Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Michigan Enforces Do-Not-Email Registry Law 133

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the think-of-the-children dept.
elanghe writes "The Michigan Attorney General filed suit against two companies sending adult-oriented email messages to the state's children, in violation of the Michigan Children's Protection Registry. A similar law in Utah is being challenged by the porn industry. While the FTC, influenced by the Direct Marketing Association, rejected the idea of a do-not-email registry, have these two states proven anti-spam laws like these — unlike CAN-SPAM — really have teeth?"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Michigan Enforces Do-Not-Email Registry Law

Comments Filter:
  • The Love of Money (Score:3, Insightful)

    by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn@nOsPam.gmail.com> on Friday August 11, 2006 @08:49AM (#15888637) Journal
    A similar law in Utah is being challenged by the porn industry.
    What's there to challenge? A state makes a perfectly reasonable law that requires you to check an e-mail against a database of registered users who don't want that mail. Take some porn and go to your downtown local metropolis. Now hand out those pornographic pictures to everyone, young and old alike. See how long you can do that until you're arrested. Nobody challenges those laws, why the hell would anybody be able to challenge laws against people who randomly distribute lewd messages online? The least they can do is check if the person has registered not to receive them. Ohhh, that's right. Silly me, porn is a $10 billion dollar industry. They'll just throw money and lawyers at that problem to fix it.

    While the FTC, influenced by the Direct Marketing Association, rejected the idea of a do-not-email registry...
    Yeah, influenced by a marketing association? Well, if you delve into this deeper, you'll find articles [washingtonpost.com] quoting FTC chairman Timothy J. Muris who offered these sage words of wisdom:
    More dangerous, he said, was the possibility that spammers might get hold of the list, which would provide them with a gold mine of valid e-mail addresses that would be used for more spam.

    "Consumers will be spammed if we do a registry and spammed if we don't," said Muris, who has long opposed the idea.
    I'm sure that if you start hitting these companies with $10,000 fines per violation that they would pay attention to the list. And if they stole it, it's all the more fines.

    Muris does raise a good point that should be taken into consideration:
    Instead of starting a registry, Muris said, the FTC would first push the private sector to agree on a method for electronically authenticating senders of e-mail, which would cut down on spammers' ability to hide their identities and locations. Muris said such authentication is a necessary precursor to any no-spam registry.
    I'm not sure how feasible that idea is, however. I would recommend just hitting the company that owns the last server to forward the e-mail. If they can't provide/prove another source from which the e-mail came, hit them with the $10,000 fine. I would wager that companies would be awful quick to clamp down their SMTP servers and keep records of where everything came from. Not only would this increase a company's security but it would reduce much of the spam you see that has a legitimate address from a careless company.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 11, 2006 @08:55AM (#15888683)
      Take some porn and go to your downtown local metropolis. Now hand out those pornographic pictures to everyone, young and old alike. See how long you can do that until you're arrested.

      Point well taken, but have you been to Las Vegas lately :).
      • Re:The Love of Money (Score:4, Informative)

        by castoridae (453809) on Friday August 11, 2006 @09:41AM (#15888980)
        Yeah - but in Vegas, notice how they have to stand in those little slices of land between the casino properties - city-owned land - because casino security won't let them distribute it on their private property which extends all the way to the street.

        Funny how that works; the CASINOS of all entities are the ones enforcing "decency." :-)
        • by Tim C (15259)
          Funny how that works; the CASINOS of all entities are the ones enforcing "decency." :-)

          They're enforcing not having people potentially harrassing paying customers and possibly scaring them off; I don't suppose morality comes into it for a second.
      • Yeah, I'm walking down the Strip, holding my daughter's hand, my wife is next to me holding my other daughter's hand. This idiot tries to shove an escort service flyer at me.

        I mean, what are these idiots thinking?
      • Plus, I've walked down the strip at legal age, but with a group of highschoolers - they don't even approach anyone who looks under 21.
    • by giorgiofr (887762) on Friday August 11, 2006 @08:57AM (#15888705)
      I'm sure that if you start hitting these companies with $10,000 fines per violation that they would pay attention to the list.

      Good luck fining and/or shutting down a fly-by-night company registered in Vanuatu using an anonimous credit card founded via E-Gold.
      Unless you barricade yourself behind a US-only barrier of SMTP servers, required by law to apply certain filtering criteria to email *or else* (China, anyone?), you're not going to stop them. And I think the remedy would be far worse than the illness, to be frank.
      • I think the answer is better spam filters. My mother uses her Verizon e-mail account extensively and barely touches her Gmail account. The Verizon.net account is getting hit hard by spam now, but my Gmail account is almost entirely clean of spam entering the inbox. I salute the Great State of Michigan for its initiative, but most e-mail providers can do a much better job of stopping spam that has already been sent. A few years ago, people were proclaiming the end of the communicative medium as spam beca
        • Re:The Love of Money (Score:2, Informative)

          by norman619 (947520)
          I suggest you try using your Gmail account when registering for different forums and such. You will find after doign this on a few sites you will start to get hammered. No spam filter can get rid of the majority of spam. That's a pipe dream. Only way to get rid of spam on your system is to set your email app to only allow email form your contact/address list to get through. If they are not on either list they get tossed into the trash. I have 2 domains. Both email addresses listed in the whois info a
          • Re:The Love of Money (Score:2, Informative)

            by Kaikopere (892344) *
            I use a special junk account when applying for membership to different sites.

            For sites that need a "real" e-mail address to get in touch with me, I use http://sneakemail.com/ [sneakemail.com] Everyone gets a unique address, so when the spam hits, I know where the spammer found the address. If someone starts abusing the privilege of being able to communicate with me electronically, I shut off the e-mail address, as one of my credit card companies discovered recently. All in all a very useful service for those of us that a

          • and every website I register at get's it address to the left of the @

            buycom@mydomain.info
            amazoncom@mydomain.info
            nytimescom@mydomain.info

            scott e vest gave me over to mortgage financier spammers
            (only one to date) I wrote them, never saw a reply.
            since blocked the address, and decided to stop shopping with them.
            if I do again, I'll make it scottevestcom2@mydomain.info
      • That scheme you just proposed would honestly take a matter of hours to find out who owns the account, most people even other countries will comply with a subpeona.

        • Oh no, you are mistaken. First of all the gov't of Vanuatu disregards any communication which doesn't become bothersome enough (1st level). If and when the gov't decides to actually read the documents they have been sent, they simply hide behind their secrecy laws (2nd level). If the case is big (as in, "plot for world domination" big, not a spammer running loose) they might force the local bank or corporation to spit out the names of the real owners - unfortunately they happen to be Ben Dover and Mike Hunt
          • Let me know when you find a spammer smart enough to do 1 of those things, let alone all of them flawlessly
            • Do not underestimate the power of the Dark Spammer! First, I am not a criminal, so if even I can come up with such a scheme, I am sure they can do better. Second, how do you think they pay for their botnets, receive payments for their sponsors, and in general run their business? I suspect that the majority of spammers (just like the majority of muggers and burglars) is made up of clueless guys who get caught at the first opportunity, yet the minority made up by smart ones is not as small as you seem to thin
      • Re:The Love of Money (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Creepy (93888)
        bravo - I was going to post something much the same.

        I think the only way enforcing a law like that would be to go after anybody in the US that is caught hiring offshore work for spam purposes. It would be hard to go after the pornographers unless they are the ones actually sending the spam because most of the time it's legal to create it where they are located. I seriously doubt that most porn mail originates in someplace like China or my spam box would be filled with Hot, Horny Asians just waiting for yo
      • Vanuatu... US have to crack on the countries who allow scum like that to exist.

        As for laws... I am pretty sure public lashing of the violators would help.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Increadibly well said. This can't even be touted as a form of censorship either. If people do want to receive such emails, they simply dont have to submit themselves into the registry. Voluntary registers like this to provide protection against spammers should be introduced world wide as soon as possible. The cleaner our e-mail traffic the better.

      • That's just it though, most spam doesn't originate in the states or Canada. I get quite a bit from south america these days. Hardly any of it is even in English!!!

        As an aside: Anyone else notice a lot of spam getting through gmail's filters lately? I routinely wake up to see 10-20 spams in my inbox. Of course I also routinely get more than 100 spams a day, but a 10% miss rate seems a bit high.

        Tom
      • They need to go after these assholes for fraud and computer crimes. They are already breaking dozens of laws to get the spam to you in the first place. Why do they need aspam law? It is just another law on the books, that is much weaker than nailing them for 2,000,000 counts of fraud, and unauthorized use of computer systems (the zombies etc). They would need a calculator to figure out the time. It would only take a couple of cases where the spammer went to prison for 10 sentances of 5 years to be serv
    • "Take some porn and go to your downtown local metropolis. Now hand out those pornographic pictures to everyone, young and old alike"

      Have you been to Las Vegas lately? That's exactly what is happening there now. These guys line the streets aggressively handing out what looks like hooker trading cards (really advertisements)
      • And the City of Las Vegas /State already has a law against that, it has been not enforced, but it is a perfectly legit law.
      • And i just collected a Miss Veluptia - she had 450 homeruns last season.

        I'm looking to complete the set, so if anyone has Foxy Downtown let me know, I'd be willing to trade.
        • by krell (896769)
          "I'm looking to complete the set, so if anyone has Foxy Downtown let me know, I'd be willing to trade."

          You need to hook up with other collectors to play the game "Gasmic: The Gathering". You'll get a lot more cards that way.
    • Re:The Love of Money (Score:4, Interesting)

      by thebdj (768618) on Friday August 11, 2006 @09:03AM (#15888744) Journal
      What's there to challenge? A state makes a perfectly reasonable law that requires you to check an e-mail against a database of registered users who don't want that mail. Take some porn and go to your downtown local metropolis. Now hand out those pornographic pictures to everyone, young and old alike. See how long you can do that until you're arrested. Nobody challenges those laws, why the hell would anybody be able to challenge laws against people who randomly distribute lewd messages online? The least they can do is check if the person has registered not to receive them. Ohhh, that's right. Silly me, porn is a $10 billion dollar industry. They'll just throw money and lawyers at that problem to fix it.
      Free speech? I do not see them slapping fines on people for unsolicited snail mail. And trust me, you can get a lot of that crap and getting addresses is really damn easy. Also, the article isn't clear about the Utah law. It could be using those nice, vague terms that make the law unenforceable and could even target e-mail that was solicited. Remember, people sometimes identify items as spam that really are not.

      I'm sure that if you start hitting these companies with $10,000 fines per violation that they would pay attention to the list. And if they stole it, it's all the more fines.
      The problem is that a lot of the real spam companies are outside the US. It is sort of hard to enforce US laws outside the US. If a spam company has no office, no location and no connection to the US, it will be hard to enforce. Also $10k per violation will be hard to uphold. If you charge that by millions of e-mails, companies will claim you are asking for unreasonable damages and the truth is you would. The damage caused per spam e-mail is minimal, and certainly not a $10k violation. This idea that the children are being hurt (the articles own words almost) is nothing more then a red herring.

      I'm not sure how feasible that idea is, however. I would recommend just hitting the company that owns the last server to forward the e-mail. If they can't provide/prove another source from which the e-mail came, hit them with the $10,000 fine. I would wager that companies would be awful quick to clamp down their SMTP servers and keep records of where everything came from. Not only would this increase a company's security but it would reduce much of the spam you see that has a legitimate address from a careless company.
      This only hurts ISPs. Watch the way an e-mail hops from router to router, point to point, on the "information super highway". Your statement almost screams, "I do not understand networks or the internet." This is unreasonable and puts blame on providers because of the actions of their users.
      • Re:The Love of Money (Score:4, Informative)

        by Silver Sloth (770927) on Friday August 11, 2006 @09:09AM (#15888785)
        Free speech? I do not see them slapping fines on people for unsolicited snail mail. And trust me, you can get a lot of that crap and getting addresses is really damn easy. Also, the article isn't clear about the Utah law. It could be using those nice, vague terms that make the law unenforceable and could even target e-mail that was solicited. Remember, people sometimes identify items as spam that really are not.
        I don't know about Utah, and IANAL, but here in the UK, you do get prosecuted for sending snailmail pr0n, there are quite stringent laws about what can, and can't be sent via snail mail for this very reason.
        • I don't know about Utah, and IANAL, but here in the UK, you do get prosecuted for sending snailmail pr0n, there are quite stringent laws about what can, and can't be sent via snail mail for this very reason.

          Any chance you could post a link to a case history here? As far as I am aware, the last attempt to prosecute under the UKs indecency laws was over Lady Chatterly's Lover and was (quite literally) laughed out of court. Now, if you'd said child pornography, it would have been been a different matter..

          • So are you saying it's legal to send unsolicited non-kiddy porn to random physical addresses? I think a large portion of parents in the U.S. and U.K. would be upset enough to take legal action if little Johnny comes from the mailbox carrying hardcore porn.
      • Free speech? I do not see them slapping fines on people for unsolicited snail mail. And trust me, you can get a lot of that crap and getting addresses is really damn easy.

        If we were talking about normal spam, then you'd be right. However, we're talking about adult-oriented spam. That takes it out of the free speech arena
        • Would you be so kind as to cite the portion of the Constitution that excludes "adult oriented" from the first amendment?

          "Obscene" is a legally defined (albeit very loosey goosey and hard to know exactly where the line is) term, but the mere fact that material is of interest to Adults does not exempt it from First Amendment protection.

          In this case, the issue is that Interstate Commerce is involved. You're attempting to subject a company based in, let's say Maine, to Utah's laws, becase an e-mail address

          • by kbielefe (606566) <karl.bielefeldt+ ... noSpAM.gmail.com> on Friday August 11, 2006 @02:36PM (#15890969)
            Would you be so kind as to cite the portion of the Constitution that excludes "adult oriented" from the first amendment?
            Certainly. Please see Roth v. United States and Miller v. California.
            ...the mere fact that material is of interest to Adults does not exempt it from First Amendment protection.
            The mere fact that the material is being distributed to minors and/or unwilling third parties does.
            In this case, the issue is that Interstate Commerce is involved. ... That's exactly the kind of thing that is supposed to be within the purview of Federal Regulation, not State powers.

            You are oversimplifying the commerce clause. The fact that a business operates across state lines does not preclude individual states from applying their own restrictions, as long as they do not contradict federal regulations.

            For example, you still pay state and local sales tax on things you buy in a local store, even if none of the products sold were actually produced in the state. For another example, in order for an insurance salesperson in a national call center to conduct business with a customer in another state, he or she must hold a license issued by that state.

            Every business must comply with all federal and state laws, unless the state law is struck down as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. Thousands of businesses do just fine with this restriction; obscene spammers should be no different. In fact, supreme court decisions have specifically said that community standards must be applied in deciding what is obscene. There is an undue burden standard, but I find it hard to believe a court will rule that checking 50 blacklist databases is an undue burden for a business that handles databases of millions of email addresses.

      • Re:The Love of Money (Score:3, Informative)

        by Rydia (556444)
        The supreme court has drawn a clear distinction between speech that can be censored by parents and speech that can't. You can send whatever in snail mail because, the court reasoned, adults have an opportunity to ensure that it doesn't reach the family proper by censoring it at the mailbox. The situation with spam is much more complicated. It'd make an interesting case.
        • You can send whatever in snail mail

          That's not entirely accurate. You can't send unsolicited obscene material in snail mail. Obscene material also cannot be visible on the outside of the envelope or package. If you apply those same standards (which were found constitutional a long time ago) to the new technology of email, complying with an obscene spam blacklist seems a mild restriction.

      • Free speech? I do not see them slapping fines on people for unsolicited snail mail. And trust me, you can get a lot of that crap and getting addresses is really damn easy.

        http://attorneygeneral.utah.gov/pornography/unsoli cmail.htm [utah.gov] has a nice description of what to do if you're getting unsolicited snail mail with pornographic content. Quoted from the page:

        You do not have to receive an offensive mailing before you have the right to tell adult businesses that you do not want to receive their advertisemen

      • Re:The Love of Money (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        "Free speech? I do not see them slapping fines on people for unsolicited snail mail. And trust me, you can get a lot of that crap and getting addresses is really damn easy."

        Junk fax laws [wikipedia.org] withstood legal challeges based on the first amendment. I can't see e-mail-related laws being any different in this respect.
        • Part of the justification for junk fax laws is that there is a tangible material loss from unsolicited faxes. Junk snail mail still requires that a company shell out the cost of printing, materials, postage, etc. With junk faxes, that cost is transferred to the fax machine's owner. Paper and toner are easily accountable losses. One junk fax equals two cents worth of paper, four cents in toner, etc. Whereas the best tangible loss you can argue with junk e-mail is a waste of bandwidth.

          Now, before you go bounc
      • ...Your statement almost screams, "I do not understand networks or the internet."...

        In a word: tubes (I thought everyone knew that by now...)

        ...This is unreasonable and puts blame on providers because of the actions of their users.

        Hey, any plumber worth his pay ought to be able to keep someone else's crap from flowing into one of his customers' tubes, and if he can't he deserves to be punished.

      • Re:The Love of Money (Score:3, Informative)

        by Electrum (94638)

        I would recommend just hitting the company that owns the last server to forward the e-mail. If they can't provide/prove another source from which the e-mail came, hit them with the $10,000 fine. I would wager that companies would be awful quick to clamp down their SMTP servers and keep records of where everything came from. Not only would this increase a company's security but it would reduce much of the spam you see that has a legitimate address from a careless company.

        This only hurts ISPs. Watch the way

      • "Free speech? I do not see them slapping fines on people for unsolicited snail mail. And trust me, you can get a lot of that crap and getting addresses is really damn easy. Also, the article isn't clear about the Utah law. It could be using those nice, vague terms that make the law unenforceable and could even target e-mail that was solicited. Remember, people sometimes identify items as spam that really are not."

        Try this: http://www.usps.com/forms/_pdf/ps1500.pdf [usps.com]

        Its a form for banning explicit mail. Howev
      • Yes, but it's almost entirely a few American spammers sending spam advertising crap products to Americans, priced in dollars and shipping in the US. The rest is made up of nigerian scammers and phishers, but those are already illegal under fraud laws.

        The mail might route via asian open hosts, but the problem is largely American. Anything that affects US spammers would have a huge impact on world spam. Mind you, the Russians are getting in on the act, so they'll need to tackled head on as well in an ideal wo
    • Muris does raise a good point that should be taken into consideration:

      Instead of starting a registry, Muris said, the FTC would first push the private sector to agree on a method for electronically authenticating senders of e-mail, which would cut down on spammers' ability to hide their identities and locations. Muris said such authentication is a necessary precursor to any no-spam registry.

      I'm not sure how feasible that idea is, however. I would recommend just hitting the company that owns the las

    • by Anonymous Coward
      I would recommend just hitting the company that owns the last server to forward the e-mail

      As one of those companies, we do keep the records of where everything came from. But you don't need to ask us; it is written into the header of the email you receive - the top most line. But you will find the IP address belongs to Aunt Mae who was wondering why her computer was running so slow. Your trail dead-ends there.

      You are woefully misinformed if you think spam is the result of anyone being careless.
    • Re:The Love of Money (Score:3, Interesting)

      by bhmit1 (2270)
      More dangerous, he said, was the possibility that spammers might get hold of the list, which would provide them with a gold mine of valid e-mail addresses that would be used for more spam.
      Then only distribute the registry as a set of hashes. Simply run a hash on the email you want to send to, and skip it if it matches a hash in the registry. This has the added benefit of making the spammers waste a little more cpu time before filling our inboxes.
      • Re:The Love of Money (Score:2, Interesting)

        by inviolet (797804)

        Then only distribute the registry as a set of hashes. Simply run a hash on the email you want to send to, and skip it if it matches a hash in the registry. This has the added benefit of making the spammers waste a little more cpu time before filling our inboxes.

        Do you know where spammers get their CPU time?

        Indeed, the future of the internet seems to be a war over computing cycles, in the same way that the snail world was (is) a war over energy. Well, the world mostly fights over real estate, but that i

      • Simply run a hash on the email you want to send to, and skip it if it matches a hash in the registry.

        Don't be ridiculous. All the spammer needs to do is check his/her entire database and save all addresses that cause a hash match. Sounds like 10 lines of Perl and an hour or two on a single PC.
      • Except it doesn't work that way. There's no money in it for the state if they do it that way; you see, they've set it up so you have to PAY to scrub your list. Every 30 days. YOU do the hashing, and send your list to them, and they give you back a list of matches. Costs "up-to" 3 cents per address checked (not matched). See Administrative Rules, R 484.511: https://www.protectmichild.com/senders/ [protectmichild.com]
    • Isn't the point of a Do Not E-mail list to make it public and then put the restriction on it of not e-mailing anyone on that list? Otherwise, it is worthless to have such a list if the spammers don't even know who not to spam.

      The spammers wouldn't have to steal the list - it would be given to them. So, the whole thing is used against everyone when non-USA residents download the list and add it to their to-spam list
    • The obvious way to use a 'do not register' list while not letting spammers get hold of it, is to filter every e-mail through a secure server instance that checks the register and filters e-mails to those people on the list. Bonus is that all e-mails can be saved in the one location for your NSA to have fun with ;)
    • According to the CAN-SPAM act, commercial e-mails must include valid e-mail headers, cannot contain misleading subject lines, and must provide a way to opt-out. The penalties of not following this would be fines upwards of $11,000.

      Most of the SPAM I get breaks all three conditions. So what makes you think that an opt-out list is going to deter spammers?
    • "What's there to challenge?"

      AFAIK, there's a per-address fee for every address you want to check against the registry. And since:
      • an address can be added at any time
      • having a record of a double-opt-in request to be on your list is no defense
      • it seems you have to stop mailing that address upon registration, not after a period of time

      You basically have to clean your whole list pretty frequently and you have to pay each time you do. Furthermore, since each state is setting up their own regist

    • I'm sure that if you start hitting these companies with $10,000 fines per violation that they would pay attention to the list. And if they stole it, it's all the more fines.

      The problem isn't the companies that you can sue. The problem is that the registry will get out to all the fly-by-night operations, using botnetted Windows boxes, or open relays in China, selling "V14GrA" from websites that are linked to front companies in countries with lax banking laws.

      The companies that you can actually sue are only
  • How does it work? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by telchine (719345) on Friday August 11, 2006 @08:49AM (#15888643)
    Does everyone in the world have to check these databases, or just if you're sending mail from inside of the US?
    • Re:How does it work? (Score:2, Interesting)

      by porkmusket (954006)
      It works questionably, because no one HAS to use the database. There need to be clear and enforcable punishments for not using it in order to get people to use it. If a couple cases get attention and the spammers pay out, more suits could possible be filed, but obviously you'll have trouble suing some dude in Nigeria. Personally, as a victim of the whole Blue Security crap that ended up with a whole lot more spam after that DB was compromised, I am reluctant to sign up for these sorts of lists and would ra
    • by Andy_R (114137)
      Nobody has to check against these databases at all.

      The options for bulk mailers are:
      1) Check against them
      2) Only mail people who have opted in
      or best of all
      3) Don't send adult-oriented spam at all.
      • The options for bulk mailers are:
        1) Check against them
        2) Only mail people who have opted in
        or best of all
        3) Don't send adult-oriented spam at all.

        Well, those are our favourite choices. They still have:

        4) Send to anyone and don't fsck'ing concern yourself about it since you're using a bunch of zombies to do the work anyway.

        I mean, seriously, do you really think the bulk mailers feel constrained by your three options? Clearly not, because I see so much crap which claims it can't be spam because I must have

      • Unfortunately, it doesn't look like the wording of the bill is restricted to unsolicited mail. It seems to address all mail, solicited or not. That's the #1 problem with this bill. The #2 problem with the bill is that people have to pay to ensure (required) compliance, which amounts to an email tax. The #3 problem is that this only deals with a specific subset of mail considered to be most objectionable - an anti-spam bill need to address all spam, because it's not like Rolex spam is any less bad for one's
    • Does everyone in the world have to check these databases, or just if you're sending mail from inside of the US?

      1. Are you sending spam?
      2. Does your country have an extradition agrement with the US?
  • How about (Score:2, Insightful)

    by giorgiofr (887762)
    How about we behave sensibly for a change? Scneario: the pr0n guys don't spam children with nekkid b00bi3z (wake up pr0n guy, children have no credit cards and probably no interest in pr0n yet); and the gov't does not pass laws restricting said b00bi3z.
    Hey, I can dream...
    • Re:How about (Score:3, Informative)

      by $RANDOMLUSER (804576)
      And when you're spamflooding through a Russian botnet, how exactly does one determine that the target email address belongs to a "think of teh children"?
    • Re:How about (Score:3, Insightful)

      by AndersOSU (873247)
      Clearly they're trying to develop brand loyalty in these youngsters. It is a page right out of Phillip Morris's marketing playbook.
  • Non-miner? :) (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 11, 2006 @09:02AM (#15888733)
    What about us non-minors here? Not all of us want spam, do we have to impregnate some woman to be eligible for this kind of protection? :)... And ofcourse move to one of theese two countries of which you speak.

    What about non-porn spam, like the nigeria passport scam, and all that valium crap? I don't see it providing a defence against that.
    • "Not all of us want spam, do we have to impregnate some woman to be eligible for this kind of protection? :)... "

      I see a new subject line coming soon to email boxes everywhere to advertise this:
      "Fr3e S3x wiht OUR Russian Models to STOP SP4M"
  • by Mark19960 (539856) <Mark@noSpaM.freequest.net> on Friday August 11, 2006 @09:04AM (#15888753) Homepage Journal
    Send these guys in Michigan a thank-you note for creating laws that have some bite.
    Use Michigan as an example for your own politicians....

    The feds cannot do it, they are too corrupt with big industry hanging dollar bills in their faces.
    On the state level, its a little bit less corrupt and you actually have SOME chance of getting a
    law against spam thru.
  • by davmoo (63521) on Friday August 11, 2006 @09:11AM (#15888794)
    have these two states proven anti-spam laws like these -- unlike CAN-SPAM -- really have teeth?"

    Folks, we're putting the proverbial cart *way* ahead of the horse here. This law doesn't have teeth until it produces a win in a courtroom. In the US, I can file a suit against anyone reading this message just because I don't like you're hair color...but that doesn't mean I'm going to win that suit.
  • ...why everybody doesn't just whitelist. Sure some spam may get by but it removes 99% of it right off the bat. Everything that isn't on my whitelist isn't email I want in the first place.
  • When it was possible to listwash against the BlueFrog list, the Russian v1@gr@ and r013x spammers pounded the people who had opted out with threats and used their names in spoofed From: headers. I assume we can expect the same for this list. What's Michigan going to do? Extradite the Russian mafia?
  • I'm in Michigan (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    At first when I saw this article I was thinking it was a good thing. I was even wondering if it could be extended to non-children.

    But then I went and looked at the website ... as a potential business owner I have problems with it. It looks like I have to pay 7 tenths of a penny to check an email address. Let's say I have a list of 10,000 addresses, it is going to cost me $70 to check it? And that has to be done every month in case a new address matches.

    And whose definition of obscene do we use?

    And what chi
    • Re:I'm in Michigan (Score:4, Informative)

      by laffer1 (701823) <luke&foolishgames,com> on Friday August 11, 2006 @10:09AM (#15889204) Homepage Journal
      If you sell any items you have to check unless you like jailtime.

      From their website:

        Under the law, "a person shall not send, cause to be sent, or conspire with a third party to send a message to a contact point that has been registered for more than 30 calendar days with the department if the primary purpose of the message is to, directly or indirectly, advertise or otherwise link to a message that advertises a product or service that a minor is prohibited by law from purchasing, viewing, possessing, participating in, or otherwise receiving."

      The covered categories of messages include, but are not necessarily limited to:

              * Alcohol (MCL 436.1701)
              * Tobacco (MCL 722.641)
              * Pornography or Obscene Material (MCL 722.673-722.677, MCL 750.142-750.143, 47 USC 231(e)(6))
              * Gambling (MCL 432.218)
              * Illegal Drugs (MCL 333.7401)
              * Firearms (MCL 750.223,MCL 28.422)

      Marketers who fail to comply with the law face criminal penalties of up to three years in jail, and criminal fines of up to $30,000. In addition, marketers may face civil penalties of up to $5,000 per message sent in violation of the law, to a maximum of $250,000 per day. Civil suits may be filed by the Michigan attorney general, Internet service providers, and parents on behalf of their children.
    • Re:I'm in Michigan (Score:2, Insightful)

      by operagost (62405)
      It's the cost of doing business. Right now, spam costs nearly nothing and that's why it's overrun with halfwits and losers.
    • One trick I know is that you can avoid spamming people.
    • Re:I'm in Michigan (Score:3, Informative)

      by Secrity (742221)
      You don't have to check the email address if you have the permission of the holder of the email addess, you will have permission of the holder of the email address, won't you? If you don't have permission, then you will be a spammer -- and are fair game.
  • Why would the porn or DM industries oppose a do-not-email list? Why do they have such a boner to keep sending spam to people who are willing to sign up to a list that says they are NOT interested?

    • I guess this is due to the fact that spambots running on hijacked computers send e-mails to randomly generated addresses. So, if for some reason the spammers don't have enough control over their zombies to block them in a timely manner from sending e-mails to a given list of addresses, they'll end up having to pay fines due to they not being compliant with the law if such a randomly generated address happened to be a no-spam signed one. Easiest solution for them would be no law at all.
    • Why would the porn or DM industries oppose a do-not-email list? Why do they have such a boner to keep sending spam to people who are willing to sign up to a list that says they are NOT interested?

      Because the companies outsource their mass-mailing operations to third parties. Those third parties are the ones who would have to filter their mailing lists against myriad "do not email" lists from as many geopolitical groups. Those third parties are often small outfits that run botnets to deliver their spam.

      Do

      • While the porn industry certainly uses spam, there are (hard to believe) some companies which run fully confirmed opt-in mailings that outsource because (hard to believe) email done right is not in most company's capabilities.

        These 3rd parties are concerned about the abusive use of the do-not-email list, including the following:
        1) The only company providing those services (http://www.unspam.com/ [unspam.com]) is the one lobbying for the laws. We don't seem to appeciate things like Cheney pushing Halliburton; should we
  • Man those kids are lucky, I would just love to have a free porn image in my inbox every day... but alas I get medical advertisements... silly kids, fwd thine porn spam to me.

    On a more serious note, why only target porn spam, why not just prosecute spammers period?
  • by SwedeGeek (545209) on Friday August 11, 2006 @10:08AM (#15889195) Homepage Journal
    Is it just me or is there some irony in the Michigan AG's name being Mike Cox. Seems like we should also be protecting our children from inapproriate material by leaving his name out of the news reports!
    • Didn't he used to work for a certain rental-car company? He was let go after they interviewed him on the local news one night and put his name and his company's name on the screen together...
  • If you think that kids should be able to have unregulated access to porn and violent video games, can I assume that you also support their being able to get a concealed carry permit and be able to buy a handgun since clearly they're mature enough to handle the first two things? If you don't think they're mature enough for the latter, then it's obvious they aren't not mature enough for the former.
    • If you think that people should have access to forks and knives, can I assume that you also support their having access to personal nuclear weapons? If you don't think that they're responsible enough for nukes, then they obviously aren't responsible enough for silverware.
    • You're being sarcastic, right?

      But while we're on the subject, I wonder if anyone has followed up on all of those children who were exposed to multiple milliseconds of Janet Jackson's nipple a couple of years back on the Superbowel halftime show. Can they possibly be leading normal lives by now, or is the damage permanent? Could be a good grant application, anyway.
  • by y5 (993724)

    Why is it that we're always trying to solve tech problems with social solutions, and social problems with tech solutions? The free market and technology created spam, and IMO they're doing a fine job of canning it too. Is government intervention really necessary?

    A few slashdotters commented on how this [slashdot.org] article was a dupe, but now I'm starting to see why stories like the "untraining spam filters" are rising to the surface yet again. Ever notice how stories about unhealthy fast food/cigarettes pop up right

  • What the hell are children even doing with their own email address? Seems to me they could get by fine 10 years ago without one, now we have to play nanny on the Internet for children who have no real business with it anyway. How about this? Tell the little kids to get outside and develop real social skills instead of emailing friends back and forth. I'm sick of people standing behind children to justify things. I can see having a do-not-email list, but the Internet is bigger than Michigan, so good luc
    • Refer back to this post after your first child turns 10.
    • What the hell are children even doing reading and writing? Seems to me they could get by fine 1000 years ago without it, now we have to play nanny with the Post Office for children who have no real business with it anyway. How about this? Tell the little kids to get outside and develop real social skills instead of writing to friends. I'm sick of people standing behind children to justify things. I can see having a do-not-mail list, but the Postal System is bigger than Michigan, so good luck trying to get a

  • .. with the YOU-CAN-SPAM act is it concerns itself too much with the content of the message.

    That they are only going after porn spammers proves this. Spam is spam, wether it is hawking naked co-eds screwing horses, trying to sell you fake rolex watches, or even trying to get you to 'accept $diety as your personal savior', if *YOU* didnt expect it, and didnt want it, its spam.

"One day I woke up and discovered that I was in love with tripe." -- Tom Anderson

Working...