Everyone I talk to when dealing with issues inevitably has to tell me they are legitimate email marketers. They’re not spammers, they’re just business people. I often find it difficult to fathom why they need to tell me this. It’s not like email marketers are criminals or anything.
Two recent stories reminded me how evil some folks are. While I’ve not had any direct contact (that I know of) with any of the players on this end of things I have zero doubt that if they called me they would tell me that they were legitimate email marketers.
In one case, a members of a spam gang kidnapped the teenage daughter of someone investigating their activities. The gang held her for more than 5 years in horrific conditions. Yesterday Joseph Menn, author of “Fatal System Error” posted on Boing Boing that his friend got his daughter back. It is a heartbreaking story and incredibly sobering.
In another case, the Russian police arrested a man who ran spammit.com, a clearinghouse for viagra sellers to find spammers to send their mail. Reports say that mail volumes dropped by a fifth after the site was taken offline.
There is real evil in the email marketing industry. Sure, they’re spammers and we can all stand up and say they’re not legitimate. But, this is what the ISPs and Spamhaus and law enforcement are dealing with on a regular basis.