Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Spam and anonymity

Salon have an expose on how spammers work, but you have to watch an ad first, so jump to this Slashdot comment instead.

Every story I read about spammers actually tends to impress and intrigue me. This one reveals a) just how anonymous they can be, and b) the extent to which reputation-based networks are used amongst affiliates.

In some sense, spammers are the first real high-profile (as in mass broadcast) demographic to grasp the concept of organised anonymity, with social engineering techniques generally being far more "efficient" in tracking them down than technical procedures. And, I figure (in my cypherpunk hat), if spammers can make it work, then why not any other similarly-motivated group? Sure, it's more effort than average, but it's not that much more. Again, of course, the real weakness will be human.

Most people hate spammers, but are they a living example of a future free from government?

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