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22 Jan 2024
Jay Fink had an interesting little business.
If you lived in California, you could give him access to your email account,
he'd look through the spam folder for spam that appeared to violate the
state anti-spam law, and give you a spreadsheet and a file of PDFs.
You could then sue the spammers, and if you won,
you'd give Fink part of the money as his fee.
While the federal CAN SPAM law largely preempts state laws, it lets states
add their own penalties for fraudulent or misleading spam.
California is one of the few states with a usable law, and one of the
few that lets spam recipients sue in small claims court.
The spammers tend to pay to settle rather than going to court (because
they are pretty sure they'd lose) so this was a way to make life
more difficult for the spammers, paid for by the spammers.
Last July, the state of California shut him down, saying that the stuff
he was doing needed a Private Investigator (PI) license.
The license is quite expensive and requires 6,000 hours of training in
a field like arson investigation or insurance adjustment.
Fink thought this was ridiculous, since none of the training would have anything
to do with looking for spam, and the requirements were grossly excessive for what he did.
He sued the state, supported by the Institute for Justice, a libertarian public interest law firm.
Last week the parties filed the first substantive exchange, in which
the state moved to dismiss the case, and Fink's lawyers said not
See more ...
Stable link is https://jl.ly/Email/spamfink.html
22 Mar 2023
CDA Section 230 has been called ``The 26
Words that Created the Internet''.
While it is obvious how Sec 230 protects the World Wide Web, it is equally
important for e-mail.
A recent Pennsylvania court case emphasizes this point.
Dr. Thomas, a professor at the Univeristy of Pennysylvania forwarded an article about another
professor Dr. Monge to an online e-mail discussion list.
Dr. Monge claimed the article was
defamatory and sued Dr Thomas, the university, and many others.
But since neither Dr Thomas, nor the university were the author of the article,
under Sec 230 they were quickly dismissed from the case.
This is good news for anyone who (like me) runs mailing lists for other people.
If we were legally responsible for everything anyone said on a list, the number
of lists would be a whole lot smaller.
But Sec 230 doesn't just protect mailing lists. It also protects spam filtering,
and on the modern Internet, mail without filtering would be unusable.
See more ...
Stable link is https://jl.ly/Email/sec230spam.html
14 Oct 2020
I get a lot of mail from political campaigns. I expect a lot of us do.
In my case, each campaign gets a separate e-mail address so I can track how much they pass the addresses around.
(Nothing surprising, local passes them to national for the same party, stuff like that.)
While I was supposed to be doing something else, I wrote some scripts to track the mail, per campaign.
You can see the results, updated daily, at https://www.taugh.com/polispam.php.
If it looks like one day the Republican presidential campaign sent me 15 separate messages, yup, they did.
It's not entirely clear what their strategy is because they keep telling me that I am one of their TOP 100 SUPPORTERS
even though I've never sent them a dime.
Stable link is https://jl.ly/Email/polispam.html
11 Mar 2020
A recent piece in The Markup called
Swinging the Vote?
attempts to figure out how Google decides where to deliver political e-mail.
They were startled to discover that only a small fraction of it was delivered
into the main inbox, and a fair amount was classed as spam.
They shouldn't have been.
See more ...
Stable link is https://jl.ly/Email/notspecial.html
07 Sep 2019
The DNS has always had a few names for use as examples in documentation,
domains example.com, example.net, example.org,
In 1999 RFC 2606 formally reserved the first three.
There's nothing technically special about these names,
which have normal WHOIS and DNS entries, managed by IANA.
Until recently, that meant that even though none of them handle
any e-mail, mail sent to them by mistake worked badly.
See more ...
Stable link is https://jl.ly/Email/exampnull.html
My other sites
Who is this guy?
Airline ticket info
Spam trends update for Sep-Nov 2023
32 days ago
A keen grasp of the obvious
Italian Apple Cake
530 days ago
Coalition Against Unsolicited Commercial E-mail
Network Abuse Clearinghouse