Is Obama A Spammer?

Monday, 24. August 2009

Thousands report receiving health care email from White House without requesting it.

Over the last few days, news agencies have been reporting that the office of the president used a third party email service to deliver a political email to email accounts that were not subscribed or ever requested government email. This has lead to all sorts of questions regarding if tax payer money was used, or if the White House over stepped it’s bounds by sending what many are calling “SPAM” emails under the presidential umbrella.

This event has brought to the forefront a company that is engaged in managing mass emails for different government agencies called Gov Delivery. Caught in the middle of this whole thing, Gov Delivery is doing it’s best to protect both it’s clients, and it’s own back end. But I think everyone is missing the real story here.

What all the reports are not talking about…

What seems to be missing from all the reports about this, is that Internet Service Providers are plagued with unsolicited email to the point of breakage. The last thing we need traveling through our email servers is Government SPAM! If what all the reports are saying is true, then the Obama White House has crossed a line that puts it in the same group as the criminals that plague our servers with spam day in and day out…

Some facts about Spam:

  • Over 95% of all email received by corporate and ISP servers is spam.
  • 97% of total email server load is dedicated to attempting to identify spam during delivery.
  • Up to 5% of non spam emails fail to be delivered or are rejected outright due to spam filters.
  • Over 50% of all spam is sent by illegal means, such as “Bot Farms” and compromised servers.
  • Consumers spend over 1 billion dollars annually to stop spam from hitting their in-box.

So, did the White House actually send out spam?

Probably, but probably not on purpose. With the current political debate surrounding the whole health care issue, this incident will most likely be used against the White House for months to come. This blog isn’t about heath care, or politics outside of the Open Source movement, so I’m not going to comment either way regarding that whole health care thing.

What I’d like see come out of all this, is a government policy regarding email communications with constituents. A policy written by someone that actually has ran an email server before.

— Stu


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