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{Counter}

Those who support "unsolicited commercial advertising" or Spam, as it's affectionately known, try to claim that it is not a bad thing, and no worse than the unsolicited paper advertising we get in the mail every day. I submit that it IS worse, and is definitely a bad thing.

Here are the differences:

1. Postal mail does not contain "get rich quick" schemes or other solicitation to engage in illegal activity. These types of unsolicited mail are strictly prohibited under federal law.

2. Postal mail does not contain solicitations to visit adult businesses or purchase or view pornographic content. I believe there are strict laws regarding adult content distribution through the US mail.

3. The fees for delivery of the postal mail are- quite properly - paid for by the business which wishes to advertise. Spammers have not paid for the use of the servers they have hijacked in order to send their bulk mail. I envision

4. Spammers hide their identity, whereas postal bulk mail, due to its legal, aboveboard nature, does not. If I am not happy with a particular advertisement, I know precisely whom to complain to.

5. A clear sign of an illicit spammer as opposed to legitimate opt-in marketing newsletters is the free e-mail account. Legitimate businesses of any size pay for an appropriate level of e-mail service. A home office can certainly afford to pay for a business e-mail account at an ISP, and e-mail services for larger businesses are clearly an expected part of the budget. This is a sign of wanting something for nothing.