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Nondigestible Spam, How Healthy Is It ?

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I. Understanding Spam

A. Define Spam

1. Types of Spam

* Cancelable Usenet

* Email Spam

II. Rulers of the Spam world

A. Spammers

* Who are they

* Who they target

* What they want

III. Spam Rage

A. Why Spam is disliked

* Costly to user

* Production time slowed

* Hides behind other internet systems

IV. Recourse

A. Protection

* Laws

* Watchers

B. Additional Avenues

* Unsubscribe

* Report fraud

V. Conclusion

Sources report that bulk mail from Spam account for half of the email traffic on the Net (Webb, 2004 p.2). Spam is, according to the dictionary at (2003), ?Unsolicited e-mail, often of a commercial nature, sent indiscriminately to multiple mailing lists, individuals, or newsgroups; junk e-mail?(Spam). Spam has very specific characteristics and today we will become more familiar with those qualities. We will examine Spam as it relates to email and, what recourses are available for Spam.

Spam the term originates from a comedy by the Monty Python?s Flying Circus (, 2003, p. 3). The comedy is centered on a restaurant that serves excessive amounts of spam with everything. In one scene, a group of Vikings make up a song about spam and sing it until told to be quiet. Because of this song and how the Vikings annoyed the patrons, spam is thought of as annoying and redundant. How the term was actually incorporated into cyberspace is debatable. The first incident that sparked debate about spam was in 1994 two lawyers named Canter and Siegel had a programmer to write a program posting their advertisement on all the newsgroups (, 2003, p. 3). This advertisement flooded newsgroups and caused system problems worldwide.

To define spamming requires you to look at the two different types of spam. The first is Cancellable Usenet Spam. This spam is a message that is sent to at least 20 Usenet newsgroups. It is generally designed to catch people who view newsgroup postings but rarely post or give their personal address. In addition, this type spamming makes the system administrator of the newsgroup sites ability to control what is being posted: unstable (Mueller, p. 1).

The other type of spam is called Email Spam. This particular type spam is in the center of the debate. This spam is directed at individual email addresses. Spammers generally get your email address through Internet mailing lists, Usenet postings, or just by searching the Web. Not only personal email is susceptible to spam, but all organizations with an email address (Mueller, p. 1). Regardless of who you are, spammers have got your address.

A family of people known as Spammers operates spam. Spammers are related due to a united cause not DNA. Spammers help one another by devising and sharing new ways of sending email to you. Spammers email you information that you did not ask for. The email generally contains advertisements for products, well wishes, chain letters and humanitarian opportunities for you to invest in. Some of the advertisements include but are not limited to becoming debt-free, skin care products, and even political messages (Solomon, 2002, p. 1). Not all email received is Spam. To be defined as spam, the email has to contain certain qualities.

Spammers are skillful individuals who normally ?cloak? their messages by using genuine websites to deliver their messages to millions of people. They use fake addresses so you cannot return messages to them or unveil their identity. Spammers are individuals who are marketing generally for personal endeavourers such as exposure for one of their websites or just to make a quick profit through scam (, 2003). Spammers target Usenet groups, businesses, and personal email boxes. According to an article posted on, spammers are ?dishonest and unethical?. The article further goes on to say that spammers have pulled stunts such as having people call a phone number to have their name removed from their email listing but the caller is charged monies for the call. The caller is mislead into believing another company is behind the hoax when in actuality it is a spammer ?cloaking? himself behind that company. This type of behavior makes spammers ethics debatable. Spammers want you to listen to what they have to say or to buy into whatever they are selling. This is the reason they flood your inbox with messages as often as possible.

Today?s society does not want to sift through tons of messages that aren?t important. This is what makes Spam annoying. Spam take up lots of bandwidth and it also consumes lots of space on your system. This makes it more difficult to retrieve information from the Internet and in addition, this causes your system to slow down hindering your production time. This can be costly if you are at work or even if you just don?t have time to spare (Long, Long p. 358). Spamming can be costly to consumers because you waste your time opening



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