60-Seconds #317 : Goodbye SpamCop

by Fred Showker

60-Seconds #317 Spamcop As many of you know I've been an avid spam fighter and anti-spam advocate since the dawn of email. As an early adopter of Spamcop, CAUCE, and other organizations fighting spam, I even authored the ISP Anti-Spam Initiative which I presented at the FTC Spam FORUMS of 2003. Although well researched as an effective means of ending spam, unfortunately the ISP industry was already making too much money off spam. Then, ten years ago, I posted an edition called 60-Seconds #169 : Spamcop Full Circle. Since then I've been a SpamCop evangelist and supporter because they were the ones with the good fight against spam. In 2007, I authored 24 hours of spam, but today I sadly say goodbye to Spamcop.

Spamcop sent out an email letter that told all subscribers that the email services was ending on September 31. While they would keep the reporting functions going -- they would no longer host your email or separate your spam for reporting. So, my spamcop.net email is now being forwarded to another email address I've set up -- and they say they'll continue the forwarding service for one year, then we're on our own. For all purposes however, it's simply the end of Spamcop and spam reporting. What a shame.

Spam is about who benefits from it, not who sent it. Malicious Internet traffic, also through malware, drives traffic to domains where the exploiters hope you will conduct a transaction. Each party has a documented responsibility to not abuse the public network or violate the law. However, you are at risk because a) crooks know nobody is going to come after them, b) registrars are getting rich off the traffic, and c) ICANN is getting rich selling tens of thousands of bogus domains for phishing and malware cyber cartels. There is a very, very distinct probability that it will not stop, but will only get a lot worse.

I am proud to have reported on this spam just since Spamcop closing.

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At one point we were reporting 5.4 spams per hour, with Spamcop's automated system filtering our mail through Horde. With the entire Spamcop nation they once reported 6.5 spams per second, with bursts up to 112 spams per second. Spamcop would feed spammers to the black-hole lists around the world, and most of the time the spam was trapped before it got to you. But those days are over. It just takes too long to report each individual offending spam, and I'll probably just start deleting them. I do continue to report the really bad offenders. But I report fewer and fewer each day. This will probably be the case with thousands of other Spamcop users as well.

All things change, and everyone sooner or later moves on. It's a shame because what Spamcop was doing probably won't be duplicated. The black-hole lists that protect everyone's email will have to find some other way of replenishing their resources. As Spamcop users drop off and leave the fight, only the spammers will be left.

Fred Showker However long they maintain the reporting form, nobody knows. But I urge you to use it http://mailsc.spamcop.net/sc. Read the docs so you're reporting correctly. I'll continue to use it as I can and hopefully still provide a small contribution to the fight. It's my duty -- and yours too -- as a citizens of the internet.

And, thanks for reading

Fred Showker

      Editor/Publisher : DTG Magazine
      +FredShowker on Google+ or most social medias @Showker
      Published online since 1988

 


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