Over on CIO Magazine's website, capable jounalist Esther Schindler posted an interesting article on the topic of spam defined, and how that definition has been changing over the years. The spark that led to her writing this came from a discussion on an anti-spam mailing list we're both members of, and it was a topical discussion that I myself delved into.
I perhaps don't agree with her conclusions 100%, but I credit her for tackling a tough topic, and stirring up discussion and debate. It is true that the definition of spam is changing. It's also true that there's a hard-core group of anti-spam advocates who are resisting this change. Anti-spam mailing lists are sliding from the center out to the edge of the anti-spam universe; they once were the core and forefront of development and discussion relating the latest anti-spam technology, blocking tools, best practice methodology, etc. Nowadays, that's all shifted away, to discussions internal to ISPs and industry groups, spam filtering device manufacturers, and other areas, far from the view of the folks who used to call for "heads on pikes" as the only reasonable response to a single piece of (perceived) spam received.
To me, it highlights that the world is changing, and the Linux users with their access control lists don't hold the keys to the inbox like they once did.