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elind

Blogspot spam reporting

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Betsy, I appreciate your thoughts but I also disagree. Non of us would be here bothering with this if we didn't have a personal contempt for spammers and a wish to do them harm, or so I presume.

Otherwise we can just be like all the others who don't bother to do anything and rely on their SP to filter for them, and Spamcop would have no purpose.

Specifically you say "No legitimate merchant would spam or even if they were clueless, no reputable webhost or ISP would allow them to."

Surely you can't be serious? What "legitimate" merchants do is set up independent commission agents to bring them leads, then claim no connection when the agents are spammers, but they will pay them up to that point. Not all spam is viagra or Acai. Much of it is "seen on Opra", for real.

As to ISP's, Comcast and Google are legitimate are they not? Yet they allow spammers to set up web sites without control of any sort, and only when enough complaints come in do they act, reluctantly.

We all pay for this eventually.

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We must verify that these links are really spammy, and this is something that machines can't do. Yes, I'm sure you can tell the difference, I'm sure that we all can, but many people cannot; they will simply report everything that SpamCop tells them. So, this data stream will inevitably be polluted with website links that are innocent. When the s**t hits the fan, and all of these innocent victims demand their due, I would not want to be around.

I think that point has be alluded to earlier, and I appreciate that it is a possible issue, however any website that is created on a free basis, or even not, is typically contractually at the whim of the provider. They are the ones who determine appropriateness or not.

Taking my recent example, of Acai, any fool can look at the website and the spam complaint and count the spam complaints, from Spamcop or other and see that it is one and the same and delete the sucker in 10 seconds, and there would be zero chance of legal repercussions.

I think I need to find a reporting service that focuses on the point of sale, not just the souces of the spam. Without the former there is no point in sending spam.

PS. I had a bad day on the road. 9 hours turned into over 11. I guess it was the stimulus for road works to blame.

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I think I need to find a reporting service that focuses on the point of sale, not just the souces of the spam. Without the former there is no point in sending spam.
I generally pass most of my URL-linked spam to KnujOn. I have them as a "standard report recipient" within SpamCop, makes it very easy. They do claim (and have probably achieved) success in putting heat on providers and (particularly) domain registrars.

-- rick

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Betsy, I appreciate your thoughts but I also disagree. Non of us would be here bothering with this if we didn't have a personal contempt for spammers and a wish to do them harm, or so I presume.

Now that may reflect the difference between us...

I have no interest in doing harm to spammers. Personally, that seems to be a fruitless aim since spammers seem entirely immune to such attempts. I AM committed to working with others to keep the means for stopping the junk reaching our in-boxes.

Sorry your journies were a pain.

Andrew

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Betsy, I appreciate your thoughts but I also disagree. Non of us would be here bothering with this if we didn't have a personal contempt for spammers and a wish to do them harm, or so I presume.

You presume incorrectly. I report to SpamCop to add the the blacklist to help keep the spam out of my (and other peoples) inbox.

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Betsy, I appreciate your thoughts but I also disagree. Non of us would be here bothering with this if we didn't have a personal contempt for spammers and a wish to do them harm, or so I presume.
Although I have seen many comments about what should be the fate of spammers (boiling in oil, cutting off their fingers and other body parts) and, in fact, there have been attempts to really harass their websites by making so many connections that they are rendered useless, most people IMHO would rather pass a law and see them in jail. The old timers on the internet and some newcomers also are more concerned with the 'freedom' of the internet. The internet is run entirely on netiquette still. Spammers are the kind of people who push in line and, was it in this topic?, litter and other rude things. Offline, things can get nasty trying to 'force' them to be polite. Online, one needs only to follow Miss Manners and give them the 'cut direct' - IOW ignore them. It doesn't matter what websites they put up. No one has to go there except those who want to and those who created the internet did so in order that anyone could share their ideas with others. That's why there are websites that tell you how to commit suicide and no one takes them down. I have never seen one. I have several Catholic websites in my bookmarks. There are plenty of people who ban those sites as being as immoral as how to commit suicide.

OTOH, if everyone was polite and simply blocked those IP addresses that permit spam to be sent, then no one would see or respond to spam - except those who choose to. Of course, most of us do not run mail servers so we need to choose to use a responsible ISP who has the same principles - in fact, I pay more for connectivity because my ISP does tell customers and shut them down if their computers are infected by a botnet instead of using Comcast.

Otherwise we can just be like all the others who don't bother to do anything and rely on their SP to filter for them, and Spamcop would have no purpose.
The purpose of spamcop has evolved into maintaining a blocklist of IP addresses from which spam is currently spewing. Sending the reports still has a value because mistakes do happen and those reports act as an early warning signal to server admins. Sending reports to spamvertized websites has become totally useless because of a number of reasons. The reason spamcop still does process them is that some server admins use spamvertized websites as part of their filtering and the sites that spamcop does find help to keep a current blocklist (that spamcop does not publish nor administer).

The benefits of spamcop are for all the people who use the scbl as part of filtering - maybe even including your ISP.

Specifically you say "No legitimate merchant would spam or even if they were clueless, no reputable webhost or ISP would allow them to."

Surely you can't be serious? What "legitimate" merchants do is set up independent commission agents to bring them leads, then claim no connection when the agents are spammers, but they will pay them up to that point. Not all spam is viagra or Acai. Much of it is "seen on Opra", for real.

I once saw an infomercial for a get rich scheme run by a man named Sheets. It is as close to a scam as you can be within the law. Since I don't look at spam, I don't know what they are selling besides viagra, rolex watches, and lottery tickets. But I don't consider Sheets a legitimate merchant even though he advertised on TV. You can also watch porn on late night TV and as far as I am concerned, porn merchants are just as legitimate as Sheets. As long as neither one sends me unsolicited email, they can have as many websites as they want. Server admins are still arguing with marketing departments about what constitutes a confirmed subscription mailing list and sometimes the server admins lose. I had an incident not too long ago where a respectable company selling a real service started emailing all their contacts within a large organization - not just the organization's contact who signed the agreement. It all happened within hours. First came the spam (unsolicited commercial email), then came an announcement from the organization that this had been done without their permission and that we could unsubscribe. Instead of unsubscribing, I sent an email to the 'spammer' saying that I never unsubscribed from anything I had not subscribed to, but that I wasn't interested. Next came an abject apology from the 'spammer' saying that they unsubscribed everyone from the list.

As to ISP's, Comcast and Google are legitimate are they not? Yet they allow spammers to set up web sites without control of any sort, and only when enough complaints come in do they act, reluctantly.
I don't know, but I believe that both Comcast and Google are very responsive when it comes to stopping spam from their email servers. And, they do have TOS and AUP that disallow advertising by spam. Both are big enough that lawyers see deep pockets and so their legal department probably insists on a checklist of evidence before they can act (one of the reasons why sending munged reports is not a good idea - lawyers won't accept that as evidence).

We all pay for this eventually.
Yes, and the reason that we do is because we, as consumers, do not demand that all our suspect email is blocked at the server level. The main reason that server admins do not block more at the server level is because customers demand that all their legitimate email be delivered rather than telling their Aunt Minnie that she is using an ISP that is allowing spam and that Aunt Minnie should get it fixed on her end. Merchants also are afraid of losing a sale.

Those who go after websites are correct that if the spammer didn't make any sales, there wouldn't be any spam. However, the same is true that if no one ever got a spam, the spammer wouldn't get any sales from spam.

Miss Betsy

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Although I have seen many comments about what should be the fate of spammers (boiling in oil, cutting off their fingers and other body parts)

I too have always been amused by this approach to spammers. I get this image of a New Jersey type with no neck holding his son off the ground by his lapels, "If you don't talk nice to your Mother, I'm goin' a pound you!"

Surely you can't be serious? What "legitimate" merchants do is set up independent commission agents to bring them leads, then claim no connection when the agents are spammers, but they will pay them up to that point. Not all spam is viagra or Acai. Much of it is "seen on Opra", for real.

I think you need to read the Spammer Rules.

  • Rule #1; Spammers lie
  • Moore's Corollary to Rule #2; Spammer's lies are seldom questioned by mainstream media.

I don't watch Opra so I have no idea what she may sell or endorse. But just because "O" talks about her watch, doesn't mean the spammer is selling real bling. Just because the pill is blue and has the correct shape doesn't mean it was made by Phizer.

My favorite example is from several years ago. Included in the spam was an "as seen in the New York Times" link. I followed the link and found an article about the product and "this seller." In the beginning they talked about the product. Near the middle of the article what a rip off the offer was.

So I guess I disagree with your implication about legitimate merchants and spam.

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After my post above I just had to add the following spam subject.

Subject: Acai Berry #1 WeightL0SS Superfood in the world, $5.99 for 1 bottle Trial, featured on Oprah, The Today Show, The CBS Early Show, in the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times

May be, as you suggest, the spammer that has your goat is a legitimate merchant of this great product who just has a bad marketing plan. <g>

edited to add a URL

Edited by Lking

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:o
...Subject: Acai Berry #1 WeightL0SS Superfood in the world, $5.99 for 1 bottle Trial, featured on Oprah, The Today Show, The CBS Early Show, in the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times ...
Darn, I'm still using that green pond-slime s p i r u l i n a stuff that was all the go some years back ("the richest whole food source found in nature, nature's superfood -as used by the mighty Aztec empire, the perfect aid to help meet your weight loss goals."). I miss my informative spam, clearly falling behind the curve ... but then you never saw a fat Aztec.

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... but then you never saw a fat Aztec.
What more proof do you need?

OTOH maybe I've never seen a fat Aztec because it does take more stone to carve fat ones.

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...OTOH maybe I've never seen a fat Aztec because it does take more stone to carve fat ones.
The Olmecs/Olmeca on the other hand ...

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An article about acai is on oprah.com, but it doesn't mention any product. So I am thinking that all those claims are similar to the one quoted by someone that said when you read the article in the NY Times, it said that the product was not very good or, in this case, that a Dr. on Oprah discussed the benefits of acai, not advertised the product.

I hope that elind has recovered from that grueling road trip - certainly enough to put one in a mood to wish harm to a lot of things!

Basically, I think I am saying that when you have road trips of that kind, don't worry about reporting the spamvertized sites, the source works just as well at interrupting the spammer's plans. But if you want to protect the gullible, when you have time, explore other ways to report the spamvertized sites. You don't use a hammer when a screwdriver is needed, though both hammers and screwdrivers are useful.

Miss Betsy

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I generally pass most of my URL-linked spam to KnujOn. I have them as a "standard report recipient" within SpamCop, makes it very easy. They do claim (and have probably achieved) success in putting heat on providers and (particularly) domain registrars.

Hello again. I've been busy elsewhere. I'll try that. But does that not mean that they will get mostly reports with the email source, since spamcop often doesn't get the website host?

I presume they don't mind.

Now that may reflect the difference between us...

You must be a very kind and forgiving person. The majority of spammers are criminals, not to mention vandals that cost us all indirect costs of many types, yet you don't want to cause them harm? You can stop them from getting to your inbox by just using a blind spam filter.

Why bother with the extra overhead and expense (even if not large) of subscribing to spamcop?

My driving pain was still less than hundreds of Acai spam every day. B) But thanks for the thought.

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I think that the answer is that the spamcop report contains the entire spam and therefore, Knujon can parse it for websites.

Miss Betsy

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I generally pass most of my URL-linked spam to KnujOn. I have them as a "standard report recipient" within SpamCop, makes it very easy. They do claim (and have probably achieved) success in putting heat on providers and (particularly) domain registrars.

I just tried that and get this error from Spamcop.

Can't save "Public standard report recipients". Invalid email format: knujon[at]coldrain.net

Preferences not saved! Please go back and try again.

What am I doing wrong?

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...Can't save "Public standard report recipients". Invalid email format: knujon[at]coldrain.net

Preferences not saved! Please go back and try again.

What am I doing wrong?

I don't think it is you, elind. coldrain.net seems to have misplaced its mail exchange. Perhaps it is only temporary.

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...You haven't been keeping up with all the latest posts! :) <grin> See "Can't save 'Public standard report recipients'. Invalid email format:".
Excellent point :D - and coldrain.net SMTP service is functional - it just doesn't have an MX record as such at the momemt. I haven't come across that before.

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Hello again. I've been busy elsewhere. I'll try that. But does that not mean that they will get mostly reports with the email source, since spamcop often doesn't get the website host?
No, KnuJon will see the entire spam body, and will fish any URLs from it. I know that they do this because I have a "paid" account with them, and I can see URLs that I have reported showing up in my "queue" there.

You must be a very kind and forgiving person. The majority of spammers are criminals, not to mention vandals that cost us all indirect costs of many types, yet you don't want to cause them harm? You can stop them from getting to your inbox by just using a blind spam filter. Why bother with the extra overhead and expense (even if not large) of subscribing to spamcop?
I have a lot of trouble with the phrase "do harm to spammers." I would like to stop spam being sent, if I can, and in any case I would like to stop it being delivered to me. Beyond this, I cannot generate a lot of enthusiasm for seeking revenge or inflicting harm. It is precisely because these people are criminals that I do not wish to get into a tit-for-tat with them. They probably have better resources for protection and retaliation than I do.

Reporting spam via SpamCop feeds the SCBL, which helps keep spam out of millions of people's inboxes every day. Surely you do not suggest that this is pointless or idle activity, do you?

-- rick

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...You haven't been keeping up with all the latest posts! :) <grin> See "Can't save 'Public standard report recipients'. Invalid email format:".

You are right, and it's not the first time I've been told that. So much to read so much to learn.........

That though is the weirdest workaround I've seen in a long time. Somebody has some wacky logic in there.

Reporting spam via SpamCop feeds the SCBL, which helps keep spam out of millions of people's inboxes every day. Surely you do not suggest that this is pointless or idle activity, do you?

I wouldn't be here if I thought it was pointless, and as far as do harm goes, that is what I am doing here and the more the better. Ideally including jail and serious economic costs.

However this phrase makes me think of what would seem to be the most harm to them, being cutting off their credit card accounts. Since the ones who actually do sell something need such accounts, does anyone know if there has ever been an effort to involve the credit card companies, most of the big ones are American after all?

Yes, I know, legalities are involved, but solvable.

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I added the report address to Knujon (with workaround) but in the first report that I did manually to check I noticed that the reporting address to them needed to manually checked to be sent.

Does that mean that the automatic reports will not be sent unless done manually?

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However this phrase makes me think of what would seem to be the most harm to them, being cutting off their credit card accounts. Since the ones who actually do sell something need such accounts, does anyone know if there has ever been an effort to involve the credit card companies, most of the big ones are American after all?
Aha, "cherchez l'argent," or as Deep Throat said, "Look for the Money." This would be a standard criminal-investigation technique. If the cops can link someone to criminal dealings via a money chain, this is good evidence for a criminal indictment.

On the other hand, getting banks to "fire" their customers for social misbehavior or even crime -- without associated law-enforcement influence -- might be a tall order. This is complicated by the allegation that at least one of the larger spam gangs did (or maybe still does) run its own merchant bank, used to process credit card payments for porn, gambling, etc.

Off the top of my head, I don't know if this sort of thing has been pursued by the FBI, etc. (but they don't talk to me anyway).

-- rick

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The FBI and police is fine, but I was under the impression that sending spam was illegal. Is that not good enough and would not facilitating spammers be conspiracy?

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The FBI and police is fine, but I was under the impression that sending spam was illegal. Is that not good enough and would not facilitating spammers be conspiracy?
Actually, sending spam is NOT illegal in every case (for example, CANSPAM does not prohibit unsolicited bulk mail so long as the mailer jumps through certain easy hoops).

Based on my readings, criminal prosecutions of spammers seem to work out better if the prosecutor ties in other clearly illegal matters -- wire fraud, drug-dealing, child porn, etc. If they try to indict someone merely for sending a billion e-mails to strangers, they have a much tougher time (viz. Jeremy Jaymes).

IANAL, but I'm guessing that just showing that a bank holds money or process payments for a spammer is not sufficient to prove conspiracy, unless it can be shown that the bank knew about the criminal activity (i.e., the banking version of a "pink contract"). Otherwise, we then oblige the bank to protect itself by running background checks on all its customers before it agrees to work for them (or even after it decides to work for them).

-- rick

(getting quite Libertarian in middle age, I fear)

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Yes, from what I understand of it, Can spam illustrates the incompetence of our legislators quite well; but there are examples of prosecution, few as they may be.

However, as far as Credit Card companies go, you don''t have to look far to find that they can choose their customers by any criteria that they want, and set whatever terms they want. To say that they could not decide that supporting spammers was wrong, is wrong.

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