Nov 172006

Network World reports on huge increases in the amount of spam over the past several weeks: What’s with all this spam?

Researchers and IT managers are confirming security vendors’ claims that spam levels have spiked in the past month – some say by as much as 80 % — and show no signs of decreasing.

“There are enormous amounts of spam; it’s shot up like crazy since the beginning of October,” says John Levine…

This spam problem is an example of why socialism doesn’t work.

Sooner or later, we’re going to have to do something about it other than trying to develop new filters faster than the spammers can get around them. We’re either going to get the government involved in intrusive censorship, or we’ll need to adopt some type of metered pricing for internet traffic.
As long as spammers (and their unwilling, unsuspecting hosts) don’t have to pay the cost, they will have no motivation to limit the amount of internet resources they use. It’s the old Tragedy of the Commons thing. But there are so many people who are ideologically opposed to pricing mechanisms for resource allocation, it’s likely we’ll go the route of repression and censorship instead of pricing.

I had thought the net neutrality people were among those who were dead set against pricing mechanism. But today I learned that isn’t necessarily the case. (Net neutrality isn’t as hot an issue right now as it was a few months ago, but I think about it every time I see the volume of spam going up.)

While trying to educate myself about this, I found The Monash Report. Net neutrality is one of Curt Monash’s blog categories. He has an idea for a pricing mechanism called the “Tariff Rebate Passthrough.”

Another of his blog categories is “privacy, censorship, and freedom.” So he’s going on my blogroll.

He also linked to Save the, a group of net neutrality people who are not opposed to pricing mechanisms.