In re: Spam Settlement

Scott Richter’s company OptInRealBig has reached a $7 Milllion settlement with Microsoft over spam that his company had sent out. Today Richter claims his business only sends out legitimate email, he had earlier accounted for a large piece of spam that at its height apparently was 95% of all email. An Economist article on the subject – Opening Pandora’s Inbox – cited Ferris Research’s estimate that spam will cost American businesses $17 billion this year in lost productivity and anti-spam measures. They also noted that sending spam is virtually costless.
This is the problem with Spam, and a number of anti-spam ideas will continue to be pushed forward, including an email tax, something I am in favor of. The tax could be set very low and included in email service providers rates, even a rate as low as 1 cent per 100 emails would deter mass emails, there could be exemptions to this setup for educational accounts, personal use accounts that send under 1000 emails a day, but if targeted to mass emails and companies it could start to deter. There are many who are critical of these ideas, as it could hamper the free flow of ideas that they view the internet as a champion of, so it will be important to include that viewpoint in any solution.

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