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Giving Spammers What They Want
by Douglas Chick

Some time ago my friend John sent me a suggestion on what to do with spammers. I may have written something on it back then and even on other news e-mags but it was such a good idea that it is still worth mentioning again. The trick to stopping spammers isnít block lists that donít work or making harassing phone, although fun, it is too costly and time consuming. The trick to stopping spammers is giving them what they want; lots of e-mail addresses. I took Johnís suggestion and for the past year Iíve implanted an invisible link that will lead a harvester to one of the largest e-mail address caches in the country. (A harvester is a program the scans website and newsgroups for strings characters with an @ sign in them. It digs down as many levels until all links are exhausted.) The link is http://www.house.gov/house/MemberWWW_by_State.htm and it holds the e-mail addresses of every state and federal representative in the U.S.

By simply adding this address on your web page, (I usually just add a period [  .  ]the same color as the page background, and hyperlink it to the site.) The harvesting program will see it and spider a new leg until it finds every e-mail, every page on every site has to offer. You see, simple. Just give them what they want.

Iím sure there are others that have done the same as John and I and it is impossible to know just how affective it is embedding hyperlinks to government websites because harvesters may filter out everything with a .gov extension. But there are other links that may be more successful, links to all of the thousands of lobbyist in and around Washington. If the government wonít listen to us, they will most certainly listen to those that keep them in re-election money.

So the Network Administrator Tip of the day is; ďGive people what they want and they will use it to destroy themselves.Ē Or  ďSoft money passes laws.Ē 



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