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Spam is flooding the Internet with many copies of the same message,
in an attempt to force the message on people who would not otherwise
choose to receive it. Most spam is commercial advertising, often for
dubious products, get-rich-quick schemes, or quasi-legal services.
Spam costs the sender very little to send -- most of the costs are
paid for by the recipient or the carriers rather than by the sender.
There are two main types of spam, and they have different effects on Internet
users. Cancellable Usenet spam is a single message sent to 20 or more Usenet
newsgroups. (Through long experience, Usenet users have found that any
message posted to so many newsgroups is often not relevant to most or all of
them.) Usenet spam is aimed at "lurkers", people who read newsgroups but
rarely or never post and give their address away. Usenet spam robs users of
the utility of the newsgroups by overwhelming them with a barrage of
advertising or other irrelevant posts. Furthermore, Usenet spam subverts the
ability of system administrators and owners to manage the topics they accept
on their systems.
Email spam targets individual users with direct mail messages. Email spam
lists are often created by scanning Usenet postings, stealing Internet
mailing lists, or searching the Web for addresses. Email spams typically cost
users money out-of-pocket to receive. Many people - anyone with measured
phone service - read or receive their mail while the meter is running, so to
speak. Spam costs them additional money. On top of that, it costs money for
ISPs and online services to transmit spam, and these costs are transmitted
directly to subscribers.
One particularly nasty variant of email spam is sending spam to mailing
lists (public or private email discussion forums.) Because many mailing
lists limit activity to their subscribers, spammers will use automated tools
to subscribe to as many mailing lists as possible, so that they can grab
the lists of addresses, or use the mailing list as a direct target for
Jonos Da Man