AM: Spam shoot-out softspoken, serious at Internet World '97-
Take a look at this short piece on Wednesday's Internet World session
on spamming. Thanks Raj and Ross, for your observations of the big show.
** Was anyone else in the group at Internet World?* * We'd love to hear
your observations. Did the show really have less value this year, as the
Mitch Arnowitz firstname.lastname@example.org
Spam shoot-out softspoken, serious
By Matt Broersma
NEW YORK December 11, 1997 -- Internet World Wednesday witnessed a
rare sort of assembly: self-proclaimed king of spam meeting with a die-hard
foe of junk E-mail, not to beat each other to a pulp, but to have a reasonable,
well-thought-out discussion about the future of E-mail advertising.
But though it had the appearance of a controlled, amicable debate between
Sanford Wallace, president of spammer Cyber Promotions Inc., facing off with
Jason Catlett, president of Junkbusters Corp, the calm surface of the forum was
a thin veil over the explosive issue of unsolicited E-mail advertising and what it
says about the increasingly commercialized Internet.
Those tensions were most apparent when Wallace, whom many equate with the
ever-rising tide of spam in their E-mail in-boxes, was interrupted several times
during the discussion by hecklers in the audience. "What's the matter, don't you
like it when someone's as rude as you are?" one man shouted after repeatedly
breaking in on Wallace's opening remarks.
Catlett concluded that spam is reaching "a crisis that could permanently damage
Internet commerce," Wallace's stance was that people should just get used to it:
"Most people don't like advertising, but that's part of the way we do business here
in America," he said. "E-mail marketing is here to stay."
The two speakers also discussed E-mail filters and opt-in lists as possibilities for
limiting spam damage. Wallace insisted that the network backbone he and other
spammers say they are launching will go online in the next two weeks, though
he declined to reveal what backbone providers the new company would peer with,
for fear of reprisals from angry Internet users.
In April Wallace announced a similar agreement between Cyber Promotions and ISP
WorldCom Inc., only to see it fall through days later, after WorldCom garnered an angry
anti-spam response. Referring to the WorldCom incident, Catlett remarked, "The collateral
damage Sanford can create with a casual comment is rivaled only by [Federal Reserve
Bank Chairman] Alan Greenspan."
- Re: AM: Spam shoot-out softspoken, serious at Internet World '97-, Brian Alpert