The spam map of the United States

Over on Betanews, Ian Barker asks: "What do California and New York have in common? They're both major centers of spam email according to new research, between them accounting for almost half of spam sent in the US."

Over here on Spam Resource, I ask: What do Utah and Michigan have in common?  Two things.

First, according to that Betanews article referencing data from Comodo Threat Research Labs, these two states both make the top five list of states as sources of spam. Utah is third and Michigan ranks fourth.

Next, both states were convinced to implement "Child Protection Registry" services over ten years ago. Register your child's email address, and all good, legal, ethical senders of mail advertising anything "grown up" in nature (think alcohol and cigarettes, for starters) will be sure to scrub those addresses out of their list. The net, it was proposed, is that minors in those two states would be spared from receiving email advertising for products they're not supposed to have access to until adulthood.

Interesting idea. Except that the implementation of it was pretty awful. "Painfully bad," wrote Return Path way back then. The scrub process cost money and was clunky. Perhaps it is still clunky, but instead of bothering with it, lots of compliance folks started suggesting just asking, at the time of signup, what state a subscriber is in, and if they answer with Utah or Michigan, don't send to them if you advertise or sell those kinds of products. So I haven't personally heard of anybody having to go through the scrub process in years. (Have you?)

The only upside was perhaps for the company chosen to run the registry in both states (Unspam) -- maybe they made some money from it.

But it didn't do a damn thing to stop spam, because, as predicted by many, only good guys who wanted to comply with the law would follow through (or avoid those two states). All the bad guy spammers who probably already break the law, who don't care about permission, they keep on spamming adults and children alike.

Correlation is not always causation, and these two data points don't really overlap. But it does seem that both states biffed it two different ways when it comes to stopping spam.
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