I mentioned I set up some new spam traps a few weeks ago. This amusing disclaimer appeared in one of them over the weekend:

You have received this message for one of the following reasons:
1) By accident.
2) Someone else is using your email address without your knowledge.
3) You have responded to one of our free gifts/courses.
4) You have sent an e-mail to one of our email addresses.
5) You are a member of one of the safelists, by doing so, you have agreed to receive this message

Heh. I like #1. They accidentally harvested the address from a web page and added it to their lists. “You know, I was surfing the web, and I left my autospam-assistant program running, and one thing led to another, and the next thing I knew, it was spamming you.”

Of course, the rest of the disclaimer is funny too, if you’re familiar with the history of spam legislation.

This e-mail is sent in compliance with strict anti-abuse and NO SPAM regulations.Under Bill s. 1618 TITLE III passed by the 105th Congress and the new email Bill HR 1910. Under Bill HR 1910 passed by the 106th US Congress on May 24,1999, Per Section HR 1910, this letter cannot be considered Spam as long as the sender includes removal instructions. And the New Email Bill Section 301.Per Section 301, paragraph a)(2)(C)of S.

None of the bills mentioned here was actually enacted into law, and their only purpose has been to show up in spam footers. You might expect them to claim compliance with CAN-SPAM, but then they’d run afoul of the prohibition on “harvesting electronic mail addresses of the users of a website, proprietary service, or other online public forum operated by another person, without the authorization of such person.”

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