Anti-Spam Policy

We wish to clarify a number of issues concerning unsolicited commercial e-mail messages, also known as spam or junk mail. This document explains what spam is and our views and responsibilities on the subject.

About Spam
Who is Responsible?
What to do?
Useful Links

About Spam

Spam is not merely annoying; it is also a serious drain on the resources of ISPs, other organizations, and Internet users. Sending spam mail may seem like a cheap and convenient way to amplify marketing efforts, yet honest businesses rarely employ this questionable marketing tool. First, nobody wants to receive unsolicited junk mail. Second, it is considered both an annoyance and an intrusion of privacy. Third, each e-mail message contributes to Internet traffic and uses up bandwidth. An e-mail message does not reach its recipient instantaneously; instead, it is relayed by any number of systems en route until it reaches its final destination. Spam mail is often sent out in thousands or hundreds of thousands of copies, to huge numbers of unwitting recipients. This large load of messages often causes network problems and congestion. The result is that third parties as well as message recipients suffer because some inconsiderate person or company has pumped half a million copies of a message through the Internet.

For more information on spam, refer to the links at the end of this document for some excellent reviews of the problem.

Who is responsible?

In order to avoid having their own Internet Service Providers (ISPs) delete their accounts, spammers usually rely on anonymous e-mail addresses such as those available from free e-mail providers. Sometimes the addresses you see on spam messages are invalid (faked). It is important to realize where the responsibility for spam lies. Make no mistake. Spammers are often skilled frauds and thieves … in addition to being highly annoying. Many spammers have developed specific strategies of spamming in order to avoid responsibility for their actions, or to avoid mail blocking and filtering:

  1. They relay spam messages off the mail server of an innocent third party, in which case even more damage is incurred by the on-line population in general.
  2. They use “drop box” strategy. This consists of sending mail out from an account that allows spam, but putting another address in the “Reply to:” message header so that anyone replying to the message is actually sending mail to an account that did not originate the spam. Many spammers want to send out ads or sales info and do not expect a reply. By drop boxing they forge their e-mail addresses and relieve themselves of accountability. Recipients of spam should always check the full message headers to determine the origin of the spam.
  3. Spoofing. This fairly complex technique makes a message appear as if it is coming from an address that did not originate the message.
  4. Sometimes they include a paragraph claiming that the law sanctions spam as long as there is a “remove from list” address in the spam message. Do not fall for this trick, because the “remove from list” address is almost always a sham. Not only do you generate useless traffic if you try to remove yourself from a large number of lists, but will indicate to the spammers that your email address is active. Spammers are dishonest people employing dishonest tactics. Don’t trust them, report them.

What to do?

You should always examine your full message headers to determine where the message really came from. The “From:” header that is commonly shown in basic message header displays can be easily faked! It is harder to fake the complete message header, which can provide useful information about the message.

Any users that are suspected of spamming from our site, or of using our site for drop boxing or spoofing, should be reported immediately. We will investigate the user and take action if we determine that he or she is guilty.

You may contact abuse@masterformlaw.com and we will promptly investigate the matter.

Spoofing and drop boxing are beyond our control. We will do everything we can to prevent spam, but we ask all recipients of junk mail to understand that very often we are not the originator of such messages, but one of the victims. The solutions to spoofing and drop boxing are complex and involve cooperation between web sites and ISPs. Refer to the links below for more information.

Useful Links

For a very extensive list of links to web sites that will help you get rid of spam, go to http://www.tincher.to/antispam.htm.