The Spam Network

You’ve tried linguistic devices (email AT server DOT com) and cognitive tricks (email@REMOVETHISYOUIDIOTserver.com), but somehow those little f*&*ers keep getting you on their lists. No matter how hard you try to conceal yourself, they always seem to have the upper hand. How do they do it? Spammers are not islands of email addresses, but actually an
international network of marketing deviants:

E-mail addresses are the currency in a financial shell game that involves rapidly moving consumer contact information from database to database while concealing where and how the data was collected… Fees ranging from a few cents to almost $1 per name are paid by some direct marketers for every e-mail address submitted to their databases. The problem, according to antispam activists, is that many of these submissions are made by third parties and often include e-mail addresses of people who did not give permission to be included on direct e-mail marketing lists.

Bob West, an anti-spam activist has collected information about these questionable exchanges in his project Spamdemic. His beautifully detailed map of interconnections shows how Xerox can have access to your email from Match.com in only a few transactions. He also maintains a blacklist of spam offenders, but somehow I get the sinking feeling that one man cannot take on this massive industry.

One thought on “The Spam Network

  1. seems incredible but companies like ezgreen proliferate by just sending random mails to random addresses with a link like http://go.ezgreen.com/go.fx?PD490 which teels them they have a working internet address to add to their list!

    Would be enough to start visiting random sites like
    http://go.ezgreen.com/go.fx?PD400
    http://go.ezgreen.com/go.fx?PD401
    http://go.ezgreen.com/go.fx?PD402
    to make this system not work!

    Last thing.. the web address I posted with this form s my public / spam offended addresse… my private noone knows! 😉

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