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Spam The Almighty Buck

FTC Recommends Bounty on Spammers 371

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the pay-to-play dept.
joke-boy writes "AP reports that as part of the CANSPAM legislation, the FTC has issued a report recommending placing taxpayer-funded 6-figure bounties on spammers, much like the bounties placed on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted."
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FTC Recommends Bounty on Spammers

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  • by po_boy (69692) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @09:31PM (#10273573) Homepage
    I think that they determined that it would take $100,000 - $250,000 for people to turn in people that they knew were spamming, but according to the article: The FTC, in a report requested by Congress, did not take a position on whether such a system was a good idea. To me, that sounds like the refrained from recommending it.

    I guess it's up to us to convince them that it's a good idea.

    Note: they recommend that this money come from taxpayers, but in an effort to try to cut down on that, can I suggest we find another source of it? Perhaps we need to not only look to civil penalties from the spammers, but also from the ISPs who behave negligently toward spammers.
  • by Veridium (752431) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @09:34PM (#10273602) Homepage
    I know how you feel... But now these [dogthebountyhunter.com] types of people will be looking for spammers.

    Kinda funny and strangely satisfying at the same time.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 16, 2004 @09:57PM (#10273742)
    Normally, you're right. However, there is a small detail you're over looking. Professional Bounty Hunters, aren't choosing between that job and Swiss patent clerk. It's pretty much bounty hunter or prisoner. In the case of Duane, both. You might recognize him as the bounty hunter who recently kidnapped a guy (who deserved it) from Mexico. He is world famous.... And he's not one of the bounty hunters who are as likely to get the address wrong, break into the wrong house and kill the occupants. World's greatest I don't know, but certainly there are worse.
  • Re:Oh yea.... (Score:2, Informative)

    by christopherfinke (608750) <chris@efinke.com> on Thursday September 16, 2004 @10:22PM (#10273890) Homepage Journal
    It's actually not a scam; it's a new type of marketing. Rather than spending money on ads to try and get people to sign up for offers, the sponsors spend the money on iPods (or whatever) as gifts to people who bring a certain amount of eyes to their product. You can read what Wired said about it here: http://www.wired.com/news/mac/0,2125,64614,00.html [wired.com] Oh, and feel free to sign up using my link :-)
  • by dthree (458263) <<chaoslite> <at> <hotmail.com>> on Thursday September 16, 2004 @11:24PM (#10274187) Homepage
    Worst spammers are big business? Hardly. Ask anyone if thier email is full of unsolicited GE and Chevy ads.

    Everyone I ask says no, its all pr0n, mortgages, male enhancement and bootleg software offers.
  • by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Thursday September 16, 2004 @11:44PM (#10274268) Homepage Journal
    At first I thought, "why waste the time when we have things like Eliza to do it for you?"

    Then I thought, "that's too funny, somebody must've done it already," and, yeah, here's the perl script [perlmonks.org].

    You can't use a computer script to generate responses, because they can easily be filtered out just like you filter 99% of spam. You'll maybe spend 30 minutes a day to respond to 60 spams.

    I suspect if you built up the vocabulary well enough, and, more importantly, use the content of the message with a word rank algorithm and then do some thesaurus lookups and stemming, maybe using WordNet you'd have something that would be at least as unique as what any given subset of 10000 people would come up with.

    I'm intrigued because I have a good enough ruleset now that any SpamAssassin score over 10 goes to /dev/null and I haven't seen any false positives in the past six months. I get plenty of false negatives but the hits are ready to feed to a script, and I'm too lazy to respond to them myself.
  • by humankind (704050) on Friday September 17, 2004 @12:11AM (#10274345) Journal
    Almost all spam comes from the states.. originally... they may proxy through foreign systems, but it doesn't take much effort to track down the true source of the spammers. IP spoofing doesn't work in these cases... you can track down the spammers. The problem is law enforcement authorities don't do their jobs. We don't need bounties. We need attorney generals that will enforce the laws.

    Which really amazes me. Given that AGs are notorious publicity whores, someone, somewhere will finally get off their ass and put a spammer in jail and they will become a tremendous hero. This shows how un-technically-savvy most AGs are.
  • by nwbvt (768631) on Friday September 17, 2004 @12:12AM (#10274348)
    RTFA. The finding of the report was that penalizing the spammers would not provide enough to finance a bounty system.
  • by hkmwbz (531650) on Friday September 17, 2004 @04:05AM (#10274996) Journal
    I don't know if this free iPods thing really is a scam, but what I do know is that after signing up with a throwaway e-mail address, it has been overrun by spam. These spam mails claim that I have bought something and forgot to pick it up, that the lottery prize I claimed hasn't been picked up, and so on.

    Scam? Spam? Spam for sure, and the dubious claims in the spam must be a scam. And the free iPods site brought me all of this.

    Thanks, but no thanks.

  • by hackstraw (262471) * on Friday September 17, 2004 @08:50AM (#10275960)
    Why make the taxpayers pay for cleaning up the internet of spam?

    Apparently you don't know how much (assuming your from the US) we spend on incarcerating people here in the US. Its on order of $40,000 a year for your basic inmate, and we have the highest (AFAIK) percentage of our population in jail/prison than any other country.

    I would gladly pay out of my pocket (not $100,00 I don't have that :) to get a spammer off of the 'net.

    BTW, please call 1-800-884-9510 and say "you people suck". More info can be found at my previous post here [slashdot.org].

"Why can't we ever attempt to solve a problem in this country without having a 'War' on it?" -- Rich Thomson, talk.politics.misc

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