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Charging the Sender for Spam

An idea from the inventor of the smiley

5:41 am on Dec 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

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An article in Wired [wired.com] reports on a paper published in IBM's Systems Journal by Scott Fahlman, who is credited as the creator of the first emoticon (smiley). He suggests a techological solution - and a business opportunity as well - for dealing with spam and intrusive telemarketing.

His plan calls for new phones and e-mail software that would require fees to accept incoming messages. The fee would be waived for welcome e-mail and calls, but collected for unsolicited spam and intrusive telemarketing calls.

"This payment compensates me for suffering an unwanted interruption and - more importantly - it has cost you something to bother me," wrote Fahlman.

Friends, family and frequent known callers could be given "interrupt tokens" that would allow them to bypass the system.

10:53 am on Dec 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Sounds really good on the surface and I'm all for any viable measures to stem the flow of UCE/SPAM on the Internet.

Maybe a better solution would be to educate those who open and subscribe to the offending UCE/SPAM in the first place. Were it not for them, UCE/SPAM would be virtually non-existant today.

Just my opinion, mind you.