January 1, 2003 · Lessig
A kind-hearted email and a nice analysis of spam have given me an idea:
First the analysis: Philip Jacob has a great piece about spam and RBLs. The essay not only identifies the many problems with RBLs, but it nicely maps a mix of strategies that could be considered in their place. But, alas, missing from the list is one I’ve pushed: A law requiring simple labeling, and a bounty for anyone who tracks down spammers violating the law.
Then I got an email from a kind soul warning me about my work�”do you know how powerful your enemies are?” this person asked. No, I thought, I don’t, but let’s see. If I’ve got such powerful enemies, then I’ve got a good way to do some good.
Here goes: So (a) if a law like the one I propose is passed on a national level, and (b) it does not substantially reduce the level of spam, then (c) I will resign my job. I get to decide whether (a) is true; Declan can decide whether (b) is true. If (a) and (b) are both true, then I’ll do (c) at the end of the following academic year.
So: Is there anyone else advancing a spam solution who would offer this kind of warranty?