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Re: SPAM

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I would love to tell each of you who are unsubscribing because of the spam that you can participate on the Structuralist.Net lists, but in all honesty, the only reason why we have not had an outburst of spam related posts is that the software “Mailman” allows us to filter out spam posts and any posts by non-subscribers. I don’t think the problem is the SEAINT List but rather the maintenance of the list by those who should be paying attention. No one can stop a spammer from subscribing to a list – this happens even on he Structuralist.Net lists, but as the administrator I receive a notification of a bounced message from an unauthorized party or someone will write me to mention that someone else stepped over the line by attempting to solicit product or services on our topic specific lists.

 

We’ve gone for nearly 12-years on the SEAINT list and I would like to point out that I co-founded this list with Shafat Qazi and the members of the SEAOSC Computer Applications committee. I am proud of what it has achieved even if I am not a regular subscriber any longer. We gave it life and it is a service to many thousands of professionals around the world. I would hate to see this deteriorate simply because our intolerance for spam is escalating.

 

I do work with e-mail as part of my practice and this includes seeking advice from others on various lists that I’ve started. I do maintain control but most don’t realize that each day I’ll get twenty or thirty notices of attempted posts or mail waiting for my approval (which is 99.9% spam that I simply let the system delete).

 

FWIW, I recently went back to using MS Outlook with my Zone Alarm Security Suite set up for e-mail protection and Web Sweeper as a secondary spam filter. I was using Mozilla Thunderbird for a couple of years and I really was fond of the software. However, about six months ago Verizon ended their relationship with MSN and joined the Yahoo team. I am not an admirer of Yahoo after being caught in their forums and unable to get out. The Building Code forum did it for me – I wrote the forum administrator many times and never got the curtesy of a reply. I could not unsubscribe and ended up creating a rule to send all e-mail from that forum to my junk mail file. Yahoo was selling their subscribers list (as I suppose others do) but they were blatant about it and I refuse to use any Yahoo related software that Verizon recommends for fear of this happening again. As soon as the Verizon-Yahoo venture started, spam grew out of control and the filters I used on Thunderbird (Choicemail 3.0) were no longer effective. The most effective Spam software out there seems to be written for Outlook and not Mozilla. I’ve tried each of the Mozilla compatible products only to lose messages or walk away unsatisfied.

 

There were some very good products for Outlook such as QURB that I have no used in years. I find that I am satisfied with the way Zone Alarm Security Suite Traps and quarantines spam and viruses. This still means that I have two or three hundred e-mails a day to breeze through that are in the junk mail filter. In time when the “training” sessions are satisfactory, I’ll check the quarantined mail less often.

 

I hate to use this euphemism but “Don’t blame the messenger” – Possibly SEAOSC should be more alert to this barrage of spam, but it is not worth destroying ten or twelve years of work because of Spam. Recently, the world’s largest distributor of spam was found guilty in court and fined heavily. I only remember hearing it in passing on CNN so I don’t know his name or what Spam he was distributing. I remember that he was caught at his maximum of over 24 million spam messages in a day that he distributed. Consider the attack on the ISP’s service and the similar effect that this would have compared to a Denial of Service attack (DOS)! I think the control over spam has to come from an ethical attitude within the ISP community – especially those who bounce spam around the world. International laws would destroy what was intended to be a free platform of information and those of us who live in a country where Freedom of Speech and of the Press is protected understand that there are things we won’t like or that will attempt to attack our families (like the My Space Blog issues), but it is our own responsibility to deal with it.

 

Before you unsubscribe from this list (or mine if it should happen), please take the time to write Shafat or SEAINT directly to wake them up. There is a great deal at stake here that you may not realize and we can’t simply let the Spammers destroy what we worked to hard to achieve.

 

Complain before you take action to leave the list.

 

Dennis S. Wish, PE

California Professional Engineer

C-41250 Exp. March 31, 2007

Structural Engineering Consultant.