Do not spam lists

From ASRG
Jump to: navigation, search
Anti-spam technique: Do not spam lists
Date of first use: Before 1998
Effectiveness: Low
Popularity: Low
Difficulty of implementation: Medium
Where implemented: External
Harm: Low

Telephone do-not-call lists have been a fairly effective way to deter junk phone calls, so the analogue for e-mail would be do-not-spam lists.

Over the years there have been a variety of such lists. Many have probably been fronts for spammers to collect lists of suckers, but the two best known were SafeEPS built by Rodney Joffe's American Computer Group, and [eMPS] run by the Direct Marketing Association. The CAN SPAM act in the U.S. also allows the Federal Trade Commission to create a do-not-spam list, although they have declined to do so.

No do-not-spam list has ever been effective, because there's no incentive for spammers to use them. To the extent spammers do use them, they can easily be reverse engineered to identify addresses on the list, making it very unattractive for users to sign up for even the few legitimate ones.