The over use of telephone marketing has forced USA to
introduce a system of Do Not Call Telephone Registry providing an option
to the users to prevent telemarketing companies from calling them. In
India the trend has just started with Credit Card companies and Mobile
operators targeting telephone users with annoying calls even on the
mobiles. However the problem on telephone is still tolerable while it is
the Spam on the e-mail that is bothering most of Indian Internet users
particularly those using VSNL services. As this angry letter to VSNL from
a retired Wg CDR indicates, there is an urgent need for VSNL to introduce
some basic filters to prevent at least the easily identifiable spam
reaching the users.
Today Spam does not mean only unsolicited marketing
messages but also virus implanting messages, obscene messages and
terrorist messages. The extent of pornographic spam has also made it
impossible for children to be exposed to the use of VSNL e-mail IDs.
Both as a social responsibility as well as a commercial
threat, ISPs cannot remain oblivious to their responsibility to filter
In fact had CERT-IND ordered a mandatory spam filter
use for ISPs, instead of yahoo blocking, Netizens in India would have
praised their consumer friendly ness rather than laughing at their
foolishness in being the instrument of blocking the yahoo groups.
It is however necessary that in preventing spam the
ISPs do not take the easy route of preventing users from using the e-mail
itself by making it a paid service lime MSN Chat. Behind VSNL's continued
indulgence with Spam there be such a motive in promoting their paid e-mail
service. This tendency needs to be discouraged. The paid service can be
used for many value added services but an elementary spam filter must be
part of the basic free service itself.
October 2 2003
Following is a copy of a letter
written by Wg Cdr V.G. Kumar (Retd) expressing his concerns about spam to
VSNL. His experience is similar to those of thousands of VSNL users in
From : Wg Cdr VG Kumar (Retd)
Dated: 30 Sep 2003
For use of cyber activists...VSNL's
incompetent web based customer support...
As a an ardent anti spam fighter, I have brought your attention to the
subject on a number of occasions. I have requested that you take it up to
the highest levels if it cannot be implemented at your local level. You
informed me that it has been done. That was a couple of months ago I
guess. After that I have received no feed back. On the contrary the
quantity of apam has increased so much that it constitutes 90 of incoming
VSNL mail. I normally forward received spam to
www.spamcop.net. They are quite successful in tracking down the
source. However, in the last ten days or so, the quantity of spam mail
which cannot be tracked due to truncated e-mail headers have resulted in
Spam Cop not being to track point of origination of spam. You seem to be
abetting spam by not bothering to trace IP address from where the mail is
being received from.... YOU NEED TO LOOK INTO THIS URGENTLY AS NOW YOU ARE
ACTING AS AN ABETTOR OF SPAM INSTEAD OF DOING SOMETHING TO AVOID SPAM. ( I
had sent them a whole series of spma messages that I receievd. It would
not be worthwhile attaching those to the mail).
Every time you complain to VSNl, some
person declares `problem sorted out' hoping that he can close the case....
I refuse to give up
Problem has not been sorted out in any manner and continues as vile as
before. Please let me know the steps taken to curhb spam on VSNL and then
I will arrive at a conclusion if you hava taken any meaningful step in the
right direction. v..firstname.lastname@example.org
Who has said that the problem has been sorted out? This is a typical
clerical answer by some incompetent customer support person. Do you want
me to re-direct all the spam that I receive to you. 90 of mail inflow is
There is no way I am going to close this case unless your support persons
elaborate on what steps have been taken.
As on 30 Sep 1558, I received 59 pieces of e-mail in my inbox. 57 were
spam. And you tell me probles resolved and trhe case may pse be closed?
Which world are you living in?
Please let me know how the problem has been sorted out? I am saving these
exchanges of e-mail to be released to the press and to consumer interest
groups especially cyber activists..
At the end of each of these complaints, I get a boiler plate text,
`Problem sorted out. The case may please be closed." Absolutely
incompetnet and sheer clerical replies by nincompoops of VSNL....
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