LET THERE BE LIGHT: To understand this story, we must return to beginning --- September 5th, 2001. One of my associates had placed a free ad in a newsletter that she had just subscribed to. For that effort, she was accused of spam! Mind you person filing complaint was not editor of newsletter, but rather a subscriber of newsletter.
The man was frustrated because he was having difficulty getting unsubscribed from newsletter, so he filed a complaint against everyone who was listed in body of message, rather than just list owner. It was his frustration, anger and ignorance that fueled this nasty little affair.
My friend lives in a very small town in Canada that has only one ISP. The Upline Provider for local ISP was demanding her account to be turned off permanently because of this accusation which was later dropped. The local ISP stood their ground on behalf of their customer --- my friend --- though this action could have seriously hampered their ability to provide their customers with Internet access.
Even in dropping his claim against my friend, person who filed complaint insisted that my friend was somehow still responsible for his inability to unsubscribe from newsletter in question!
The person who filed this complaint was using a system designed by programmer Julian Haight to combat spam email called SpamCops.net.
INTO THE PIT: In my original copy written September 10th, I had compared tactics of few diehard SpamCop anti-spammers to tactics of a terrorist.
In wake of September 11th, it did not seem appropriate to refer to SpamCop fanatics as terrorists. However closely tactics used by SpamCop fanatics coincides with tactics used by al-Qaida terrorist network led by Osama bin Laden, SpamCop does not resort to murder.
Due to SpamCop.net's unwillingness to provide a real person contact for resolution of complaints, I was forced to turn to their discussion board to find resolution I was seeking --- a resolution, which by way, was never found.
My major complaint was that for someone to file against another simply because their email address or website appeared in someone else's ezine was improper.
Many members had knee jerk reactions to my questioning their system from within their inner sanctum. Many resorted to name calling and angry retort until a list administrator called them down. After list administrator directly addressed their inappropriate comments, I received three open apologies from members of group.
PUBLISHERS BEWARE. Over course of next few days, I watched their discussions. I was appalled to learn that many of them put email addresses in circulation just so that they can torment others with spam accusations.
As an owner of several discussion lists and newsletters, I now make it a standard policy to bar participation in my groups by someone sporting a SpamCop.net email address.
I had tried to observe their group with an open mind, as I too find spam mail to be annoying. I receive nearly 50 pieces a day from four to five people, who send me same ads day after day. What is really annoying is they send spam to my autoresponders with a fake address, so I get another 50 messages a day telling me that I used an invalid email address in my autoresponder message. All have spidered my website to get email addresses.
A SPAMCOP SPEAKS. In all fairness, I was leaning towards a semi-favorable opinion of SpamCop program until "Jerry" lashed out.
In his message, Jerry told me things which will just make you want to explode in frustration.
He said of innocent who get caught in cross-fire of spam wars: "They should stay home."
He went on to say, "it is far better for thousands of innocents to burn in Hell than one spammer prevail."
And, "Truth, Justice, and American Way - or lack thereof - is irrelevant. Spammers must believe there are no loopholes, no gray areas, that righteous will be sacrificed (in vast numbers if need be) in order to expunge evildoers."