[ale] OT: the Penny Black anti-spam proposal

tfreeman at intel.digichem.net tfreeman at intel.digichem.net
Sat Dec 27 12:46:17 EST 2003

After looking at other parts of this thread, I drop back here to put my 2 
cents in. As such, it isn't truely just a reply.

Many difficulties with the Internet might be addressed with a different 
payment approach. Implementing the change now is probably not feasable, 
but ...

Charge a flat fee for initiating a connection or sending udp packet in 
addition to the monthly fee for establishing a connection between you and 
your isp.

The hypothetical results?

Spammers who use their own mail servers increase thier costs up front.

Spammers who parasitize other peoples connections will see their hosts 
learn to take better precautions.

p2p music sharing networks will cost their major contributers too much to 

People who allow themselves to be hijacked into a DDOS attack will be 
charged for their poor security, providing an incentive to secure 

Would such a charge structure ever be implemented over the whole internet? 
NO. And I probably wouldn't like the situation if the charges were 
implemented on me now. Plus such a change could well knock many important 
portals off the net.

As such, the Internet as a whole is stuck with devising ways of dealing 
with criminal resource wasters (spammers and whom ever you want to add to 
the list) from the other end of the pipe. Any such approach is going to be 
inelegant and inefficient. Plus, to be even slightly effective, the 
approach needs to undercut motives (financial for spammers and con 

Burning spammers at the stake has a certain primitive charm, but still 
isn't likely to be effective. Slightly more civilized, but still 
ineffective, would be to treat the spammer with their own products until 
the products all showed effectiveness.

What is worse, next month I'll probably have to be a spammer for a day - 
to announce an award I get to chair next year (the only good part is 
giving away the money, the rest is a mild pain). The alternative to spam 
is a $600 ad (one time) and/or $600 in direct mailing expenses to announce 
this thing. I'll point out that last year the spam approach raked in 12 
solid candidates, while the last time the ad approach was used 6 years 
ago, there were 2. 

And now, for the time being, I will go back to deleting the anoying spam 
that has collected in my inbox...

On Fri, 26 Dec 2003, Ben Coleman wrote:

> Geoffrey wrote:
> > I'd rather see a $$ cost associated with this problem.  I don't know 
> > what the actual parameters would be, but for example, charge $1 for 
> > every 1000 emails.  I'd be please to pay an extra $1 a month.  If you're 
> > sending out 1,000,000 messages every week, you're going to feel the pain.
> What's that going to do to legitimate mailing lists (like ALE)? 
> Multiply the number of messages that go through ALE each day by the 
> number of subscribers and I suspect that even at $1 per 1000, its going 
> to become too costly to run.
> Ben
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