Nice strawman. Like I said in my initial post, the ratio is quite good: 19 million spams blocked, maybe 30-40 false positive complaints over that period of time. It's a price we find quite acceptable. Frankly, I wish UPS was anywhere near that good at delivering my packages.
If the phone company or package services had your attitude they'd quickly go out of business. The only reason you haven't is that people have been caught off guard by new technology-- it's only a matter of time IMHO before email services become essentially (if not specifically) common carriers. Net Neutrality is a step in that direction, but even without it the essentials of common carrier status for email is inevitable. You cannot run businesses without reliable email services for everyone, which unfortunately is going to include some form of legalized (non-fraudulent) SPAM once all the dust clears.
Well, first off with your analogy is flawed - I'm not the Phone company or the package service, I'm the company mail room or corporate PBX.
Secondly, the're fundamentally different for economic reasons. Junk mail and telemarketers are both self limiting in that there is a significant cost associated with bothering me, and that keeps the crap to reasonable levels. I've never received so much junk mail that I've been unable to find the good stuff. I'd probably give up on email and go back to calling people if I didn't have spam filtering on my email account - if I turn spam filtering off the crap out numbers the good stuff literally 20 to 1.
Thirdly, we've already been doing the same thing on Telephone lines for years. Screening calls with answering machines, caller ID and secretaries, and more recently with a federal Do-Not-Call list. An approach that unfortunately doesn't work nearly as well on the internet.
Can you avoid the junk mail in your snail mail box? Advertising pointed at you at the grocery store? SPAM is not confined to the internet, and in fact has been around longer than the internet has, only the term for it is new. It makes money, and is perfectly legal in many forms, even though many of us would just as soon see it disappear. Go ahead, postpone the inevitable and concoct some hackneyed argument that email SPAM is somehow different, if it makes you feel any better.
All of it? No. But generally if you ask to be removed form lists, snail mail companies will comply. Likewise, you can talk to the USPS and ask to be removed from lists for saturation mailings.
I'm not sure what "the inevitable" is that you think I'm avoiding. If you mean treating e-mail as a common carrier service with spam filtering being banned, you're even more divorced from reality than I thought you were at the start of this thread. The only US law regarding SPAM specifically allows email providers to filter spam however they'd like. Morever, aside from a few fanatics who think that the right to have your email delivered appears in the 3 1/2 ammendment, most people WANT spam filtering. We allow users to opt out if they want. Noone ever has, including those with false positives.
I hate spam even more than you, but for different reasons-- not only do I hate getting all that crap in my inbox and wasting everyone's bandwidth, what I hate the most is that incompetent attempts to deal with it are decreasing email reliability. Incompetence much like the way the US gov has been dealing with terrorism-- the bull-in-a-china-shop-shotgun-approach that in their myopia may help with a few specific problems but makes many others significantly worse...
Well, there certainly people out there pursuing incompetent strategies for blocking spam. Spamhaus isn't one of them. In my experience they're quite professional and accurate. Spamhaus isn't SPEWS (Which isn't really incompetent either...They're just overly militant, kinda like you). But at the end of the day, my users are much happier with their well-filtered mail than they are with dick enlargement and stock scams in their mailbox every morning, so I'd say I've done my job quite competently.
Anyway, since you like to talk about competence in mail servers so much..I've got about 3000 users and a total message volume coming in (not counting internal email) around 80-100,000 messages a day. Whats you're level of experience?
If computers take over (which seems to be their natural tendency), it will serve us right. -- Alistair Cooke