Follow The Money

I get more than my fair share of spam every day. And, I read about the various approaches being proposed to stop spam. Microsoft has a method. Yahoo has a method. Most everyone on Slashdot has a method.

All of this deep thinking is predicated on the fact that spammers are hard to find. They can use proxies or zombies or otherwise hide their identity. On a network designed with the assumption of trust, finding angles wasn’t difficult.

I think we’re going after this the wrong way.

Spammers are on the Internet because they want money. Their easiest access to money is by selling things and getting the cash by credit card.

Why not do as “Deep Throat” instructed Woodward and Bernstein; “Follow the money.”

Am I missing something? How difficult would it be to set up some stings – very publicly noted – and bag some violators?

The way to stop spamming isn’t to make email more difficult. You stop spamming by making collecting the money more difficult!

Blogger’s addendum: No sooner had I posted this when I read a similar post on Slashdot. And then, not long after that it was this article at Wired.

Maybe I’m psychic (in addition to psycho)?

One thought on “Follow The Money”

  1. Although it’s not expensive to be a spammer, it still costs money. The biggest thing we can do is continue to press the issue: Don’t even buy anything from spam. Anything that arrives in your email box, that you didnt specifically request. Don’t ever give them money. Someone out there must be buying the generic “V|ag RA” and the “Copy any DVD” software. We must stop our not-so-computer-savvy friends from buying this junk – no money – no spam.

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