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Let me start by saying that I’m not in debt and neither do I need parts of my anatomy enlarged or medicated.

If you know what I mean, then you’ve been spammed too and it gets much worse, thanks to the wonders of rich content and the imagination of the girls and boys who appear to work a twenty-four hour shift in a server room, a hidden basement somewhere in the red light district of Amsterdam.

It’s getting worse and quite suddenly too. Like me, you probably have several email addresses. The business address and perhaps a Yahoo or Hotmail address too. My own address is given out sparingly and I never register on anyone’s site unless I really have to. So why SAP should suddenly think I’m customer 1023420 is anyone’s guess. My exclude list of 250 addresses in my Hotmail account filled up months ago but the tide of filth and special offers from predominantly US-based finance companies continues unabated.

Yesterday, I had the bizarre experience of having an email argument with an arrogant female ‘spammer’ from a so-called Digital Test Lab. For some unknown reason, any attempt to unsubscribe from her distribution list caused my Outlook client to crash. I threatened to name and shame in this column but was promptly told “You should not use a magazine that employs you to pursue your own personal vendetta's. I own an online magazine and it reaches about 2,000, 000 people - don't send me threats”. – So there!!

Like me, you’re probably thinking that this is all getting rather silly and I agree. These days I dread going on holiday because my front door won’t open against the weight of junk mail from credit card companies and my email is overflowing with rubbish. Now I’m guessing, that on average, I spend at least five minutes a day dealing with junk email and yet, the UK has decided that spamming is OK as long as the mail includes an ‘Opt out’ button. Locking the stable door perhaps! Let me see if I can follow the reasoning should one per cent of business in the English speaking world, decide to buy one of the CDs that claim:

“With a database of over 235 million potential customers, we can reach your clients anywhere in the world. Your potential client will not miss your message”
Just imagine the length of the queue and the time you are going waste deleting offers of Filipino brides and herbal Viagra.

You can’t avoid Spam because most of the reptiles are outside Europe. But two years ago, I suggested to government, that at the very least, the UK should have an email exclude list, much like the one that prevents companies wasting my fax paper, as they used to. After all, if government is going to give companies the right to drown us in junk email, we should have the right to choose not to, with a single simple entry on a central web site. Perhaps it should be called UK-Offline? And if you don’t agree, please tell me why


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