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[ga] Re: [Politech] Yahoo, AOL, Goodmail and Politech: Paying so email goes through? [sp]

  • To: Declan McCullagh <declan@xxxxxxxx>, cindy@xxxxxxx
  • Subject: [ga] Re: [Politech] Yahoo, AOL, Goodmail and Politech: Paying so email goes through? [sp]
  • From: Jeff Williams <jwkckid1@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 10 Feb 2006 01:59:25 -0800
  • Cc: Dave Farber <farber@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>, essential ecom <ecommerce@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, General Assembly of the DNSO <ga@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Organization: INEGroup Spokesman
  • References: <43EAF768.3030902@well.com>
  • Sender: owner-ga@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

cindy and all,

I seem to recall vint cerf was in favor to taxing email.  I however am
in agreement with cindy on this score...  As vint is with google,
could it be that google mail will be next to take up taxing email?
Given googles huge recent stock drop, perhaps google is
needing or wanting to show it's stock holders some additional
revenue comming in??

Declan McCullagh wrote:

> -------- Original Message --------
> Subject: Yahoo, AOL, Goodmail and Politech
> Date: Wed, 8 Feb 2006 13:43:51 -0800
> From: Cindy Cohn <cindy@xxxxxxx>
> To: declan@xxxxxxxx
> References: <43EA6390.6080202@xxxxxxxxxx>
> Hi Declan,
> I blogged a piece about the recent decision by AOL and Yahoo to use
> the Goodmail system that might be of interest to Politech. EFF will
> be  doing more on this topic, but we wanted to start the discussion.
> You gonna pay? How much would it be per month for Politech?
> http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/archives/004398.php
> AOL, Yahoo and Goodmail: Taxing Your Email for Fun and Profit
> February 08, 2006
> Remember the famous email rumor that made the rounds in the 1990s:
> "Congress is trying to tax your Internet connection, write in now!"
> Well what wasn't true in the 1990s is apparently coming true in 2006,
> only the beneficiaries won't be Uncle Sam -- it will be Yahoo, AOL,
> and a company ironically called Goodmail.  Yahoo and AOL have
> announced that they will guarantee access to your email inbox for
> email senders who pay $.0025 per message. They will override their
> own spam filters and webbug-strippers, and deliver the mail directly
> with a "certified" notice. In the process, they will treat more of
> your email as spam, and email you're expecting won't be delivered.
> The justification is that if people have to pay to send email, they
> won't send junk email. Apparently AOL and Yahoo believe that if we
> "tax" speech then only desirable speech happens. We all know how well
> that works for postal mail -- that's why no one gets any "free" AOL
> starter disks, right?
> More seriously, as we discuss below, this isn't really an anti-spam
> measure as much as a "pay to speak" email measure, and it won't end
> spam or phishing.  Prominent anti-spammer Richard Cox of Spamhaus
> agrees: "an e-mail charge will destroy the spirit of the Internet."
> Email being basically free isn't a bug. It's a feature that has
> driven the digital revolution.  It allows groups to scale up from a
> dozen friends to a hundred people who love knitting to half-a-million
> concerned citizens without a major bankroll.
> Email readers and senders will both lose, because the incentives for
> Yahoo, AOL, and Goodmail are all wrong. Their service is only
> valuable if it "saves" you from their spam filters. In turn, they
> have an incentive to treat more of your email as spam, and thereby
> "encouraging" people to sign up.
> Even email senders who just want to reach Dad@xxxxxxx may eventually
> be in trouble. Once a pay-to-speak system like this gets going, it
> will be increasing difficult for people who don't pay to get their
> mail through.  The system has no way to distinguish between ordinary
> mail and bulk mail, spam and non-spam, personal and commercial mail.
> It just gives preference to people who pay.
> And prepare to be shaken down if you run a noncommercial mailing
> list, whether for local bowling leagues or political organizations
> with a national membership. Not only will the per-message fees
> quickly add up, but the Goodmail technology will be costly for
> senders to setup and use. Goodmail's giving a "special offer" for
> nonprofits through 2006, but, when that ends, their messages will
> presumably end up in the trash, too.
> If email senders bear a burden, who gains? Not Yahoo and AOL
> customers, whose email boxes are being sold off. It will presumably
> be harder for even desired email to reach them.
> In return, customers probably will now get not one but two helpings
> of spam. For only $.0025 cent per message, Yahoo and AOL will
> guarantee delivery of this extra-special "certified" paid-placement
> mail, served alongside your ordinary spam. They'll also preserve
> webbugs, little privacy invaders that report back when you look at
> the email. Goodmail says that it will ensure that the messages aren't
> spam, but it's not clear how they will enforce this. After all if a
> foolproof way for a third-party to distinguish your wanted from
> unwanted messages existed, we would have solved the spam problem long
> ago
> What about phishing? Remember, the problem with phishing is that
> ordinary end users cannot always tell when a "certification" is
> real.  Spoofing the apperance of Goodmail certification to end users
> should not be much of a problem, and all of the encryption in the
> world won't fix that.
> Spam is a real problem demanding real solutions, but taxing the
> internet, even if the tax is "voluntary" and even if the money goes
> to ISPs, isn't one of them.  The best solution is to put more power
> in the hands of users to control and configure spam filters, and a
> robust market in those filters, not allowing ISPs to auction off
> access to their email boxes and ransom free speech.
> EFF is working on an extended and more technical description of the
> problems with Goodmail, but this is a bad idea we think should be
> nipped in the bud.  We urge AOL and Yahoo subscribers and those who
> communicate with them, to tell them that taxing email is not the
> right way to go.
> Cindy
> BTW, I sent a similar message to Dave Farber.
> ********************************************************
> Cindy Cohn                              ---- Cindy@xxxxxxx
> Legal Director                  ---- www.eff.org
> Electronic Frontier Foundation
> 454 Shotwell Street
> San Francisco, CA 94110
> (415) 436-9333 x108
> (415) 436-9993 (fax)
> _______________________________________________
> Politech mailing list
> Archived at http://www.politechbot.com/
> Moderated by Declan McCullagh (http://www.mccullagh.org/)

Jeffrey A. Williams
Spokesman for INEGroup LLA. - (Over 134k members/stakeholders strong!)
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