Blue Security, the anti-spam company I wrote about somewhat skeptically for WSJ.com (subscription only, I’m afraid) a few months back, are claiming initial success in their Do Not Intrude Registry. (Simply put, users sign up for the service and Blue Security threatens a kind of mass ‘visit’ to any spammer that continues to spam any user. The ‘visit’ would slow down the spammer’s server to the point he couldn’t operate.)
A press release from Blue Security says that nearly 30,000 users have joined the service, more than a quarter of whom have reported spam dropping by at least half. Those are impressive figures:
Blue Security has collected data showing that spammers who are receiving the opt-out requests have begun to comply. Community members will see the change gradually as more spammers comply with the Registry and remove member e-mail addresses from their mailing lists.
I was skeptical about the service because I wasn’t convinced it was either ethical or legal. The threat is basically to launch a Denial of Service attack on the spammer if it doesn’t comply, a move which is too law-of-the-jungle for most tastes. (Blue Security denied that what they’re doing is illegal.)
But perhaps there’s some merit to what they’re doing? If their figures are correct maybe Blue Security are onto something. As their press release says:
The Do Not Intrude Registry is based on the concept of changing the spam economy, a process that takes time.
“The means justify the end” is a dangerous ground to be on. Also what happens when this becomes a serious enough threat to spammers that they club together and DDOS Blue Security? If Blue Security can DDOS so can the spammers.
I just signed up for blue frog’s “do not intrude” list. Blue Frog does not launch denial of service attacks and is in no way illegal. They simply send 1 removal request for each spam sent to a member. (The more addresses the spammer sends to, the more removal requests they get) This is legal and more than fair to spammers – the ones that are really guilty of breaking numerous international laws.