In film, "Cool Hand Luke," vicious, sadistic prison warden was fond of saying, "What we have here is a failure to communicate." In end, prisoner Paul Newman came to "understand" true meaning of this comment.
A while back, a friend of mine copied a message to me that had been sent to a list of SpamCops and others. I was object of exercise to come. The subject line was, "We have another list owner here that [sic] needs to be educated."
Not much difference in two statements, actually, for "educated" in this context means "business destroyed."
The Source Of This "Complaint"
I had distributed a brief article advising against requiring confirmation of subscription requests. In it, I described results of two attempts at using them. In first trial, 40% of new subscribers did not confirm. In second, a longer trial, 37% failed to confirm.
I can't be certain this article triggered action, for I was never informed. But it was appended to message received as mentioned above. It appears I was added to "get-him" list because I recommend against requesting confirmation.
Radicalism Is Rising In Popularity
Sure, we've had some bad times in this country. When Senator Joe McCarthy got you up to stand, you were guilty before you sat down. Since early 80s, there has been an awesome increase in small, organized, targeted extremist groups which cram their views right down your throat.
Never mind they ignore your rights in doing so. Never mind you may be seriously hurt, even destroyed, by their unilateral actions. Never mind they make judgement of your guilt in a manner you can not contest. You are guilty. Period.
In "True Believer," Eric Hoffer years back clearly pointed out dangers of such groups to democracy as we know it. His concerns have proved to be justified, as have his predictions about such groups significantly reducing individual freedom over time.
SpamCops In Perspective
To put SpamCops into this category is absurd. They are trivial. They hide behind false names, as others have done for centuries behind masks and robes. They violate very rules they claim to espouse. Compared to other forces at work in this country, SpamCops and like minded people offer only a gnat sized threat in a hawk-filled sky.
With one real exception. On a single unjustified and unsupported claim, a webmaster can find his ISP and website shut down without prior notice. And without recourse. For a small business just making it, this can amount to "straw" that brings total collapse.
Small business people are target. And SpamCops have been effective at doing vicious damage to many. The nature of vicarious thrill they get in doing so escapes me.
This is real power. And it appears to be used for its own sake. In all else, SpamCops are utter failures.
They are powerless to prevent real spam. The junk overflows our mailboxes, and we stand helpless before it. So do SpamCops. They can't shut down an ISP or a host owned by spammers. Or those they sell their lists and services to.
So they've taken a giant step and essentially redefined spam as anything received you did not request. A target-rich environment. Requests made, then forgotten, bring messages called spam.
I was pounded by SpamCops regards an article sent with my name on it. I pointed out only way to get that article was to send an email to an autoresponder address. I was ignored, of course. Their continuing innuendos and implied threats were disturbing.