Are we spammers?

Doing business here was too easy, so a new law makes it more challenging.

spam 88 (photo credit: )
spam 88
(photo credit: )
One of the conclusions that could be reached from the draconian nature of the country's new anti-spam law is that computers are now made without a delete key. Mine fortunately has one, and I have even seen some with two. Being about a mid-level deleter, I can only get 10 or 12 of those pesky, persistent, sometimes even disgusting e-mails deleted per second and since I get about a hundred of them a day, I must spend 10 seconds a day extricating them from my in-box. It's exhausting labor, and the drafters of the new law must have had my right index finger in mind when they pushed this law through the Knesset. It's hard to imagine what else they had in mind. Quite seriously though, this law will probably do little to deter a real spammer, most of whom probably live beyond our now well protected e-borders and tend to be quite anonymous. The law, however, will do a superb job deterring small and medium-sized companies and even well-meaning not for profits from publicizing their products and services and even from providing news and information to the public. Clearly doing business here has been far too easy; it was surely time to tighten up a bit and make life a bit more challenging. MOST COUNTRIES, it would seem, are far less concerned with protecting the public than the State of Israel. The US and others have determined that it is enough to provide e-mail recipients with an easy option to banish themselves from whatever lists they no longer want to be part of, the so-called "opt-out clause." Our tireless legislators, always looking out for new and creative ways to advance the public's well-being, clearly felt this method would not work well enough to keep the public from being unfairly exposed to the nefarious plague of unwanted e-mails and the constant necessity of operating that extraordinarily complex delete function. Our enlightened legislators, valiant protectors of the public good, have, as the old saying goes, thrown the baby out with the bathwater. No longer can a service provider even inform its unsuspecting public of upcoming (and even free, yes, free) seminars without first laboriously seeking their permission, that itself possibly no longer allowed via e-mail. No longer can companies send out our free newsletters, since the recipient may think, perhaps even correctly, that while the sender might be happy to share news and information, ultimately, he or she wouldn't mind if you would like one day to become a client. The list goes on and on. The alternative of course, is to go back to the "dark ages," before the scourge of e-mail and spam mail when licking envelopes that were probably seldom opened, sending hard copies whose pages are rarely recycled or adding to the phone company's precious bottom line and hoping somehow that after three or four calls one might actually reach the right person, who will then spend minutes trying to understand why you are calling rather than milliseconds deciding whether or not to read or delete your e-mail. The new law should be a boon for the post office, the telemarketing companies and the phone companies, to say nothing of the attorneys who can now spend their time suing the evil neo-spammers, and the police who can spend their time seeking out the new generation of felons. The writer is a partner in a consulting firm.