Ending Email spam
Last Updated February 16, 2005
Note that many of these links are out of date and much of this material is in
need of updating.
- California passes two new anti-spam laws!
California Governor Pete Wilson signed into law two anti-spam bills.
requires that the spammer put "ADV:" in the subject line, or in the case of
porn spam, "ADV:ADLT.". Violators can be prosecuted for up to $500 per email
message or 6 months in jail. AB 1629
will allow any email provider to sue for damages for any losses caused by
network clogs or crashes. Providers can sue for $50 per unauthorized message,
up to $25,000 per day, or for actual damages, whichever is greater. Note that although California and several other states have passed powerful anti-spam laws the new federal Can-Spam law preempts them and basically legalizes spam in many instances.
AB 1629 also makes spoofing a crime. Sending UBE "knowingly and without permission
using the Internet domain name of another individual, corporation, or
entity" is covered.
AB 1676 will make it much easier to filter spam if the spammer's follow it.
Enforcing 1676 is another story, since California authorities are much more
interested in prosecuting people smoking pot. AB 1629 leaves prosecution
up to ISPs.
Both laws go into effect on January 1, 1999.
- It has been reported that the California AG responds to complaints about
spammers. If you are being hit with spam from Worldtouch, you can contact
the CA Attorney General
- Washington State Anti-Spammer collects from a spammer!
With the introduction of anti-spam legislation in the state of Washington, residents of that state who
clearly indicate that they are Washington residents can collect $500 per spam. I wish I lived in WA, then
I could "get rich quick" by sueing spammers.
- Here is what the FTC
has to say about the usual spam you receive.
- It looks like Sanford Wallace has done a 180. He has recently been hit by
a clue by eight and has learned the error of his ways. He has dropped GTML and
says he will even support the Smith bill (HR1742). He has
also brought a couple of spam sources to light. Update: Sandord Wallace is
still the same old scumbag he was before and has since been sued for similar
Here's a list of government addresses you can send complaints to:
email@example.com [MLM, phone card]
firstname.lastname@example.org [especially forgeries]
email@example.com [chains, mail money]
firstname.lastname@example.org [gen. fraud]
email@example.com [whenever other mailboxes are full]
firstname.lastname@example.org [medical scams]
email@example.com [claims of great earnings]
firstname.lastname@example.org [investment/stock scams]
email@example.com [spam originating in Hong Kong]
Don't send complaints to addresses that cannot do anything about
the spam. I.e. only send porn complaints only to firstname.lastname@example.org and
not the entire list.
Most Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have complaint addresses for spam
originating from their networks or for web sites hosted on their networks.
Usually they can be contacted at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. A good
service is abuse.net. Once you are a member
of abuse.net, you can just forward the spam with the headers and any
notes to email@example.com and abuse.net will attempt to forward it to
the appropriate email address to deal with the spam.
- Always check the headers and use tools like whois
and traceroute (tracerte in OS/2, tracert in NT 4.0) to verify that the spam isn't designed to
attack someone else. Sometimes people forge the reply to and from fields in
the email to point to some poor innocent bystander (often their former ISP who
kicked them off for their behavior).
- If you forward the spam to an ISP or anyone else to investigate it make sure
you send the full headers in the email message, not just the to, from, and subject
lines as the headers usually tell the real story about who sent it and who was involved.
- To check the headers, look at the Received from fields. These will show you the
route the email took, usually identifying the culprit's ISP or system. Note that sometimes
these are forged, and sometimes a site used to relay or forward mail doesn't bother
to verify the sending system.
- Often I have been successful in getting people kicked off of their ISPs by
tracking down their ISP and sending email to postmaster or abuse at their ISP.
Sometimes I've received responses after emailing people listed in the whois
information or their ISP (from traceroute and whois). I would guess I've kicked
around 20 spammers off the net. I don't keep count anymore.
SPAM is a registered trademark of Hormel Foods Corporation.