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Hit the merchants, not the postmen
Spammers are only the messengers. The
real a-holes are the merchants that use
spammers to flog their wares.
Now that spammers are spoofing the
names of people they spam, retaliation
agains the spammers is harder and
(q.v. spam retaliation, myDoom Spam)
VISA (or master) card holders
who express a preference (appox 80%, i'd
say) with a parallel "card". This will just
be a card number/expiry/security code
all that is needed for online purchases.
physical card will be issued.
spamVISA will have no credit limit and
cannot be used for purchases.
Its number sequence will be unique to
user and indistinguishable from valid
Any merchant using the number for a bill
will be informed as if the limit is
(i.e. they will not know if it is a spamcard
number or just some retail junkie)
Central VISA clearing will log all
attempting to use spamVISA numbers.
Once a hit rate for declined spamVISA
attempts is reached, further
spamVISA numbers used by that
result in a DEBIT to their payment
-they are fined, though the amounts are
withheld until confirmed. As VISA is the
central clearing house for payment, it
should be possible to withhold other
payments to that merchant and thus
them funds. Once the merchant is
investigated and proven ok, the amounts
are released. If not, the amounts are
withheld "handling charges, dear boy,
handling charges..." and the payment
facility for the merchant is terminated.
VISA/Master/Diners/Amex (spAmex?) are
and there is no escape.
Card wielders will be rewarded with
points if they participated in defrocking a
merchant. They may be deducted/fined
incorrectly using the spamcard on a legit
merchant (prevents malicious use).
The aim will be to make spamming an
uneconomic activity for merchants.
||In principle I enjoy screwing with companies that annoy me, so I like the idea of issuing false credit card numbers. If a company wastes a small amount of time and money processing my bogus order, I see it as just compensation for sending me spam.
||The main problem I have with this idea is that there is no legitimate basis to fine the merchants. Marketing and advertising products is perfectly legal.
||i could see this being used for Fraud in it's own right.
||Well, [pernicious wiles] I was also
considering extending to physical junk
mail but then held back.
||I understand that spammers are being
hit using the legal process. Surely then,
those who use illegal mechanisms for
promoting goods and services should
be open to fines and other measures to
curb the scourge?
||[engineer1] The spamVISA could not be
used for fraud as a physical card does
not exist and the number would not be
valid for electronic purchases, as it
would be rejected (but noted) by VISA.
||Physical junk mail, the kind with the Business Reply Mail prepaid postage, I seal up and send back.
||At any rate, in your text you are careful to delineate the difference between the merchants who market goods (legal everywhere) and the spammers whose activities may or may not be legal depending on the geographical, legislative, and political circumstances of the day.
||You may have a case for fining the spammers, but you cannot fine the merchants for the same reason that you can't sue them for showng you television commercials you don't care for.
||Astonishingly, there appears to be a (disturbing) segment of the population that actually responds to unsolicited adverts for products that promise to cure all, lose weight, and change proportions of the male anatomy. If no one responded to spam, it would cease to exist.
||[Pernicious Wiles] If schoolbook-
embedded advertising were illegal (I
hope it is, but, hey...), would we only
fine the companies that print them and
not the companies that use it as a
||Stopping spam by attacking the
spammers is like trying to stop drugs
by arresting pushers. You need to get
to the root - the barons, not the
||Unlike TV advertising, spamming uses
my resources - time, money and disk
space. Spam is like telesales that call
collect when the sponsor has
specifically asked them to call collect to
||Just because there is no legal
precedent, does not mean that activity
is wrong or a legal device should not
exist for tackling it.
||the fraud i suspect may happen is for sites that require a credit card number or somesuch for age verification etc