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Spam: is it an alternative?

Di Antonio Caneva, 9 Maggio 2003

We are once again talking about newsletters, this time from the viewpoint of the recipient.
The Corriere della Sera of Thursday, May18, published an interesting article on spamming, the deplorable habit to send unsolicited emails, sometimes with illicit contents. In the United States this practice has become so widespread as to prompt intervention by the authorities to put a stop to it. The article reveals that according to a recent study by the US Congress, in the United States two unsolicited emails out of three contain false information, 96% of commercial or business letters are fraudulent, and 66% of the total violates federal laws.
To protect against such a spam barrage, a wide range of antispamming software exists on offer, utilised both by servers and by consumers. A world of increasing complexity, which above all fills the pockets of software producers.
At our editing office, we receive about 200 emails a day, many of which are spam; it would be easy to install an application to intercept them, but we decided not to do so. The way it is now, we regularly receive proposals from relatives or co-workers of feigned African dictators, promising collaborations allowing to earn hundreds of millions of euros; proposals from pretty girls with more or less photographs and varying degrees of obscenity; offers of materials of all sorts, from printer cartridges to oriental carpets; sometimes we even receive viruses. We decided, however, not to block incoming spam, because among so much junk we also receive interesting and useful information. The net was born to be free to communicate, and with some amount of attention we can manage to only distil the best. Clearly, any proposals from unknown senders promising millionaire earnings should prompt caution, and be immediately eliminated; in the same way, unless you wish to constantly receive emails and proposals from girls, you should not click to visit their websites; if you are not interested in product advertisements you can just ignore them and delete them; and as concerns viruses, there you really need an excellent antivirus programme, possibly complemented by a firewall.
Ultimately, it still holds true that the usage of a tool is exclusively dependent on us.

Translation of the Italian
editorial by Paola Praloran

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