Andrew Pollack's Blog

Technology, Family, Entertainment, Politics, and Random Noise

Proof that "Sender Pays" will not stop spam even one little bit

By Andrew Pollack on 02/28/2006 at 10:56 PM EST

For those who don't know, the idea of "Sender Pays" is to make the cost of sending an email slightly higher than zero for bulk emails -- some say for everyone. Say a penny a message or less. AOL and YAHOO are talking about using this method for public bulk mailing lists. While neither is saying they'd charge users directly, the idea is that if bulk mail comes it without paying it would be treated with a higher degree of suspicion.

Along comes this article about reputed "spam king" Adam Vitale being busted by the Secret Service. Allegedly, Vitale charged an undercover agent $6,500 for equipment then sent spam out to as many as 1.5 million people in return for an agreed price of at least $40,000 off the top of the first revenue generated plus 50% of all proceeds. Do the math, at that price the going rate for sending the messages already well exceeds 2.5 cents per message -- plus the threat of jail time.

At a rate of 2.5 cents per message, sleazy sales pitches for porn, pills, and promises are still extremely profitable. The techniques of spam are so effective in fact, that now many of those products have "upscaled" and we're seeing the same products and scams advertised on radio, direct mail, and late night television. If THAT's true, its a hell of a lot more profitable than 5 cents, or even 25 cents per message is likely to stop. Unless you believe consumers are willing to voluntarily make email cost more than that, you can only conclude that "Sender Pays" is a nonstarter.

There are  - loading -  comments....

My own thoughts on this are...By Shamus on 03/01/2006 at 09:28 AM EST
The irony will be that if this postage scenario becaomes standard is you will
recieve SPAM quicker than your regular email. SPAM senders will be the best
customer of the pay-email model.
True ....By Jens on 03/01/2006 at 10:15 AM EST
.... making it even more efficient for spammers
I get lots of junk mail from the USPS, none from FedEx, UPS, DHL, etc.By Newbs on 03/02/2006 at 10:52 AM EST
What you say about the price model is correct. At 39 cents (discounted for
bulk mailers) it is cost effective to send me something that goes straight to
the trash. At $10 for FedEx, it is not (yet)...

What is your point? That doesn't stop the postal bulk mail at all unless you refuse all postal mail and only accept mail from fedex. That's not an acceptable solution, so again -- you've failed to stop the spam.By Andrew Pollack on 03/02/2006 at 11:31 AM EST

Other Recent Stories...

  1. 01/26/2023Better Running VirtualBox or VMWARE Virtual Machines on Windows 10+ Forgive me, Reader, for I have sinned. I has been nearly 3 years since my last blog entry. The truth is, I haven't had much to say that was worthy of more than a basic social media post -- until today. For my current work, I was assigned a new laptop. It's a real powerhouse machine with 14 processor cores and 64 gigs of ram. It should be perfect for running my development environment in a virtual machine, but it wasn't. VirtualBox was barely starting, and no matter how many features I turned off, it could ...... 
  2. 04/04/2020How many Ventilators for the price of those tanks the Pentagon didn't even want?This goes WAY beyond Trump or Obama. This is decades of poor planning and poor use of funds. Certainly it should have been addressed in the Trump, Obama, Bush, Clinton, Bush, and Reagan administrations -- all of which were well aware of the implications of a pandemic. I want a military prepared to help us, not just hurt other people. As an American I expect that with the ridiculous funding of our military might, we are prepared for damn near everything. Not just killing people and breaking things, but ...... 
  3. 01/28/2020Copyright Troll WarningThere's a copyright troll firm that has automated reverse-image searches and goes around looking for any posted images that they can make a quick copyright claim on. This is not quite a scam because it's technically legal, but it's run very much like a scam. This company works with a few "clients" that have vast repositories of copyrighted images. The trolls do a reverse web search on those images looking for hits. When they find one on a site that looks like someone they can scare, they work it like ...... 
  4. 03/26/2019Undestanding how OAUTH scopes will bring the concept of APPS to your Domino server 
  5. 02/05/2019Toro Yard Equipment - Not really a premium brand as far as I am concerned 
  6. 10/08/2018Will you be at the NYC Launch Event for HCL Domino v10 -- Find me! 
  7. 09/04/2018With two big projects on hold, I suddenly find myself very available for new short and long term projects.  
  8. 07/13/2018Who is HCL and why is it a good thing that they are now the ones behind Notes and Domino? 
  9. 03/21/2018Domino Apps on IOS is a Game Changer. Quit holding back. 
  10. 02/15/2018Andrew’s Proposed Gun Laws 
Click here for more articles.....

pen icon Comment Entry
Your Name
*Your Email
* Your email address is required, but not displayed.
Your thoughts....
Remember Me  

Please wait while your document is saved.