The Tridecadal Korean (astralblue) wrote,
The Tridecadal Korean
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Spammer Spamming to Fight Spams by Spammer-Spammer

Just found this in my inbox...

From: "SPAMIS:" <contact@spamis.org>
To: <blue@ddrfreak.com>
Subject: BREAKING NEWS: Microsoft CEO Caught Sending Illegal Spam
Date: Tue, 28 Jun 2005 14:50:54 +0400

BREAKING NEWS: MICROSOFT BREAKS THE FEDERAL CAN-SPAM LAW


THE WASHINGTON POST HEADLINE:
Was Microsoft's e-mail message spam?  Some people who got it think so

----- ---- --- -- -  -
By Jonathan Krim - The Washington Post
Article Published: November 5, 2004
----- ---- --- -- -  -

For a year, Microsoft Corp. has extolled the virtues of the Can-Spam
Act, which Congress passed in late 2003 to crack down on purveyors of
unwanted bulk e-mail. The company, with other Internet and marketing
firms, helped craft the act and has sued several spammers under its
provisions.

But Bob Poortinga thinks the software giant is engaged in its own
spamming.

Last week, Poortinga got a lengthy "executive letter" from Microsoft
chief executive Steven A. Ballmer touting Microsoft's Windows products
for companies and other organizations.

The letter was one of a series sent by Microsoft to the technology
community as part of a worldwide campaign by Microsoft to combat the
growing popularity of the Linux operating system and other open-source
software.

Many businesses and government agencies have turned to open-source
systems because they consider them to be less expensive, more secure
alternatives to Microsoft's Windows software.

"I'm writing to you and other business decision makers and [information
technology] professionals today to share some of the data around these
key issues, and to provide examples of customers who opted to go with
the Windows platform rather than Linux," Ballmer's message said.

Microsoft said Ballmer's e-mail did not violate federal anti-spam
regulations. But anti-spam activists and legal experts said the message
does not make it easy for people to remove themselves from future
mailings, as required by the law.

Like many anti-spam activists, Poortinga, a Bloomington, Ind.,
programmer, has never been a fan of the Can-Spam Act. He said it is as
much an effort to protect corporate marketers' ability to send unwanted
e-mail as it is to block unsavory spam.

He said he never gave Microsoft the e-mail address to which Ballmer's
note was sent. Poortinga said he primarily used that address to
register Internet domains for hosting Web sites.

'Worthless exercise'

"It also shows that the Can-Spam Act is simply a worthless exercise in
PR and it reinforces the widely held belief that Microsoft is so
arrogant that they feel that they are not bound to conform to laws and
standards," Poortinga said in an e-mail interview.

Poortinga, who described his experience in a note posted on an Internet
discussion group, added that he got an unsolicited e-mail from
Microsoft in 1999 and tried to unsubscribe at the time.

As details of his experience and a copy of Ballmer's note were
forwarded to other technology mailing lists, some participants
speculated that Microsoft was sending its messages to lists containing
names other than those in its customer database.

Microsoft spokesman Sean Sundwall said the company "never, ever" uses
outside lists for its mailings, although he said he did not know how
Poortinga ended up in Microsoft's customer database.

He said that database includes millions of names collected from a
variety of sources, including registrations for products or
Microsoft-sponsored conferences, names provided to Microsoft
representatives at trade shows or requests to receive company
newsletters.

He added that Poortinga might not have followed the proper procedure
to unsubscribe in 1999, but conceded that the request might have
fallen though the cracks.

Sending an unsolicited e-mail once is permitted under the terms of the
Can-Spam Act.

That was a sore point with many anti-spam activists, who argued that
people should not receive any commercial e-mail unless they
specifically request it.

Instead, Congress required bulk mailers to provide for an easy way for
people to remove themselves from future mailings. Failure to honor
those requests is punishable by fines.

Ballmer's e-mail advised readers that if they wish to receive future
letters, they can sign up for them. That way, Sundwall said, if a
recipient takes no action he would not get any additional mailings.

The e-mail also included a link to a sign-in page for a Microsoft
Passport, which is the system used by the company to verify the
identities of its customers.

The e-mail said that by doing so, customers can manage their accounts,
such as instructing the company on what type of information they want
to receive.

'A clear violation'

A leading authority on spam laws said Microsoft's approach has several
problems.

"The Can-Spam Act requires that there be a clear and conspicuous"
notice of how to unsubscribe from future mailings, said David E.
Sorkin, an associate professor at the John Marshall law school in
Chicago. "It's not clear to me this message even has one."

He said Congress did not intend for people to have to provide
additional information to a bulk e-mailer to be removed from a list.

"That seems to me to be a clear violation of the statute," Sorkin
said.

Sorkin criticized the section of the message that implies that no
further mailing will be sent unless asked for by the recipient.
"That's a classic thing found in spam," he said, noting that a bulk
mailer could continually make that promise and then keep sending
e-mail.

Sundwall said Microsoft's lawyers reviewed the mailings and
determined that they complied with the Can-Spam Act.

"Customers who have registered their e-mail address with us always
maintain the right to opt out of future e-mails," Sundwall said.
"When such action is requested, we immediately remove them from
future customer communications."

- 2005 The Washington Post Company

----- ---- --- -- -  - 

ARTICLE COMMENTS:

Have You Been Spammed by Microsoft?

Dear Gentle Readers, MSNBC, of all places, is reporting that there 
are allegations that Microsoft CEO Steven Ballmer has been spamming 
people. :gasp: Can it be true? Microsoft has been in the news a lot 
lately as a champion...

----- ---- --- -- -  - 
Trackback by Lockergnome's Windows Fanatics - 11/5/2004 @ 4:13 pm 

Yap they keep sending me French emails and I don't even know french.
Hard to unsubscribe to something if you can not read it. 

----- ---- --- -- -  - 
Comment by Scott - 11/6/2004 @ 2:37 pm 

Hi All

Yes this is another case of the ol double standard that is
Microsquish. I think that they must give classes on this in Redmond.
I believe that the thought process is "if I point at everyone else 
long enough they will ignore us"

----- ---- --- -- -  - 
Comment by R J McCreary - 11/6/2004 @ 3:27 pm

Yeah: I have received several messages from them lately, and what 
makes it doubly damning is you do not know whether it is a required 
safety download or just somthing they want to get asross to you until
you have to read it to find out.

I have read, several times, that Microsoft never sends email so you
do not really know whether to read it or not.  What is a person to
do? I am seventy four years old and new at this game. 

----- ---- --- -- -  - 
Comment by Bill Goodman - 11/7/2004 @ 10:00 am 

----- ---- --- -- -  -

..You are receiving this email notification because... 

-> MICROSOFT SENDS ILLEGAL UNSOLICITED COMMERCIAL SPAM <-

OUR MISSION: Worldwide Boycott of MICROSOFT Software / Hardware / Service
SHOW YOUR SUPPORT: "Don't Support Illegal Spam, DON'T BUY ANYTHING MICROSOFT"

OUR GOAL: 100 Billion Views / 99.9% Internet Saturation / 178 Parts (2005-2007)

[SPAMIS Foundation: Strategic Partnership Against Microsoft Illegal Spam] 

----- ---- --- -- -   -
MEDIA & JOURNALISTS INTERESTED IN A STORY ON SPAMIS AND/OR MICROSOFT SPAM?
LEGAL FIRMS INTERESTED IN LITIGATION AGAINST MICROSOFT'S ILLEGAL SPAMMING?
Contact: Spamis, Box 1259, Seattle, WA 98111 / Phone or Fax: (206)260-2409

QUESTIONS ABOUT THESE PUBLIC STATEMENTS FROM MICROSOFT:
Microsoft Head Spam Spokesmen: Aaron Kornblum or Ryan Hamlin

SPAMIS EXISTS DUE TO THE IMPROPER, UNPROFESSIONAL, RUDE, CHILDISH AND 
UNETHICAL VERBAL AND WRITTEN ACTIONS OF ROBERT J. DIZELAK OF LAW FIRM: 
Preston, Gates, Ellis / Seattle, WA - USA

[Part 27 of 178]
(c)2005 SPAMIS: Strategic Partnership Against Microsoft Illegal Spam

And the funny thing: This message scored 10.5 through SpamAssassin, more than twice as much as what SpamAssassin marks as a spam (5.0).

Pot, kettle, black.  Ahahaha.

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