“Make Love Not Spam” Campaign: Does It Put Users at Risk?

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As could have been predicted, Lycos Europe’s “Make Love, Not Spam” campaign is drawing a lot of sharp criticism. In fact, Steve Linford of the anti-spam company SpamHaus has been quoted as saying that “It’s irresponsible of Lycos to put its name to it because it lends legitimacy to [DDoS] attacks.”

Indeed, that has been the primary objection to the program, under which users download a specially developed screensaver which, when active, takes part in a concerted effort to flood the websites of known spammers with enough Internet traffic to cripple their sites.


But as vocal as the debate over the screensaver has become, Aunty has noticed one aspect which is curiously lacking from any discussion: if I connect to your website, especially if I do so repeatedly, or for an extended period of time, you are going to have my IP address all over your logs.

That makes me ripe for retaliation.

Now, it’s possible that Lycos has created the screensaver software in such a way that it alters the IP packets as they leave the user’s machine, so as to obfuscate the screensaver user’s identity, but that then arguably puts the user at risk for breaking additional laws, at least in the United States. And if Lycos has not taken that extra measure, then the user is bombarding a known spammer with their own IP address, which is a bit like going up to a known terrorist’s house and pelting it with rocks on which you’ve painted your home address.

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Further, while it is fairly easy to alter the outgoing IP packets on a Windows box, it is not so trivial on a Mac, for which Lycos is also offering the screensaver.

Aunty thinks that hard questions need to be asked about this program.

On second thought, Aunty takes that back. No questions need to be asked. Just one answered. And the answer is “No, thanks.”

 

You can read more about this at Silicon.com

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One thought on ““Make Love Not Spam” Campaign: Does It Put Users at Risk?

  1. Illegal & Immoral????
    If we the netizens do what the spammers do, arn’t we committing an illegal act?

    Lets put it to you this way, if a company builds a product that no one likes or needs what happens to that commpany? They won’t be in business for very long because they won’t make any money. Spammer are enterprising people, they advertise for free and get a response.
    If I sent out 10 million e-mails to get people to buy my Super Heath Power Pyramid and 5% of that 10 mil resonded, I made money!! But if nobody responds, then why would I continue with the venture.

    It’s really simple folks, Don’t Respond to Spam!!! Just delete it and go on with your life. If you use Outlook Express or Outlook turn the preview pane off and delete the offending e-mail. If the E-Mail came from someone or someplace that you don’t know, delete it!!!

    I have been in the computer industry since 1992, and I’ve seen every type of scam on the web, and the only reason it still exists is because people are responding to these E-Mails.

    Control the impulse just delete it!!!

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