On three days from April 30 through Friday, May 2, 2003, FTC (Federal Trade Commission) held a "Spam Forum" in Washington, D.C.
According to FTC website, purpose of this forum was "to address proliferation of unsolicited commercial e-mail and to explore technical, legal, and financial issues associated with it."
While FTC and other government entities try to figure out how they can legally address Spam issue, they are doing so without consulting with those of us who run small businesses online. Of 97 people who spoke at forum, majority was technicians and lawyers who represent ISP's and Anti-Spam companies. A few of people even represented large bulk email companies.
Forum participants could not even agree on a proper definition of "spam" --- yet they propose that they are best qualified to help write laws that will eliminate spam?
My question is this, who represented small business owner and small publishers at FTC spam forum? No one really. It was not because small business segment did not have representatives willing to speak on their behalf. In fact, both I-Cop.org and OMPUAC.org --- both of whom represent small online businesses --- had petitioned to have their representatives speak at forum, but both were turned down.
You can read list of people who DID speak at FTC "Spam Forum" at:
Should you honestly believe anti-spam profiteers had your interests in mind when they had opportunity to speak to FTC?
Here are some of anti-spam profiteers who found representation at FTC "Spam Forum":
· Mail Abuse Prevention System (MAPS) · SpamCon Foundation · SpamCop · The Spamhaus Project · Habeas
Even in hallowed lists of anti-spam zealots, profiteers aren't taken very seriously sometimes. When addressing Anne P. Mitchell, Esq., CEO of Habeas, Inc., a member of SPAM-L list suggested:
"What makes you think that 'we' trust Habeas any more than any other organisation whose business model depends on spam continuing to exist in order to stay in business."
William Waggoner, founder of AAW Marketing LLC in Las Vegas, Nevada, did actually support my own point of view. He suggested at "Spam Forum" that technology techniques like spam filtering hurts even legitimate email marketers!
You know whom Mr. Waggoner was talking about. He was talking about those e-mail marketers who have actually acquired permission from email recipient to send them commercial email.
When someone in forum audience laughed at his comment, Waggoner fired back, "You think that's funny?"
So why did they laugh? This gets to heart of why FTC Spam Forum was bad news for legitimate email marketer. Many anti-spam zealots do not believe that there is such a thing as "legitimate commercial email!"
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