SOT: shitfs in spam trends and topics

Hugh Reilly hughreilly1-PkbjNfxxIARBDgjK7y7TUQ at
Fri Dec 5 15:10:46 UTC 2003

>From: Matthew Rice <matt-s/rLXaiAEBtBDgjK7y7TUQ at>
>Are you suggesting that we are receiving unintelligible e-mail because some
>group [terrorists, fbi, cia, csis] are trying to send messages to each
>other.  Do you supposed that they are sending a lot of them and getting the
>e-mail addresses wrong or that they are sending a lot of them to confuse 
>trail to the intended recipient?
>If you were to ask me, I'd say that this is similar to the book _Snow 
>Microsoft is sending out these seemingly unintelligible e-mails and anyone
>that looks at them has their brain 're-wired' into liking M$.
>   "Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean that they aren't out
>    to get you."

A couple of notes to feed the paranoia:
1. One of my jobs is to handle incoming customer email at the Toronto Sun. 
Of course, 90%+ is spam. Many of these messages contain "nonsense" verbiage, 
I think designed to outfox spam blocking. But reading this "nonsense" can 
often give the impression that the creator is not operating in a strictly 
mercantile role.

2. A few years ago, I presented a paper at the McLuhan Program on the 
"Information Ecology", wherein I described how the emerging Internet was a 
radically decentralizing force which was undermining traditional power 
structures, and that disrupting the Internet was a logical strategy for 
maintaining traditional power base. It seems the spam epidemic is certainly 
undermining the value of email. For example, I now tell Sun customers that 
"just because you sent the email is no guarantee that we received the 
email". If spam blocking becomes the norm, we can expect that 5% +/- of 
legitimate emails just won't get through.


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