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Comment In a word: NO! (Score 1) 587

This is definitely a bad idea, for a whole lot of reasons.

Firstly, as other posters have mentioned, this is illegal in most nations. Let's not stoop down to the criminal level.

Secondly, in conjunction with the first point, why should we all collectively bend down to play dirty to beat the spammers? Shouldn't we spend our energy and effort on something less destructive and low-brow? I honestly believe that someone (or someones) will eventually come up with a system to more or less replace the current email standard with equal user-friendliness (at least to the end-user, which ends up being the driving force, but user-friendly at the admin level would be great too) but also with built-in security mechanisms that make spamming unprofitable while keeping regular usage cheap.

Whether this system emerges from the current examples of hash-cash or somewhere else, I would say it is our best chance to stop the problem without stooping to criminality with what is basically a path-work solution.

And yes, I am aware that all systems have vulnerabilities, but to just throw up our hands in despair and say, "But the spammers will get into the new system eventually!" is to give up. We shouldn't just sit idly by and collectively play poor-me; we should be thinking of some new system and how to seamlessly get it into place (yes, Virginia, there'll be a time lag, it took about 25 years for email to become mainstream). Then, whenever the spammers figure out a way in (I'm hoping for never), we'll already have had time to think about, research, and develop a further system.

Let's apply a little brain-power to the problem instead of using what is essentially crude and criminalistic tactics. I, for one, am fully willing to devote my time and knowledge to solving the problem.
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