Re: Spam response?

From: Karl Ferguson <>
Date: Sun, 23 Mar 1997 11:28:53 +0800

At 07:04 PM 3/22/97 -0500, Matthew McGehrin wrote:
>> Who *isn't* receiving spam these days? (Let me in on your secret!)
>> Has anyone taken to an active response - spam received by users in
>> a domain, reconfigure squid to block access to their site(s) and a
>> note back to their admin stating that they've had their access to
>I think thats a bit "overboard" for simple "delete" and wola the spam
>is gone. Spammer's will always be around, I find it easier, just to
>"delete" the message and continue.
>Total time = 1 second
>If I invested any more time for a spammer, I just dont see the
>justification for it. Its like junk mail. You throw it away.

This is starting to get off-topic, but...

I like to see spammers get busted. I find that a lot of administrators do
give a hoot that their users are spamming and repremand/delete their
accounts. I take the time to send a nice little message that takes all of
30 seconds tops after cutting and pasting.

Dear postmaster / administrative / technical contact,

Recently I received the message included below.

I consider this message to be junkmail [1] and/or a violation of
netiquette [2], and do not wish to receive this (or similar) messages

Please educate its sender (`insert email address here')
about the etiquette with regard to using the internet [3]. If you have
not done so already, please consider extending your Terms of Service or
Acceptable Use Policy to prohibit junkmail.

Junkmail is a form of personal harassment and a gross invasion of my privacy.

Currently, some countries already have or are in the process of
developing laws prohibiting or restricting electronic junkmail. [4,5]

I politely appeal to your decency in dealing with this. I reserve
the right to resort to legal action or less polite methods in case
of repeated junkmail from the same sender or from unresponsive or
unresponsible sites.

Please accept my apologies if this message is sent to you based on
information from forged mail headers.

[1] My definition of junkmail includes
    - unasked-for advertising ("UCE"), political propaganda, diet schemes
    - non-sensical messages
    - chain letters
    - "MAKE MONEY FAST" and similar pyramid schemes
    - messages from mailing lists I didn't personally subscribe to.
    - messages not relevant to non-residents of the sender's country.
    and does not make exceptions for "if you (do|don't) reply you will
    get no further messages".

[2] S. Hambridge, "Netiquette Guidelines", Internet RFC 1855, 10/20/1995.
    Available as

[3] Other source of information:
    - "The Blacklist of Internet Advertisers"
    - "Advertising on Usenet: How To Do It, How Not To Do It"
      <URL: E-Mail>
    - "Net Abuse FAQ" (FAQ for*)

[4] Applicable U.S. law includes Title 47, Sec.227(b)(1)(C) of the U.S. Code:

    US Code Title 47, Sec.227(b)(1)(C):

        "It shall be unlawful for any person within the United States to
         use any telephone facsimile machine, computer, or other device
         to send an unsolicited advertisement to a telephone facsimile

    A "telephone facsimile machine" is defined in Sec.227(a)(2)(B) as:

        "equipment which has the capacity to transcribe text or images
         (or both) from an electronic signal received over a regular
         telephone line onto paper."

    Under this definition, an e-mail account, modem, computer and printer
    together constitute a fax machine.

    The rights of action are as follows. Under Sec.227(b)(3)(B):

        "A person or entity may, if otherwise permitted by the laws or
         rules of court of a State, bring in an appropriate court of
         that State --

          (A) an action based on a violation of this subsection or the
              regulations prescribed under this subsection to enjoin
              such violation,
          (B) an action to recover for actual monetary loss from such a
              violation, or to receive $500 in damages for each such
              violation, whichever is greater, or
          (C) both such actions. If the court finds that the defendant
              willfully or knowingly violated this subsection or the
              regulations prescribed under this subsection, the court
              may, in its discretion, increase the amount of the award
              to an amount equal to not more than 3 times the amount
              available under subparagraph (B) of this paragraph."

[5] <URL:>

And now, here's the bad message:

[include message with full headers].

Karl Ferguson
Tower Networking Pty Ltd   Tel: +61-9-456-0000
t/a STAR Online Services   Fax: +61-9-455-2776
Received on Sat Mar 22 1997 - 19:41:08 MST

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