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Weekly column: Sen. Joseph Lieberman, spammer-in-chief?


   Perspective: Hail to the...spammer-in-chief?
   By Declan McCullagh
   January 20, 2003, 4:00 AM PT

   WASHINGTON--Sen. Joseph Lieberman hopes to become the first Democratic
   president from Connecticut, the first Jewish president, and the first
   senator to win the White House since John F. Kennedy.
   Good for him. Our problem is that Lieberman also is itching to be our
   It's no joke. Within hours of announcing his plans to seek the
   Democratic nomination for the job last week, Lieberman started
   spamming around a message titled: "Beginning an Amazing Journey." It
   said: "I have the strength, vision, and values to lead our nation to
   higher ground."
   To broadcast this momentous news, Lieberman used an outfit called
   Roving Software of Waltham, Mass., which sells a bulk-mail service
   called ConstantContact. Bulk mailers pay from $10 to about $2,000 a
   month for the service. Roving claims to occupy a market niche
   reminiscent of the dot-com boom, describing itself as a "pre-IPO,
   venture-backed" start-up boasting revenue growth of "more than 40
   percent per quarter in 2002."

   There's a lot of bulk e-mail, which Roving says is not spam but
   "permission-based marketing." Roving does require ConstantContact
   users to let e-mail recipients "remove themselves from your mailing
   list," but its terms of service agreement does not require that
   addresses on the list be confirmed "opt-in" in the first place. In
   other words: Roving may heed your removal request, but its
   customers don't need your permission to clog your in-box in the first

[ remainder snipped, viewable at http://news.com.com/2010-1071-981258.html ]

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