The People’s Email Network – Spam Your Legislators, Friends and Complete Strangers

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In what seems like a good idea, the People’s Email Network (UsAlone.com), claims that it “facilitates the process of sending email messages to Washington. In one place on our site you can send a message that is automatically submitted to the members of congress for where you live.”

What they don’t state quite as succinctly – although it is in their People’s Email FAQ – is what is exactly under the hood, and what happens when you “send an email” throught their system to your legislators. While it is available to read in their FAQ, the average user would not really understand what it all means, so we are going to translate it for you.


When, in the People’s Email FAQ it says:

“In both the senate and house of representatives, there is a trend away from email addresses accessible to the general public and in favor of qualifying forms to determine if you are one of their direct constituents. The form you fill out on our page confirms your correct zip code and corresponding congressional representation. This information is then transmitted to the appropriate gateways by our proprietary software in the background. “

What it really means is “we have created scripting software which auto-submits copies of what you wrote to the web forms at the various legislators’ sites.”

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While perhaps laudable in concept, scripting web-forms is usually associated with spamming, phishing, and malware.

When they say, about the fact that when you submit a form their system also opens a new email message with your mail program, prepopulated with your message, “The strength of The People’s Email Network derives from people pooling the power of their own email clients to spread the word. The message is simply an invitation and notice for other people you many know to visit our site and make their voices heard also.”

What it really means is “spam your friends with this message too”, and not just your friends because…

 

When they say, about the pre-checked “extra CC” box in their system “If you leave this box checked, we may add a small number (no more than 10) of additional addressees to your outgoing friends email only, in the case where you have pasted in a relatively small number yourself. If you have a number much greater than that, we are hereby asking other participants to help get messages out to them. The purpose of this function is load balancing. By spreading the traffic around we can more effectively and efficiently communicate what is going on here.”

What they really mean is that they are going to have complete strangers get a mass mailing from you – in your name and using your email address, getting you in trouble with your ISP.

Now, we’re all for writing to your elected representatives, but there are much cleaner, safer ways to do it. For example, you can find all of your representatives here, and you won’t even have to worry about this, UsAlone.com’s People’s Email’s last gotcha, from the bottom of their FAQ:

Why are some of the links like “Remove me” and “Opt-in” not working for me?

Check to make sure you are not rejecting all pop-ups indiscriminately.

No Paywall Here!
The Internet Patrol is and always has been free. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money. That said, it does cost us money to run the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something to help keep the Internet Patrol free?
Click for amount options
Other Amount:
What info did you find here today?:

2 thoughts on “The People’s Email Network – Spam Your Legislators, Friends and Complete Strangers

  1. Thanks for the feedback! I needed to find out how valid this group is, and I think I’ve found my answer. I’ll cancel my support, because I can write my own letters, no worries!

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