Spam-solution Rejection Letter

as seen on Slashdot

This article advocates a

technical legislative market-based vigilante

approach to fighting spam. Your idea will not work. Here is why it won't work. (One or more of the following may apply to your particular idea, and it may have other flaws which used to vary from state to state before a bad federal law was passed.)

Spammers can easily use it to harvest email addresses
Mailing lists and other legitimate email uses would be affected
No one will be able to find the guy or collect the money
It is defenseless against brute force attacks
It will stop spam for two weeks and then we'll be stuck with it
Users of email will not put up with it
Microsoft will not put up with it
The police will not put up with it
Requires too much cooperation from spammers
Requires immediate total cooperation from everybody at once
Many email users cannot afford to lose business or alienate potential employers
Spammers don't care about invalid addresses in their lists
Anyone could anonymously destroy anyone else's career or business

Specifically, your plan fails to account for

Laws expressly prohibiting it
Lack of centrally controlling authority for email
Open relays in foreign countries
Ease of searching tiny alphanumeric address space of all email addresses
Jurisdictional problems
Unpopularity of weird new taxes
Public reluctance to accept weird new forms of money
Huge existing software investment in SMTP
Susceptibility of protocols other than SMTP to attack
Willingness of users to install OS patches received by email
Armies of worm riddled broadband-connected Windows boxes
Eternal arms race involved in all filtering approaches
Extreme profitability of spam
Joe jobs and/or identity theft
Technically illiterate politicians
Extreme stupidity on the part of people who do business with spammers
Dishonesty on the part of spammers themselves
Bandwidth costs that are unaffected by client filtering

and the following philosophical objections may also apply:

Ideas similar to yours are easy to come up with, yet none have ever been shown practical
Any scheme based on opt-out is unacceptable
SMTP headers should not be the subject of legislation
Blacklists suck
Whitelists suck
We should be able to talk about Viagra without being censored
Countermeasures should not involve wire fraud or credit card fraud
Countermeasures should not involve sabotage of public networks
Countermeasures must work if phased in gradually
Sending email should be free
Why should we have to trust you and your servers?
Incompatiblity with open source or open source licenses
Feel-good measures do nothing to solve the problem
Temporary/one-time email addresses are cumbersome
I don't want the government reading my email
Killing them that way is not slow and painful enough

Furthermore, this is what I think about you:

Sorry dude, but I don't think it would work.
This is a stupid idea, and you're a stupid person for suggesting it.