There are different ways how to deal with Spam.
One is, to eat it (yes, I know it is an old joke but I still like it…) – see the "official SPAM website" J
If it comes down to e-mail SPAM, the problem is different: Most of the ISPs today are using technical means (say: SPAM Filter), the users do the same and finally, if the SPAM nevertheless reaches the mailbox, the user gets angry and simply deletes the SPAM-mail. This is a pretty expensive process on all sides.
Do you remember the blog I wrote about the "Economy of Cybercrime"? It comes down to the question how the economical view on SPAM looks like: There seem to be a lot of people still being tricked with these mails and actually are doing the business the Spammer promotes. So, the monetary value of spamming looks pretty good – otherwise they would have stopped anyway, wouldn't they? Let's have a look at the cost-side for the spammer: technically there is more cost involved in sending Spam as there was a few years ago. A few years ago you could send mail through a lot of open mail relays – today you have to use botnets, which you often have to pay for. Additionally the Spam filters are getting better and better as well. Nevertheless, the cost on the industry and user side to get rid of it is significant.
What about the risk of being caught and convicted? Well, it is pretty low due to two facts: In certain countries, spamming is not illegal at all. In other countries, the ISP cannot open a case against a spammer – we need the user to actually send the spam in and complain.
This is the reason, why we support two initiatives in this respect:
- Spotspam is an initiative which facilitates legal action against spammers at the international level. This is more than needed as there are close to no spam cases that remain within one single country. If you want to know more about Spotspam, you should visit their website http://www.spotspam.net/index.html
- Another initiative is coming from France. In France we need the end-user to complain about the Spam – but who does this? It is easier to just delete the mail – isn't it? Signal Spam is a platform that allows the user to easily send received spam back to the ISP who can then start to take legal action. This is a very interesting project in my opinion which could (or even should) be replicated in other countries as well. See their website: http://www.signal-spam.fr/en/index.php/frontend. I just found an article today on PCWorld written by Jeremy Kirk, IDG and I like the comments that were put to the article at the end.
Finally it comes down to the same conclusion as with Cybercrime in general: We have to work together to make them pay – and by "pay" I do not necessarily mean money, I mean legal actions. We have to work closely with Law Enforcement in order to catch them and make sure the spammers get what they deserve