Hate Spam?

I know I do. Not the meat product – I’m man enough to admit liking it – the emails.

What I find fascinating about them is that I can usually tell in under 1 second whether an email is spam or not from the subject alone. Even on those rare emails that slip through gmail’s filters. Granted, not all people have such a finely tuned spam-o-meter, but it still amazes me that spam continues to be difficult to block. It is so easy for me to tell, yet so hard for a computer. There must be a way to represent the problem is a way that is easier for a computer to comprehend… but I’m not going to waste time pondering that.

Even if we block it, spammers will still send it because it is essentially free, and guaranteed to make it as far as your mail server, and at least into your spam folder where you MIGHT look at it.

The way to significantly reduce spam is to put the filtering software at the other end. Spammers send out large numbers of emails from the same IP address (or small range of IP addresses). When these emails first hit the network, there could be “filtering” software watching for abusive emailing. My support of such a solution depends on how email works – which I am unclear about. If email works like http – where I can set up a server and the ISP does nothing beyond routing packets – then it would be bad to allow ISPs to start snooping. But if sending emails requires the use of an ISP – or somebody’s email server, then the ISP is already involved, and such a filter would be a small imposition. Done right, it could cut spam off at the source, before the complaints start rolling in.

Of course, if everybody used gmail, spammers might realize they are wasting their time.

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