When Spam is outlawed, only outlaws will send spam

I keep tallies on the amount of spam I get in a weekend, just for shits and giggles. This weekend resulted in a new record - 611 pieces - which is a testament to the effectiveness of CAN-SPAM. I know people tend to get tired of seeing redneck bumper stickers that say "When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns" but that's exactly what happened with CAN-SPAM. Lots of people called it. They knew the law would have more impact on legit e-mail marketers than on spammers. But once again, the government failed to learn from history.

Of the 611 pieces that reached my desktop over the weekend, not one fully complied with CAN-SPAM. Postal addresses were left out, headers were forged, subject lines were deceptive. And almost all of these pieces came from spammers, not legit marketers. The spammers' approaches aren't changing, but legit e-mail marketers are struggling to ensure compliance.

A prediction here...The first nightmare stories we're going to read about in the mainstream press are going to pertain to legitimate marketers. You'll hear about this stuff before you here of major spam operations being taken down. What totally sucks is that most of this is politically motivated, and politicians seeking election want to take credit for helping "solve" the spam problem - to the point where the politicians don't care if they actually solve the problem. As long as there's a perception that they're doing something about it, the actual impact matters little.