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The Underbelly of Junk Mail

I just finished watching a report about porn junk mail on NBC's Dateline tonight and saw something that reminded me of some other business actions not allowed in the US. The story went along the line that people, family people, where receiving pornographic e-mail without asking for it. The reporter John Hockenberry then went on a journey of two continents and 4 cities to trek down and confront the actual person that send the e-mail. I found it interesting that even though each piece of mail is identified with a code that shows you who sent the mail, no one wanted to correct the problem. Through Mr. Hockenberry's trips to Toronto, Las Vegas and Montreal He came across companies that did not have a physical listing. At the same time he found that several companies employed the same people even though they know they are breaking policies set by the company.

This is all fine and well and I do think that junk mail is a part of business that laws have turned there back on. What I don't see is why the companies that have fake or non physical addresses get strict penalties imposed on them for there illicit activities. The company that is being advertised in the junk mail has records of who is sending the mail and while some companies are out of the bounds of US law a large part of them still are and so they should be forced to give up who is behind all this internet clogging mail.

Internet providers are trying to fight the problem buy locking down the network they control. The logic is that you or me have some virus or Trojan that turns us into what's been called a SPAM ZOMBIE. If you become a zombie the locked down network now forces you to sign in to send mail. the zombie program doesn't use your outlook or thunderbird mail application so it doesn't know what it is and therefor is blocked. This will help for a few months but is not the answer. So instead of one person sending millions of e-mail it's thousands of people sending hundreds of thousands of e-mail. You don't know it and mail doesn't show up in your sent folder because the program that is doing this is different from the outlook or thunderbird program. Some answers for a common user like you and me is to use temporary e-mail accounts like or They are free to use, easy to sign up for, and you have no obligation to the account after it's created. The alternate solution is to have one account that you use for anything that asks for your e-mail address. Wait a few weeks to see if new types of junk mail is sent to you. Once a few weeks pass you change your e-mail account that you signed up with to one that you don't give out to just anyone. Another idea has been to restrict who can send you mail by placing them in your contact list.

Link to Datline story


  1. If you have a GMail account you can sort out unwanted email and know who gave the spammer your address.
    Simply enter the below when you enter your email address.
    emailname+place you signed up
    Adding the plus symbol between your e-mail addres and something else will allow you to get the email and sort it out based on what is after the plus.


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