delete dozens of spams on a dial-up connection understands this. It’s as if companies were sending us reams of postal junk mail, COD.

That’s why the flood of offers for low mortgage rates, printer toner cartridges, penile implants, money-laundering deals with wives of deposed African dictators, and much, much more is swelling by 20% each month, according to some ISPs. In the United States and Europe, spam accounts for between 40% and 70% of all email traffic, depending on whom you ask. In January, America Online said it was blocking 1 billion emails a day from members’ accounts; by May, that number had doubled.

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