I had just finished reading Philip Jacob's piece and was preparing my thoughts for a panel on spam that I THINK I'm on in January when I saw this piece by Larry. It's great. It's right on and he's putting his job on the line. I totally agree. We CAN NOT give up the stupid network just to stomp out spamming. I think that the label/punish idea is great. I only worry that the punishment loop is more difficult internationally. Maybe you'll end up with a lot of spam from Japanese, Chinese and Russian spammers. ;-) Larry will still keep his job though, because it will still be siginificantly less spam than you get now.
Lawrence LessigA kind-hearted email and a nice analysis of spam have given me an idea:
First the analysis: Philip Jacob has a great piece about spam and RBLs. The essay not only identifies the many problems with RBLs, but it nicely maps a mix of strategies that could be considered in their place. But, alas, missing from the list is one I've pushed: A law requiring simple labeling, and a bounty for anyone who tracks down spammers violating the law.
Then I got an email from a kind soul warning me about my work—"do you know how powerful your enemies are?" this person asked. No, I thought, I don't, but let's see. If I've got such powerful enemies, then I've got a good way to do some good.
Here goes: So (a) if a law like the one I propose is passed on a national level, and (b) it does not substantially reduce the level of spam, then (c) I will resign my job. I get to decide whether (a) is true; Declan can decide whether (b) is true. If (a) and (b) are both true, then I'll do (c) at the end of the following academic year.
So: Is there anyone else advancing a spam solution who would offer this kind of warranty?