One of the simplest ways to get yourself a sample of the current crop of spam is by using a “spamtrap” e-mail address. Such an address is not advertised as being a way to contact anyone, but is visible to spammers’ automatic address harvesters. You can, for instance, put such an address on a Web page with the foreground and background text colours set the same, so that no human can even see it when reading the page normally.
Because I write the I/O letters column for Atomic magazine here in Australia (and reprint it on Dan’s Data six months after paper publication), I get to see all of the spam that makes it through the filters on the email@example.com address. The I/O address isn’t a true spam trap, since it has a real purpose, but it’s certainly not subscribing to any mailing lists.
Recently, firstname.lastname@example.org has been receiving regular press releases from the Citizens Electoral Council of Australia, which is the local branch of Lyndon LaRouche’s completely sensible and entirely not batshit insane political task force.
Most recently, these messages have informed me that the only thing standing between us and the complete financial collapse of Western society is LaRouche’s Homeowners and Bank Protection Act of 2007, which includes a number of modest proposals along the lines of nationalising the entire US financial industry.
That seems simple enough. I’m sure that right after George W Bush and Dick Cheney finish having gay sex on live TV, they’ll get right onto making it happen.
Woe betide the world if they ignore Lyndon’s predictions, after all. Remember how his pan-ethnic street gangs conquered the USA in 1973? Remember how domestic terrorism tore the USA apart in the Reagan years? And, of course, everybody knows that the British Royal Family are drug pushers!
(A bit of a long walk to the joke, but worth it, I think.)
It’s possible that I’m only getting the LaRouche spam because the Citizens Electoral Council are still rockin’ a 1994-era mailing list system that doesn’t send a confirmation e-mail, and someone subscribed email@example.com as a joke. (Ah, for a return to those halcyon days when you could effortlessly subscribe anyone you liked to dozens of random newsletters…)
I wouldn’t be surprised if they just bought a “Press” e-mail list or ran their own Web-page troller, though.