Article: Is There A Future For Spam?

by Niall Roche

Copyright 2005 Niall Roche

Will you always be buried underneath a mountain of spam? Is there any light at the end of the tunnel? With the current flood of spam to your inbox and ever more devious practices on the part of spammers you'd be forgiven for thinking that spam is here to stay.

The tide has turned folks. It may not seem like that right now with spam being just as abundant as ever. Spammers are getting desperate though. Their most recent move to use home computers as spam zombies demonstrates this desperation quite clearly. For spammers to want to use low speed cable and DSL connections to send their junk email means one thing the email servers they're normally using are being blocked as quickly as they go online.

This is not to say that spam will just disappear. The volume of spam you're receiving hasn't noticeably reduced. Not yet but it will. Education is beginning to take effect. People are deleting spam instead of replying to it. Home users are hiding their PCs behind firewalls, antivirus software and spam filters. Companies are implementing enforcable Internet policies which prevent employees from sending spam, jokes or otherwise, during working hours. Even Microsoft have made a committment to fighting spam. Their recent buyout of Giant Software may see spam filtering as a default feature in the next version of Microsoft Windows perhaps?

Let's just imagine for a second what might happen if spam doesn't decrease over the next few years.

The geographical hotspots for spammers are Russia, China and the Phillipines. Could a government ,say perhaps the US Government, take a drastic step. Maybe initiate an electronic first strike on the countries which host junk email servers which are used to send out billions of pieces of spam every day? The US already have military Cyber Warfare teams fending off attacks from hackers working for foreign Governments. How hard would it be for them to initiate a cyber assault on spam servers? The US and China actively trade cyber warfare body blows every single day although this is never discussed on the evening news.

Could data embargos be used to "choke" spammers of their online resources? The Internet itself is compromised of 13 central "pillars" and millions of nodes. A joint venture between the US, UK and the EU could theoretically shut down entire nodes to certain countries a sort of Eembargo. No data in. No data out. In a world that relies so heavily on data this could bring any offending spam supporting country to its knees in just a few hours.

What's the likelihood of either scenario ever developing? Anywhere from nonexistent to highly probable. We live in a world where absolutes mean nothing as each day passes and we surpass what was previously thought impossible.

The future of spam is a dim one. Public outrage and the drain on bandwidth and Internet resources as a whole has forged a bond of common anger between Joe Soap users and big business worldwide. The message is clear Spam Has To Go

What was once a very lucrative business for the spammer may soon be putting up a "Closed Due To Lack of Business" sign. Let's hope so.

About the Author

Niall Roche runs which reviews and tests spam blockers and also provides tons of information on the origins of spam and how to fight it.

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