Spam Free E-Mail



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 spam.

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 India.

From : Wg Cdr VG Kumar (Retd)

To: Naavi_india

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 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.

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 SPAM.

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....

Best wishes

Related Article :

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