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aftermath of last week's junk email

Several readers may be interested in the aftermath of the "green
card" mailing to info-mcl and many other lists a few days ago.
This junk email posting was heavily protested.

The following message is an excerpt from the RISKS digest.
I apologize in advance for sending it to info-mcl, because
it obviously has nothing to do with MCL.

PLEASE DO NOT send any further correspondence about this
to info-mcl! You may send replies to me, to RISKS, or to one of the
many APPROPRIATE newsgroups for discussing such matters.

Date: Mon, 18 Apr 94 15:12:17 PDT
From: "Peter G. Neumann" <neumann@csl.sri.com>
Subject: The Green-Card Flap

RISKS received a huge amount of mail relating to the husband-and-wife Phoenix
immigration-law-firm, Canter & Siegel.  Offering their legal services, they
posted an advertisement on 5000 newsgroups, and gave information on a
forthcoming lottery that will give out 55,000 green cards (granting permanent
residency in the United States).  C&S received at least 30,000 responses,
mostly protesting their use of the Internet for advertising.

Internet Direct suspended the C&S account for violation of the customer
service agreement.  I.D. had to put up with the thousands of pieces of
objections.  [This gives a new meaning to OBJECT-oriented E-mail.]  C&S
threatened to sue for I.D. for $250,000 for the lost responses.  At least one
site crashed repeatedly because of mail saturation.