30. Geburtstag: Spam
Nur noch ca. 10-15% des weltweiten eMail-Verkehrs sind zwischen Sender und Empfänger erwünschte eMails. Der Rest, immerhin rund 100 Milliarden eMails sind die so genannten Spam- oder Junk eMails, über die sich die meisten jeden Tag aufs Neue aufregen.
Die ersten Mails, die als Spam zu bezeichnen waren wurden am 3. Mai 1978 etwa 320 Benutzer des Arpanet (das Limit des damals genutzten Programmes Sendmail) . Es wurde Zubehör für DECs System-20-Minicomputer angeboten. Damals blieb schon dieser erste Versuch nicht ungestraft. Da der Absender damals noch leicht zu ermitteln war, wurde der Betreiber des Arpanet – das US Verteidigungsministerium – sofort aktiv und befasste sich mit dem Spamer.
Übrigens ist SPAM ursprünglich ein Markenname für Dosenfleisch und entstand 1936 aus “SPiced hAM“, fälschlich auch “Spiced Pork And Meat/hAM“. Erst seit 1993 wurden massenhaft versendete eMails als SPAM bezeichnet.
So lautete der Inhalt der ersten Spam-Mail:
DECSYSTEM-20 FAMILY; THE DECSYSTEM-2020, 2020T, 2060, AND 2060T. THE
DECSYSTEM-20 FAMILY OF COMPUTERS HAS EVOLVED FROM THE TENEX OPERATING SYSTEM
AND THE DECSYSTEM-10 <PDP-10> COMPUTER ARCHITECTURE. BOTH THE DECSYSTEM-2060T
AND 2020T OFFER FULL ARPANET SUPPORT UNDER THE TOPS-20 OPERATING SYSTEM.
THE DECSYSTEM-2060 IS AN UPWARD EXTENSION OF THE CURRENT DECSYSTEM 2040
AND 2050 FAMILY. THE DECSYSTEM-2020 IS A NEW LOW END MEMBER OF THE
DECSYSTEM-20 FAMILY AND FULLY SOFTWARE COMPATIBLE WITH ALL OF THE OTHER
AT THE TWO PRODUCT PRESENTATIONS WE WILL BE GIVING IN CALIFORNIA THIS
MONTH. THE LOCATIONS WILL BE:
HYATT HOUSE (NEAR THE L.A. AIRPORT)
LOS ANGELES, CA
DUNFEY’S ROYAL COACH
SAN MATEO, CA
(4 MILES SOUTH OF S.F. AIRPORT AT BAYSHORE, RT 101 AND RT 92)
A 2020 WILL BE THERE FOR YOU TO VIEW. ALSO TERMINALS ON-LINE TO OTHER
DECSYSTEM-20 SYSTEMS THROUGH THE ARPANET. IF YOU ARE UNABLE TO ATTEND,
PLEASE FEEL FREE TO CONTACT THE NEAREST DEC OFFICE
FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE EXCITING DECSYSTEM-20 FAMILY.
Und hier einige der Reaktionen, die eine Flut von eMails generierten, da die meisten gleich an alle Empfänger der Spam-Mail gesendet wurden. Ein derartigen Aufkommen von eMails gab es vorher nicht im Arpanet.
10-MAY-78 23:20:30-PDT,1491;000000000001 Mail-from: SRI-KA rcvd at 5-MAY-78 1203-PDT Mail-from: SRI-KL rcvd at 5-May-78 0732-PDT Date: 4 May 1978 1635-PDT From: Feinler at SRI-KL (Jake Feinler) Subject: MSGGROUP# 694 DEC Message To: DEC-MAIL-RECIPIENTS: Redistributed-To: [ISI]<MsgGroup>Mailing.List;154: Redistributed-By: STEFFERUD (connected to MSGGROUP) Redistributed-Date: 5 MAY 1978 Date: 4 MAY 1978 0452-PDT To: FEINLER at SRI-KL From: DCACODE535 at USC-ISI
YOU MAY HAVE RECEIVED THE MSG SENT OUT BY DEC ON MAY 1 ABOUT WHICH I HAVE ALREADY RECEIVED SEVERAL COMPLAINTS AS YOU CAN READILY IMAGINE. CAN YOU FORWARD THE FOLLOWING MESSAGE TO ALL ADDRESSES OF THE SUSPECT MESSAGE PLUS ALL HOST AND TIP LIAISONS? THANKS:
NOTE: Please direct your comments, if any, directly to DCACODE535@ISI. Thanks, Jake.
ON 2 MAY 78 DIGITAL EQUIPMENT CORPORATION (DEC) SENT OUT AN ARPANET MESSAGE ADVERTISING THEIR NEW COMPUTER SYSTEMS. THIS WAS A FLAGRANT VIOLATION OF THE USE OF ARPANET AS THE NETWORK IS TO BE USED FOR OFFICIAL U.S. GOVERNMENT BUSINESS ONLY. APPROPRIATE ACTION IS BEING TAKEN TO PRECLUDE ITS OCCURRENCE AGAIN.
IN ENFORCEMENT OF THIS POLICY DCA IS DEPENDENT ON THE ARPANET SPONSORS, AND HOST AND TIP LIAISONS. IT IS IMPERATIVE YOU INFORM YOUR USERS AND CONTRACTORS WHO ARE PROVIDED ARPANET ACCESS THE MEANING OF THIS POLICY.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR COOPERATION.
MAJOR RAYMOND CZAHOR
CHIEF, ARPANET MANAGEMENT BRANCH, DCA
10-MAY-78 23:20:30-PDT,2192;000000000001 Mail-from: SRI-KL rcvd at 7-MAY-78 1527-PDT Date: 7 May 1978 1527-PDT From: Feinler at SRI-KL (Jake Feinler) Subject: MSGGROUP# 695 Personal comments on DEC message for MsgGroup To: Stef at ISI cc: feinler Redistributed-To: [ISI]<MsgGroup>Mailing.List;154: Redistributed-By: STEFFERUD (connected to MSGGROUP) Redistributed-Date: 7 MAY 1978
I was not going to comment (and add to the traffic) on the issue of the DEC message that was sent out, but after having several conversations with people about and around on this issue I think I will add what hopefully will be useful insight to the problem. NOTE: The comments are my own. They do not represent any official message from DCA or the NIC.
There are two kinds of message that have been frowned upon on the network. These are advertising of particular products and advertising for or by job applicants. I would like to point out that there are good reasons (other than taking up valuable resources and the fact that some recipients object) for not permitting these kinds of messages. There are many companies in the U.S. and abroad that would like to have access to the Arpanet. Naturally all of them cannot have this access. Consequently if the ones that do have access can advertise their products to a very select market and the others cannot, this is really an unfair advantage. Likewise, if job applicants can be selected amongst some of the best trained around, or if the applicants themselves can advertise to a very select group of prospective employers, this is an unfair advantage to other prospective employees or employers who are not on the net.
I have heard some rumblings about ‘control’ and ‘censorship’ of the net by the powers-that-be, but I feel in these two particular areas they are leaning over backwards to be fair to the big guys and the small guys alike. In addition, the official message sent out asked us (‘us’ being network users) to address the issue ourselves. I personally think this is reasonable and think we should lend our support or otherwise be saddled with controls that will be a nuisance to everyone involved.
10-MAY-78 23:20:30-PDT,3281;000000000001 Mail-from: SU-AI rcvd at 7-MAY-78 2058-PDT Date: 7 May 1978 2057-PDT From: MRC at SU-AI (Mark Crispin) Subject: MSGGROUP# 696 in reply to Jake’s message about advertising To: MsgGroup at USC-ISI Redistributed-To: [ISI]<MsgGroup>Mailing.List;154: Redistributed-By: STEFFERUD (connected to MSGGROUP) Redistributed-Date: 8 MAY 1978
I agree with Jake about suppressing advertising for many of the same reasons as I disagreed with suppressing subjective messages about QUASAR. The ARPAnet is not, as Jake pointed out, a public resource; it is available to pretty much a select group of people (high school kids regardless!). We are all engaged in activities relating to, or in support of, official US Government business. ARPAnet mail therefore is more of an “interoffice memo” sort of thing than a trade journal, not intended for public distribution although not “top secret” either.
Even MsgGroup is in this class; however inappropriate QUASAR is to MsgGroup’s intent (and it was inappropriate) I feel that any censorship can only lead to worse things later on. I am sure that DCA realizes this also; otherwise the ARPAnet would have been curbed long ago. Whether or not QUASAR is a fake is a valid topic to be discussed among the computer science community via the ARPAnet; although it is inappropriate for MsgGroup. If there is sufficient interest, another group should be created whose purpose and interests embrace this issue.
I don’t see any place for advertising on the ARPAnet, however; certainly not the bulk advertising of that DEC message. From the address list, it seems clear to me that the people it was sent to were the Californians listed in the last ARPAnet directory. This was a clear and flagrant abuse of the directory!
I am not sure as to how far this should be carried though. I would not mind hearing from DEC about their new products via ARPAnet mail, but I would expect considerably more technical content and considerably less of a sales pitch. Where is the line to be drawn between this sort of thing (if it is to be allowed at all) and advertising? Another point Jake mentioned which concerns me is that of employment hunting (by employee or employer). Is that to be taken to mean that a person cannot establish contacts at another ARPAnet site and poke around about a possible position there? Is this really unfair to non-ARPAnet people? Allow me to point out that at times a job is created in order to have a particular person on the staff, and if that person is unavailable, the job won’t exist.
This all seems worthy of examination by the MsgGroup community, as it involves how electronic mail is to be used. Something else; I would greatly appreciate it if all comments about this make a distinction between ARPAnet mail and mail on another (possibly commercial) network. Saying that electronic junk mail is a no-no on the ARPAnet doesn’t answer the question. I shudder to think about it, but I can envision junk mail being sent to people who implement Dialnet, and no way it could be prevented or stopped. I guess the ultimate solution is the command in your mail reading subsystem which deletes an unwanted message.
10-MAY-78 23:20:30-PDT,2250;000000000001 Mail-from: MIT-AI rcvd at 7-MAY-78 2316-PDT Date: 8 MAY 1978 0213-EDT From: RMS at MIT-AI (Richard M. Stallman)Subject: MSGGROUP# 697 Some Thoughts about advertising To: stefferud at USC-ISI Redistributed-To: [ISI]<MsgGroup>Mailing.List;154: Redistributed-By: STEFFERUD (connected to MSGGROUP) Redistributed-Date: 8 MAY 1978
1) I didn’t receive the DEC message, but I can’t imagine I would have been bothered if I have. I get tons of uninteresting mail, and system announcements about babies born, etc. At least a demo MIGHT have been interesting.
2) The amount of harm done by any of the cited “unfair” things the net has been used for is clearly very small. And if they have found any people any jobs, clearly they have done good. If I had a job to offer, I would offer it to my friends first. Is this “evil”? Must I advertise in a paper in every city in the US with population over 50,000 and then go to all of them to interview, all in the name of fairness? Some people, I am afraid, would think so. Such a great insistence on fairness would destort everyone’s lives and do much more harm than good. So I state unashamedly that I am in favor of seeing jobs offered via whatever.
3) It has just been suggested that we impose someone’s standards on us because otherwise he MIGHT do so. Well, if you feel that those standards are right and necessary, go right ahead and support them. But if you disagree with them, as I do, why hand your opponents the victory on a silver platter? By the suggested reasoning, we should always follow the political views that we don’t believe in, and especially those of terrorists, in anticipation of their attempts to impose them on us. If those who think that the job offers are bad are going to try to prevent them, then those of us who think they are unrepugnant should uphold our views. Besides, I doubt that anyone can successfully force a site from outside to impose censorship, if the people there don’t fundamentally agree with the desirability of it.
4) Would a dating service for people on the net be “frowned upon” by DCA? I hope not. But even if it is, don’t let that stop you from notifying me via net mail if you start one.
10-MAY-78 23:20:30-PDT,685;000000000001 Mail-from: MIT-AI rcvd at 9-MAY-78 1528-PDT Date: 9 MAY 1978 1827-EDT From: RMS at MIT-AI (Richard M. Stallman)Subject: MSGGROUP# 698 DEC message [VERY TASTY!] To: Stefferud at USC-ISI CC: Geoff at SRI-KL Redistributed-To: [ISI]<MsgGroup>Mailing.List;154: Redistributed-By: STEFFERUD (connected to MSGGROUP) Redistributed-Date: 9 MAY 1978
Well, Geoff forwarded me a copy of the DEC message, and I eat my words. I sure would have minded it! Nobody should be allowed to send a message with a header that long, no matter what it is about.
Forward this if you feel like it.