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Re: Proposed EU Directive on Electronic Commerce

  • To: Dave Wilson < >
  • From: Piet Beertema < >
  • Date: Thu, 21 Jan 1999 10:55:07 +0100

    Labelling carries with it an implicit narrowing of the audience.
Correct. But in commercial circles that's better
known as "targeting"; and considered useful.

    I can't see spammers swallowing this voluntarily; their forged
    return addresses suggest that professional "we-spam-4-u" crowd
    don't even care about keeping their address lists up to date.
That category of spammers will never add an X-UCE
header line either.

    However, I may be wrong, and I'll concede that there's no harm
    in making room in the specs for a ***strictly voluntary***
    categorisation system.
Fine with me, as long as the absence of a category
by default leads to discarding the message.
    The primary problem is that global tastes are way too diverse
    for a global system. What causes outcries in the U.S. doesn't
    bat eyelids in Japan, and vice versa => no middle ground.
We're not talking about taste, but about categories.
And categories like "cars" and "XXX" are understood
very well all over the world.

    What global body would administer the categories?
Microsoft. :-)

    I'm making the assumption that our primary problem is threat
    to our network infrastructure; a simple yes/no at the ISP's
    MTA is **probably** just about close enough to the source to
    fix this
You're making a false assumption. The irritation that
spam causes amongst users is infinitely larger than
the threat to our network infrastructure. Besides,
that threat doesn't even come primarily from spam,
but more so from the massive complaints about it.

    If one really wishes to receive updates on a particular subject,
    there are many, many better directories and opt-in lists that
    are much more reliable, with a much finer granularity, than any
    massmail categorisation system.
True. But before you can subscribe to those, you
must first have learned about a product. And even
UCE can help in that.


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