Alright, someone needs to do something about this spam problem. Over the last 3 days I had to clean spam from the OpenNETCF Wiki several times, delete two spam comments from this blog, and on one email account I had 198 emails, 177 of which (89%) were spam. Sure SpamBayes caught 95% of those (168 to be exact), but the point is that it ate network bandwidth and server storage space all the way until my PC, where it finally landed in a “to be deleted” box.
Anti-spammer laws have no teeth, and if they did, enforcement is near impossible since they are often not in the US. Trying to get a “global” law passes would be a bureaucratic nightmare and I think would still be unenforceble. You want to solve the spam problem? To me it seems rather simple – put the onus on the ISPs to solve it. Imagine if you said “ok ISPs, we’re enacting a new law. For every piece of spam you forward to the recipient, we’re fining you $1. You have 6 months grace period starting now.” That would sure as hell get the wheels of ingenuity rolling to solve it. Put the enforcement in an area where you have jurisdiction.
Sure, signing all email would be ideal, but until they make it simple enough that my grandmother can do it, it won’t succeed. I’d think validating the sender’s email address would be a damned good start for filtering. If the sender’s email is invalid, the email is obvious spam and it gets dropped at the ISP relay. Sure, that leaves open email spoofing, but look at any block of spam you get and I’d bet a vast majority has completely invalid sender addresses. Something has to be done. The cost in lost productivity and wasted network resources has got to be phenominal.