Big Companies Can Spam? Ask Microsoft

  • Washington Post: Microsoft E-Mail Looks Like Spam to Some Recipients. Like many anti-spam activists, Poortinga, a Bloomington, Ind., programmer, has never been a fan of the Can-Spam Act. He said it is as much an effort to protect corporate marketers’ ability to send unwanted e-mail as it is to block unsavory spam. He said he never gave Microsoft the e-mail address to which Ballmer’s note was sent. Poortinga said he primarily used that address to register Internet domains for hosting Web sites. “It also shows that the Can-Spam Act is simply a worthless exercise in PR and it reinforces the widely held belief that Microsoft is so arrogant that they feel that they are not bound to conform to laws and standards,” Poortinga said in an e-mail interview.

  • Comments

    Posted by: lightning on November 5, 2004 10:59 AM

    The Direct Marketing Association and their furry little friends have this fantasy that there is such a thing as “legitimate” spam. There isn’t — it’s a matter of simple arithmetic. If there are 100,000 busineees worldwide that might want to sell you something, and each of them sent you one e-mail per year, that would be 274 *per day*. Both of those assumptions are wild underestimates, of course.

    Spam is looking less and less like marketing and more like a massive denial- of- service attack. Cyberterrorism, anyone?

    Posted by: on November 5, 2004 12:39 PM

    I agree with Lightning. I get 15-20 Fake Rolex ads a day as well as the other garbage and I have noticed in the last two or three days that some idiot had spoofed my email address and sending spam from me, at least I am getting the bounce messages.

    Posted by: on November 5, 2004 10:37 PM

    Hey Guys

    The Feds have a way for you to, at least, get rid of that spam… well, in a manner of speaking.

    Look here:

    About half-way down that webpage is this:

    “What Can I Do With the Spam in my In-Box?

    “Report it to the Federal Trade Commission. Send a copy of unwanted or deceptive messages to The FTC uses the unsolicited emails stored in this database to pursue law enforcement actions against people who send deceptive spam email.”

    The Feds are asking for the spam you receive. There’s only one way you can make ’em work on it. Send the spam to the FTC.

    Posted by: on November 6, 2004 02:09 PM

    Microsoft has been both a spammer, and spammer-friendly, for a long time.

    Back in the days when inames was giving away free addresses, I got one from them. I never had any use for it, until one day we had a problem at work that required access to some of their tech support databases. Since we didn’t have a net conection at work, I volunteered to do the research at home. The database access required that I cough up an email address, and, being suspicious, I gave them the inames one. Not long after that, I started getting email from MSN Sidewalk vendors offering me cheap DVDs, airfare discounts, etc. And it got worse: apparently, either one of their vendors sold my address, or someone hacked an MS server and stole their database, because the inames address started getting all kinds of crap. I even got a few 419 spams through it.

    One of the very first things MS did when they bought Link Exchange was to amend its TOS to eliminate the provision that banned spammers. This had been a useful way of starving them of free advertising.

    Before they sold out to MS, hotmail had an aggressive policy of closing accounts that were being used as dropboxes to collect replies to spams. MS modified their software to make it impossible to even _complain_ about such abuse by autobouncing any complaint about email that didn’t _originate_ from their servers (To be fair, they appear to have stolen this idea from Yahoo, so it’s not like they actually went out of their way to “innovate” any means of being a spamhaven).

    Like everything else that isn’t tied down (and quite a few things that were), the net is, in Microsoft’s view, just another resource to be ripped off to the extent they can get away with it.

    Posted by: on November 7, 2004 06:59 PM

    “Cyberterrorism, anyone?”

    This is starting to sound pretty tempting: some slimeball (probably a spammer I got busted) put my email address on one of those “FFA” sites, and now every moron who’s ever fallen for one of those “$29.95 bulk emailer software with 50 gazillion opt-in leads!!!!” scams is trying to sell me a copy of it. Hacking a few of those scam sites (so that, say, the “add an address” script sends a few thousand “new sucker signed up” emails to the domain owner’s whois contact for every new entry) might give them a hint…

    Posted by: lowes on November 9, 2004 07:34 PM

    The plot emerges through Carson’s meditative, microsoft elusive fragments, mysteriously isolated couplets, nude excerpts from versified conversations and letters, sears interior monologues and (as Carson’s readers have band come to expect) digressions on matters of classical christina aguilera scholarship. This kind of thing is imitated badly harry potter and often by others, but Carson’s phraseology vacation within poems remains her own: “Rotate the husband dog

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