Thank you for the SPAM, ADR!

With all that foreign spam overwhelming my company’s mailboxes, I was deeply moved when I received an unsolicited newsletter from what blogger Charles Betz called “the far-right ridiculous Luxembourgish party Alternativ Demokratesch Reformpartei (ADR)” today.

Finally I get some spam made in Luxembourg (even if its being sent from a server in Germany)! Thank you, Alternativ Demokratesch Reformpartei <jengelen@chd.lu>! My spam filtering software (MailWasher Pro [affiliate link]) was so surprised that it couldn’t decide how to classify this newsletter. I chose not to delete it right away as I’m still working on a project to print spam on toilet paper but to click on the unsubscribe link instead. This led me to a “communication agency” in Germany and the following text appeared on my screen:

Please switch off your spam filter to receive our e-mail

“The newsletter is being cancelled. You’ll receive an e-mail with a link for deactivation”. Wow. A truly brilliant system, testament to the superior intelligence of its customers. I click on a link in an e-mail to unsubscribe and they want me to click on another link in another e-mail. But there’s more: Unlike the original newsletter, my spam filtering software classified this second e-mail as “possible spam” because it didn’t have a “from”-address:
You may unsubscribe now - if you’ve received our malformed e-mail

The message itself also looked kind of messy because they needlessly put a multipart boundary inside without defining it first. I must admit I was a bit disappointed when I clicked on the second link and saw a confirmation that I had successfully unsubsribed. That was just way to easy. I’d suggest alternative unsubcription procedures involving pictures of ADR politicians and hotornot.com but I have to do some real work now.

Edit: Should you receive spam from ADR or anyone else in Luxembourg as an individual (not as a company), you can do and should do something against it! Consult the website of the commission nationale pour la protection des données (CNPD) to read more about your rights. Article 11 of the “Loi du 30 mai 2005” (Page 1172) sounds interesting (up to 1 year imprisonment and fines up to 125000 EUR), though I’m not sure yet if it can be applied to newsletters sent by political parties.

To put things in perspective:

Fighting spam, spyware and malicious software: Member States should do better, says Commission

[…] “It is time to turn the repeated political concern about spam into concrete actions to fight spam,” said Viviane Reding Commissioner for Information Society and Media.  […]

Massive volumes of unsolicited email are still being sent: Security firms Symantec and MessageLabs estimate that spam is between 54% and 85% of all email. In 2005 Ferris Research estimated spam to cost €39 billion worldwide […].”

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