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Blog/Comment spam « Previous | |Next »
October 27, 2003

In the last week or so I've started getting more than the usual e-mail spam . It is now spammer intrusions into the comment box at public opinion. This spam consists of links to other sites. I have been removing the advertisements individually, but it is time consuming. I dread the day when there is a flood of this stuff.

The BBC comments on this new form of spamming here. Link courtesy of Blog Herald.

Some more comments on comment spam can be found at Blog Herald

Spam----the sending of Unsolicited Bulk Email---raises the issue of how do we manage the electronic commons to control the spam gangs. A large number of libertarians think that things are fine, since the Internet governs itself in a self-regulatory maner. Thus Telstra's recent problems---clogged up and delayed emails--- were Telstras, not the Internet's. They were not investing in infrastructure. But spam is different. These polluters bear little or no share of the costs they inflict.

Update 1
It is difficult to regulate spam because the internet's decentralised architecture means that there is no central institution to coordinate activities. As Henry Ergas argues in todays Australian Financial Review (subscription required, p. 71) most of the network control is sourced with the user terminal. Governance of the Internet now becomes a problem since the lack of hierarchy makes it difficult to prevent the spam polluters, and to ensure a major shift in Internet protocol amongst ISP's.
Update 2
I see that the US Senate has just past a bill to regulate unsolicited commercial email, thereby moving the US a step closer to the first federal law regulating unwanted junk email. The House of Representative has yet to pass a similar bill.

What a good idea. Some form of governance to control free riding polluters is needed. I just had to eliminate more comment spam. According to Spamhaus spam now accounts for the majority (60%) of all Internet traffic. Spam should be seen as a crime.

Regulation could be counterbalanced by a commitment to open-source systems/software to provide some competition to Microsoft as a way to break its dominance.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 10:40 PM | | Comments (0)