Spam and Greeting Cards

Will spam kill the net as we know it?

In a previous entry (Overcome with Spam) I commented on spam/sporn is changing what we can do. Here is a scary dissection of a spam greeting card e-mail: Ecard-hijack spam.

It stuck me back in December that e-cards were dead when I began to get spam claiming to be e-cards. Now I wonder if this is not sweeping net culture. Any bright idea or service that depends on people trying out (and trusting) unknown others becomes a trojan horse for viruses. At what point do we basically stop doing anything except with trusted entities? When that happens the Internet as a democratizing (in the sense of connecting people laterally outside of exising hierarchies) force dies. At that point we lose the global “inter”net and move to forms of intra/extra nets that are limited gated communities.

What would I not be able to do if I couldn’t trust the net?

– I couldn’t brown the web. I would only go to sites suggested by trusted reviewers.

– I couldn’t trust e-mail. I would only accept mail from trusted people.

– I couldn’t put machine on the net – I would use a fire-engine to do network activity. (Where a fire-engine is a computer meant only for networked activity – one step beyond a fire-wall.)

– I would cry for what has been lost.

If sounds crazy think of how many communities of trust have been terminated by vandals.