IBM debuts spam assailant tool | Tech News on ZDNet:

“IBM has developed a new spam weapon–e-mail sorting technology that analyzes domain identity and then works to slow down computers responsible for sending unwanted messages.

Unveiled Tuesday, the antispam technology is meant to take an aggressive swing at computers being used to deliver large volumes of unsolicited e-mail. After identifying a certain machine as an established source of spam, the software, dubbed FairUCE, bounces back any messages sent by the device in question with the intent of slowing that computer down and retarding its ability to produce more unwanted e-mail.

In theory, the more spam a system targeted by FairUCE generates, the more traffic it will have redirected back at itself. IBM is making the software available for free download on its Web site.”

I do understand the desire to get rid of SPAM, and the unbelievable frustration that makes folks want to strike back and put a meaningful dent in SPAM. We would all like to do that.

But, I believe this is a WAY wrong answer! It is unethical and will hurt many who would be considered unintended victims.

And who’s to say you get the right victim in the first place? TOTAL spoofing of email headers happens all the time. They can not be trusted. How many times have folks gotten emails that ‘appear’ to come from themselves, their family friends or even business associates to twart SPAM filters?

Once you allow any type of attack even for seemingly good reasons … vigilante style … where does it stop? What rationale will be used for the next form of attack for a ‘seemingly’ good reason? And who will make that decision? What are their ‘real’ motivations? Things are not always as they seem. I think we all have been on this planet long enough to know that.

A software robot, which is in essense what this program is, should not be making these types of decisions in the first place. They are no where near intelligent or discerning enough, no matter who programmed them.

NOTE: Originally posted: March 2005 (recreated from mangled original

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