Can we Really Can Spam?

spamToday I woke up, mad as hell, and decided I wasn’t going to take it anymore (reference to the 1976 movie, Network). I’m talking about Spam. No, not the Monty Python Skit, but the phenomenon of unsolicited email, which starts out as a trickle, but soon culminates into a torrent, forcing many to relinquish that old email address or take some other drastic measure. I have a Hotmail account I opened many years ago, but because of spam, I had to limit incoming mail to people already in my address book. Because folks regularly change their email addresses (probably because of excessive spam), I don’t get email there from anyone anymore.

Back in 2003 Congress passed the CAN-SPAM Act, which allows the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to crack down on blatant spammers. Then in 2004 Bill Gates predicted that we will have solved the problem of spam by 2006. But in spite of some high profile prosecutions, the level of spam has only increased.

Feeling frustrated and helpless, I called my web hosting provider ( and explained my dilemma, that some of my email accounts were inundated with spam and therefore pretty well useless. The advice I received was to set up spam filters, which I did. The problem there is that fighting spam would become terribly time-consuming. Why would I have to take up the battle all on my own? Am I all alone in facing this problem? Why couldn’t I just pay some service to take care of it for me?

After googling around for a while, I happened upon a service called SpamCop, which for $30 per year will filter out spam from my Inbox. Be warned, the service is somewhat controversial. Basically, it allows you to forward all your email to their servers, which go to work on removing all the spam and then send it on to an address of your choosing (or let you get it directly from their servers). The controversy revolves primarily around some innocent people or companies getting inadvertently blacklisted. That said, I’d rather err on the side of blocking spam, so I thought I would give it a try. I’ll let you know how it goes!

About Tony Sneed

Sr. Software Solutions Architect, Hilti Global Application Software
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