LETTER: Unwanted E-Mail Drains Resources

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I read the editorial on Maps and yesmail (http://www.dmnews.com/archive/2000-07-31/9753.html) and wanted to clarify some issues from the point-of-view of a systems administrator.

What you call `unconfirmed opt in' sounds to me like a euphemism for what is properly called `opt-out'. More reputable ISPs and hosting providers refuse to host opt-out mailings because they are unwanted more often than not. Combine that with the fact that many spammers use an opt-out gag to collect e-mail addresses, and you have a situation where many people who would gladly opt out know better than to encourage e-mail address harvesters and spammers.

Anyone who is responsible for an expensive service available to people not on their paying customer list will react forcefully when they think their service is being abused. If a network and storage devices are flooded with spam, it's the paying customers of the ISP who are hurt. Systems administrators are bound by a contract to protect and conserve ISP resources. MAPS is a tool, and while not without its faults, it helps administrators better serve their paying clients.

•Christopher Reid Palmer, www.innerfireworks.com

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