Re: [ga] Verisign Spam
Vice President, Customer Experience
You sent me unsolicited email, so you are getting this document, a standard
piece of text I keep around for people who inflict unsolicited mail on me.
Unsolicited email is an unacceptable misuse of the recipients' resources. To
put it mildly, bugger off.
I do not mean just take me off your list. I mean stop sending unsolicited
email to anyone, ever.
Like most net users, I find unsolicited email highly offensive. However,
you appear to be only clueless rather than actually malicious, so I'm
sending you this message.
Of course I am also complaining to your system administrators. If you are
getting this message, the complaint has already been sent.
Sending unsolicited mail is generally regarded as abuse of the network. The
normal penalty for such abuse is disconnection of the email account used. If
a web site is advertised, that often goes too.
Nearly all ISPs have something in their terms of service contracts that lets
them disconnect you for abuse. Nearly all consider sending unsolicited email
to be abuse, and rightly so.
Have you read the terms of service at your ISP?
You should expect your system administrators to give you some flack about
this. Likely mine was not the only complaint. Most system administrators
hate spam as much as I do. It wastes the resources they manage and annoys
Of course, they may not disconnect you this time. Like any business, they
are naturally reluctant to act against their customers and are unlikely to
do so without strong evidence. Moreover, most system admins are willing to
give "clueless newbie" first offenders a second chance.
The IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force, the standards body for the net)
have Working Group on "Responsible Use of the Network". A couple of
documents it has produced:
"Netiquette Guidelines" (network etiquette)
"DON'T SPEW A Set of Guidelines for Mass Unsolicited
Mailings and Postings (spam*)"
You might also want to look at documents on how to advertise on the net
without offending people:
If some alleged "marketing service" has taken advantage of you and sold
you unsolicited email as something that will help your business, I would say
they're guilty of fraud and you should be talking to your lawyer. This
action may have seriously damaged your business.
Several US states have anti-spam laws. For example, for every copy of your
message delivered to a Washington resident:
the recipient can sue you for $500
the ISP can sue you for a thousand
the State attorney general can charge you
Finally, spam messages are frequently forwarded to "hacker" newsgroups
and mailing lists with some comment along the lines of "Have fun with this
slimeball". Personally I don't agree this would be equally irresponsible.
However, I am a member of the General Assembly of ICANN's Domain Name
Supporting Organisation ("DNSO") and have brought the matter to their
attention through their [ga] mailing list.
In fact, I can thank a member of this list for providing the above comments.
----- Original Message -----
From: Network Solutions <A_VeriSign_Company.email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 17 Jul 2001 18:09:05 -0400
Subject: Network Solutions Improves Web Site; Integrates VeriSign Name
As you probably know, last year Network Solutions became part
of the VeriSign« family, the #1 infrastructure services company
for the Internet. Since then, we've taken significant steps to
improve our customer experience. Now, we are about to take a bold,
next step -- launching a new Web site.
The new site will carry the VeriSign« name and includes major
improvements to offer you more choices, better selection and
improved navigation in a fast, easy-to-understand format.
Over the next few weeks, if you click on an advertisement for
Network Solutions or VeriSign, it's possible you could be sent
to the new site. Consider this a sneak preview of our efforts
to offer you one complete online solution for your presence on
Some highlights of the new site include:
* A straightforward, user-friendly design
* Enhanced shopping features such as shopping carts
to customize your order and useful wizard tools
* The ability to order VeriSign's online security
and e-commerce products and services
* Improved account management to make handling your
account simple and flexible
* More Web-based support including online chat and
Both the current site and the new site are fully functional
and all of your customer information is protected.
In the coming months, expect to see more exciting changes as
our site evolves. These improvements will make getting on the
Web easier than ever before. Stay tuned!
Vice President, Customer Experience
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