Thought for the day: Who can stop spam?

If we can be in control of junk mail that comes through our letter box, can't we keep control of the spam that is overloading our...

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If we can be in control of junk mail that comes through our letter box, why can't we keep control of the spam that is overloading our inboxes, asks John Radford.





I have no spam filtering software apart from my delete key and keen eyesight.

I am still only on a 56k dial-up line to Demon and at times my phone bill, charged at 4p per minute, is 10 times what it should be because of their greed to get another sale - albeit at an extremely low percentage hit rate.

I am just back from two weeks' holiday and I have 1,350 e-mails in my inbox.

In this day and age, it should not be like this. E-mail is a wonderful tool, which has been hijacked and ruined by, if the reports are correct, less than 400 major-league spammers.

I zip through my inbox every day and out of the 80 to 90 e-mails, no more than a dozen are relevant to me. I will not waste time describing the content of the others, but those with spam filtering software are blissfully unaware that we must be living on a planet of not very well-endowed, under-the-counter drug junkies with a penchant for casinos.

Half my spamming problems must have come from a spate of replying to all spam a while back - using the removal tools they so thoughtfully provided. These, I believe, are merely used by those people selling address lists who harvest removal requests to sell them at a higher price as active hits.

Some people have tried to justify spam by saying it is akin to the junk mail that arrives through the letter box. To pick up on this analogy, I would have about 15 to 20 items of junk mail for every "proper" letter.

If my door mat truly reflected my electronic equivalent, I would register with the Mailing Preference Scheme ( and have my name and address flagged as "do not send direct mail to this address".

Likewise, if I were receiving an inordinate amount of faxes, I would register with the Fax Preference Scheme ( - and again, to cease those cold calls and surveys on the telephone - there is the Telephone Preference Scheme(

Spam e-mail is not free. It's takes up my time, causes me to delete important mail when I should not have to, and costs me money on my phone bill to retrieve it.

How can you, without the third-party software, let the world know you do not wish to receive unsolicited commercial e-mail?

What do you think?

Is spam starting to render e-mail useless? Tell us in an e-mail >> reserves the right to edit and publish answers on the website. Please state if your answer is not for publication.

John Radford is an IT manager at Maydown Precision Engineering

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