Commercial spam became illegal in Israel in December, 2008

Discussion of items in the "What's New" log.

Do you support this law?

Yes, and I hope other countries would apply it too!
3
60%
Yes, even though I oppose its deliberate non inclusion of uncommercial spam.
2
40%
No, because it will ruin small businesses that can't afford "standard" advertising.
0
No votes
No, because it makes uncommercial spam legit. I say it's all or nothing.
0
No votes
 
Total votes : 5

Commercial spam became illegal in Israel in December, 2008

Postby lwc » Tue Dec 02, 2008 5:11 pm

Just wanted to tell you that it is now illegal to send any commercial electronic message in Israel (whether it's SMS, robotic telemarketing announcements, e-mail or fax) unless the reciever opted-in (as opposed to opted-out) in advance.

In preparation for the new law, in recent days lots of Israeli companies sent "please click here to opt-in or we won't be able to send you special offers, discounts, etc. in the future" messages everywhere. The company that claimed the most clicks claimed for 45%. Some others claimed for 30%. I bet the real percentages are lower, but in any case not higher. That means you're (and Spamgourmet in general is) supposed from now on to get only 55%-70% (if not much - much - less) of the amount of Israeli spam there used to be until December, 2008. That could be almost half (if not much less)!

The reason I put this in What's New here is because it sure won't hurt the usage of Spamgourmet. You probably know Spamgourmet went back to its prime in the last few days, although it probably has more to do with the downfall of the biggest spam server in the world.

And before you say "come on, they'll just use foreign servers", then do know the law doesn't really care for headers and IP addresses. If the commercial spam you got concerned an Israeli product/service, it's illegal. Period.

Actually, it's not only illegal but any recipient is welcome to press civil charges. And that is without even proving any loss. In other words, if the court agrees the message (evidence) is real, you get a certain amount of money automatically just for proving you really got the spam, unless you also want to prove the spam caused you loss of time, bandwidth, etc.

Israeli spam marketers oppose this law by claiming that (besides ruining small business that can't afford "standard" advertising) it's currently the most extreme anti-spam law in the entire world.

So I hope the admins could see this as a compensation for the allegedly large number of Israeli SMTP zombies out there...

P.S.
The reason I kept using the word "commercial" is because the law deliberately made only commercial spam illegal. It doesn't cover uncommercial spam at all, so that politicians (but as a result also chain letters, hoaxes, people who refuse to at least use BCC for their private mailing lists, etc.) would be able to continue business as usual. But for the purposes of Spamgourmet, am I right to assume most spam is commercial anyway?
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Re: Commercial spam became illegal in Israel in December, 20

Postby gourmet » Wed Dec 17, 2008 11:37 am

Nothing new, that has been reality in European countries for ages. But it doesn't help with real international spam crap.

And more information about Europe.

http://www.euro.cauce.org/en/

Yes, it's Opt-In.
Last edited by gourmet on Thu Dec 18, 2008 6:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby lwc » Wed Dec 17, 2008 2:29 pm

But at the same time is it also opt-out (so you can get out of lists you supposedly registered to)? The Israeli law makes it a must to include the word "commercial" in subjects and to supply opt-out links.
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Postby gourmet » Thu Dec 18, 2008 6:22 am

lwc wrote:But at the same time is it also opt-out (so you can get out of lists you supposedly registered to)?


Yes, naturally. If lists are opt-in, so you must have opted in, so you can also get always out.

The Israeli law makes it a must to include the word "commercial" in subjects and to supply opt-out links.


Then there is that huge question, what opted-in is commerial. Is it commercial or customer information. That's a big question. Naturally you can usually get out from all lists that are opt-in lists, with legimate purpose. Is it commercial when my personal fund manager send me information about what to do with my money?

But as mentioned earlier. That really doesn't make any difference with SPAM. Which is in nature totally different crap. Even it SPAM would be forbidden in all countries, it wouldn't make any difference. It's like botnets or phishing. Or drugs, arms, human trade, stolen goods like art. Illegal, so what?

So Opt-In, Opt-Out etc works only partitially and only with "compliant" senders.

But I totally agree in general, that's right direction. And high five for Israel!

No need to reply to this mail or fight about my reasoning. I just brought up some thoughts.

P.S. In my country largest group breaking snail mail marketing SPAM laws are guess what. Local pizzeria guys. They'll still drop their SPAM price lists to mailbox even if it would say NO ADVERTISING! I have been wondering if I can sue those b*rds.

Edit: And as last addition, messages contain opt-out links.. Ahem, it's general recommendation that you shouldn't never ever click any links in spam or any other unknown links.
Last edited by gourmet on Thu Dec 18, 2008 11:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby lwc » Thu Dec 18, 2008 10:55 am

The Israeli law covers only electronical messages, so it's still legal to distribute non direct real mail spam in Israel.

Anyway, not all "legit" mailers gave an opt-out option until this law. Now they all do.

As for "it wouldn't make any difference", you should know people claim they get almost a zero amount of Israeli spam these days. So the bottom line is that the new law fully stopped the spam it covers. BTW, the law supposedly doesn't care if the sender is Israeli or not. Anyone who spams Israelis is supposedly suable now.
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Postby gourmet » Thu Dec 18, 2008 11:30 am

lwc wrote:As for "it wouldn't make any difference", you should know people claim they get almost a zero amount of Israeli spam these days. So the bottom line is that the new law fully stopped the spam it covers. BTW, the law supposedly doesn't care if the sender is Israeli or not. Anyone who spams Israelis is supposedly suable now.


In my European country, national spam hasn't ever been a problem. But still people get maybe up to 100 spams per day. But those are all "international real SPAM". Not marketing messages from your lawer, doctor or bank.
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Postby Jim27106 » Thu Jan 08, 2009 1:08 am

It is illegal to send spam to California, North Carolina, and Oregon residents, to name a few. In those 3 states there are civil penalties.

The issue really becomes doing the law suit and getting jurisdiction over the offender.

And so far the major ISPs (AOL, time warner, earthlink, hotmail, gMail, yahoo) have not seen fit to get their legal teams involved. I would recommend a "This is SPAM" button that
scans the message for web-sites. Then a whois is done. If the whois turns up a US address the game is in play. The Candadians and British won't play, so any web-sites from non-US should be ignored.

A major ISP could have a lawyer in those 3 states to get the judgement, and then a lawyer in the state of the spammer to collect or persecute. They could sue for $25,000 per spam sent to NC. An outrageous demand for money will wake up the spammer. When they can't pay they could be convinced to write editorials and articles about how spamming didn't grow their business. Or have their credit trashed.

I know, I know, most spamvertised sites have bogus whois. For spamvertised non-US web-sites plan B would be a technical attack. Part 1 is that ISPs should give customers the option to have emails on such a list deleted from their inboxes. Part 2 is what I call an eye-for-an-eye. The email address listed in the whois should be posted on a web-site. (And we all know what will happen to the spammer's address then.) Part 3 is a denial-of-service attack against the spamvertised site. (The lawyers may need to make this legal; however, just as drug dealers can't complain if you steal their money spammers can't go to court - they will get served with law suits.)

I should get back to work. That will stir up some controversy. Don't complain about bandwidth unless you have another solution - I know that is an issue that needs to be solved before implementing Parts 2 and 3.
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Postby gourmet » Thu Jan 08, 2009 7:23 am

Jim27106 wrote:Part 2 is what I call an eye-for-an-eye. The email address listed in the whois should be posted on a web-site. (And we all know what will happen to the spammer's address then.) Part 3 is a denial-of-service attack against the spamvertised site. (The lawyers may need to make this legal; however, just as drug dealers can't complain if you steal their money spammers can't go to court - they will get served with law suits.)


All are very bad ideas. What if that spam advertised site is being run on hospitals network and it's run by infected computer.

As you should know more and more sites are being run on distributed botnet servers. It means that the "site hoster" is unaware victim, and dossing that can cause serious problems. To network where that host is running.

Often they also have ten or even hundred distributed hosts. So you won't bring anything importat down by dossing the server.

And often that "real spam" is coming from botnets so how do you block it's source? Because you would need to shutdown whole net.

Yes, generic email is good and bad. If you need trusted forum. You should have webiste with ssl and only authorized login. And without authorized login you can't even send messages. That's way easy way to get rid of spam. But it would also prevent easy messaging. Because authorized invitation is required before user can send any messages.

But as you message, this is also Offtopic. We know what are spam problems, and these both are very bad solutions to get spam free "global email" to work.
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