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Bill Weinman · UBE-Related Work

Bill’s UBE-Related Work

updated 10 September 2003

I do a lot of work in the field of detecting and preventing UBE (Unsolicited Bulk Email, aka spam). I have been interested in the subject since I started noticing the problem back in the early 1990s. My interest has been professional (as part-owner of a hosting company), personal (as the recipient of vast amounts of junk mail), and intellectual (there are aspects of the problem I find fascinating).

Recently, I have been working on AMTP, a new email protocol that may help aleviate the problem.

What follows is a short list of resources available on my web sites for dealing with UBE. In the coming year or so I hope this list will get a little longer.

Why Don’t I Call it Spam?

updated 19 December 2003

The word “spam” began its life as a trademark for a canned meat product. The word acquired the meaning of something happening over-and-over via a Monty Python sketch, where a group of Vikings sang “Spam, Spam, Spam, ...” for a very long time.

Personally, I find “spam” too cute a name for something as nefarious as UBE.

That said, my major problem with the term “spam” is that it means different things to different people. To some, it is synonymous with UBE. To others it includes Usenet abuse, pop-up ads, ads contained within the content of newsletters, or even newsletters that they may have asked for but no longer want to receive. I've even heard it applied to postal mail.

As a programmer and technologist, I prefer specificity over ambiguity. “UBE” is specific, “spam” is not.


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