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PR Agency Exec Sees No Problem with Spam

On Friday, CNET News.com published an opinion piece by Barry Dennis entitled Why I Love Spam. In it he suggests that "Spam is the 'junk mail' of a few years ago. There is still 'junk' mail, although I prefer to think of it as marketing mail--searching for new customers and reinvigorating established clients."

It's important to read opinion pieces like these, because they demonstrate the profound lack of understanding of the Internet that still exists among some senior business executives in America. Barry Dennis obviously does not understand that the problems with Spam have nothing to do with legitimate businesses marketing their products by using the company's own mail servers to send email to willing recipients.

Most Spam is sent using email servers that have security flaws that
are being exploited. This means that the senders of Spam are, in effect, breaking and entering. CTDATA had its main mail server exploited by spammers for a period of three or four days several years ago. To those of us who had to clean up the problems that resulted from this unauthorized use of our server, our disk space, and our bandwidth, it felt like our business had been vandalized.

Of course, we have not mentioned the effect that Spam has on individual Internet users throughout the world. To many of them, Spam is like a tax on the time they allocate to electronic communication. Many email users now get more unsolicited email than they get from family, friends, and co-workers. Although we doubt that most individual Internet users incur the kind of costs that server operators do as a result of Spam, the rights of the individual Internet user are probably the ones that will receive the greatest protection in the future.

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