Un-Due Process - Part 2

Written by Elena Fawkner

Continued from page 1

Finally, this one fromrepparttar "Abuse Response Team" at DumbHost:

"In light of this new information, I have gone ahead and re-enabled your domain. Be advised that any mass emails such as this will be considered a violation of our terms of service. You may want to take steps to ensure that services such as this are not sending out this kind of advertisement for your site.

Regards, Abuse Response Team"


"They did not send an advertisement for my site. My articles are publicly available for reprint, as are thousands of other authors'. It is usual practice for authors to give permission for reprinting providedrepparttar 132792 newsletter publisher publishesrepparttar 132793 author's resource box atrepparttar 132794 end ofrepparttar 132795 article. It's a way of generating traffic torepparttar 132796 author's website.

"The author has no control over who usesrepparttar 132797 article in this way. Is a paying advertiser in an ezine shut down ifrepparttar 132798 publisher ofrepparttar 132799 ezine sends a spam email (assuming that it was spam inrepparttar 132800 first place)? ... That policy makes no sense whatsoever."


Nothing. Zip. Nada. No apology, no nothing.

Nice going DumbHost. You must be proud.


My experience was pretty trivial inrepparttar 132801 scheme of things. I was able to get my site restored in just a couple of hours. Considerrepparttar 132802 damage that could be done to your business if that didn't happen though. What would berepparttar 132803 impact on YOUR bottom line if your site was shut down for 3 days? Or a week? Or for good?

So, what'srepparttar 132804 innocent party to do in a situation like this?

Here's one plan of action:

1. SUE irresponsible complainer for defamation. 2. SUE irresponsible spam police for defamation. 3. FIRE webhost. 4. SUE fired webhost for lost profits.


I for one am not generally in favor of government regulation when it comes torepparttar 132805 Internet. This is one area, however, in which I must say some form of governmental control should be taken. Where else but online can you have a situation where it's commonplace for someone to take punitive action against an innocent bystander BEFORE giving them a fair hearing? Where else but online can ignorant and/or malicious individuals be allowed to cause such injury to someone else's livelihood without being called to account? Try that inrepparttar 132806 real world and you'll be answering a charge of vandalism, defamation and trespass to goods just to start.

It's high time someone took a balanced approach torepparttar 132807 issue of spam and recognized that, although spam is an undeniable problem, so too are anti-spam zealots and plain malicious types who think it's sport to trash some innocent person's business and reputation. They should be held to account forrepparttar 132808 damage they cause.

In addition, in recognition of this unfortunate fact of online life, a fact, I might add, of which webhosts are only too well aware, webhosts should also be held accountable for shutting down livelihoods based only onrepparttar 132809 prosecution's case in chief. The defense is entitled to be heard and any conviction that results from a one-sided hearing is nothing short of an abject denial of due process. The legal profession can't get away with that. Whyrepparttar 132810 hell should webhosts?


* Fictionalized names.

Elena Fawkner is editor of A Home-Based Business Online .... practical home business ideas, resources and strategies for the work-from-home entrepreneur. http://www.ahbbo.com

Un-Due Process - Part 1

Written by Elena Fawkner

Continued from page 1

The moral ofrepparttar story? If you use spam-filtering software andrepparttar 132790 complaint-generating function that comes with it, haverepparttar 132791 common decency and responsibility to stop and think about who you're adding to your hitlist. If you don't, and you get it wrong, don't be surprised to find a process- server on your doorstep.


To give SpamKiller its due, it appears to be an excellent product. There's a free 30 day download available at http://www.spamkiller.com . I downloaded it myself to see what, if any, cautions are given to users aboutrepparttar 132792 need to make sure thatrepparttar 132793 recipient ofrepparttar 132794 complaint is, in fact, responsible forrepparttar 132795 email concerned.

Well, there is such a caution but it took me a good 45 minutes to find it. The software comes with an excellent, comprehensive built-in help facility. Tucked away atrepparttar 132796 end ofrepparttar 132797 page on "Sending manual complaints" isrepparttar 132798 caution:

"Note: SpamKiller does not check thatrepparttar 132799 loaded addresses are appropriate forrepparttar 132800 selected message. Don't use a ... complaint unless you are certain that its recipients are responsible forrepparttar 132801 spam that you are complaining about."

I would respectfully suggest that this warning be displayed in a more prominent position, coupled with warnings about what can happen to those who userepparttar 132802 software in an irresponsible manner so as to ensnare innocent parties.


Now, let's take a look at WeStopSpam.net's role in all of this. In my case, "all" they did was forward a complaint they had received from our friend inrepparttar 132803 previous section to my webhost. Here's what they sent:

"From: 17846286@reports.westopspam.net To: abuse@dumbhost.com X-Loop: one Subject: [WeStopSpam (http://www.ahbbo.com) id:17846286] So-and-So Newsletter Date: Sun, 25 Feb 2001 23:14:50 -0700 (MST) X-Mailer: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 5.5; Windows 98) via http://westopspam.net/ v1.3.1 - WeStopSpam V1.3.1 - This message is brief for your comfort. ... Spamvertised website: http://www.ahbbo.com > http://www.ahbbo.com is; Tue, 27 Feb 2001 02:56:58 GMT Offending message: ..."

So, my website was reported for spamming because it was "spamvertised" - lovely butchering ofrepparttar 132804 English language, I must say. This appears to be a coined term for a website that is advertised by means of spam. This means that any paying advertiser inrepparttar 132805 ezine itself is treated as a spammer, merely because spam was used to sendrepparttar 132806 ezine.

I checked outrepparttar 132807 website ofrepparttar 132808 ezine concerned. It proclaimed that its 85,000 subscribers were all "opt-in" i.e. thatrepparttar 132809 subscribers each took some positive step to have their email address added torepparttar 132810 ezine's mailing list.

Any reputable advertiser is going to be concerned thatrepparttar 132811 recipients ofrepparttar 132812 ezine are opt-in, so this would have been of comfort torepparttar 132813 advertisers concerned in this instance.

Mind you, when I sent an email torepparttar 132814 address displayed atrepparttar 132815 publisher's site, it bounced. Maybe this person IS a spammer. I don't know. And that'srepparttar 132816 point. How are you supposed to know that if you're justrepparttar 132817 advertiser or article author?

But, as far as WeStopSpam.net is concerned, that doesn't matter. The mere fact thatrepparttar 132818 advertiser's opportunity was advertised inrepparttar 132819 allegedly spam email is sufficient to makerepparttar 132820 advertiser a legitimate target. In my case, I didn't even advertise! The publisher ofrepparttar 132821 ezine ran my article. How many of you out there make your articles freely available for reprint?

WeStopSpam.net would presumably have you restrictrepparttar 132822 reprint rights to your articles to only those publishers who you know for a FACT are sending to a 100% guaranteed opt-in list. How do you do that? Quite simply, you can't. To expect any such thing is just unreal and smacks of an appalling lack of understanding about howrepparttar 132823 online world works.

A reasonable compromise would be if reprint rights were granted to publishers who send their ezine to an opt-in list. I would have no objection to that. Of course, that wouldn't help you with WeStopSpam.org because their policy is to shoot first and ask questions later ... but wait, on second thought, they don't even ask questions later. They just shoot.

You don't get a "please explain" or anything else. You're convicted first and then it's up to you to prove that you're innocent. Of course, by then,repparttar 132824 damage is done. But WeStopSpam.org doesn't care. I'm sure they see it as just a casualty of war.

Elena Fawkner is editor of A Home-Based Business Online .... practical home business ideas, resources and strategies for the work-from-home entrepreneur. http://www.ahbbo.com

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