Email Inventor Never Expected Spam

The history of email gave birth to a criminal side

Get the WebProNews Newsletter:

[ Technology]

Although plenty of criminals have embraced spam, and corrupted thousands of machines to send out billions of messages, there was a time when spamming was unthinkable.

Long before Tim Berners-Lee and Mosaic and AOL, and other points in Internet history, the humble email came into existence during the summer of 1971. Ray Tomlinson sent a message from one machine to another in the same room.

He recently told the Times Online the idea of spam would have been unthinkable in the early days, when no more than a thousand people had email.

“If you were getting spam, you’d know who was sending it. You’d be able to say to them: that’s not a good thing to do,” said Tomlinson. “It was only when e-mail came to be widely used that the possibility of sending a message anonymously emerged.”

Of course, spam became a bigger problem as nefarious types realized money could be made through mass mailings. Once upon a time, plain text messages touted stocks and adult websites. Now, rich media content can carry links to downloads of malware.

The bigger problem comes from the growth of Internet adoption by more people, enough of whom credulously fall for the assorted spam enticements and make them profitable. It’s thought massive organized crime rings, particularly in Russia, profit from spam.

Times change, and not always for the best. But Tomlinson’s creation connects millions of people each day, and despite the prevalence of spam, the Internet is a better place with email in it.

Email Inventor Never Expected Spam
Top Rated White Papers and Resources
  • Guest

    Spam is not the problem, people trying to make money any which way the must is the culprit. This society prides itself in being the richest in the world, but at what cost. Most people live emotionally horrible lives because they have been convinced that making money is the only way to go.

    Even religious people are after the money. If you watch TV evangelists and others they just want your money. The promise of Paradise is going to cost you $19.95.

    If there wasn’t that desire to reach someone out there to convince him/her to buy our stuff there wouldn’t be any Spam.

    Just my two cents worth.

  • markus

    awwesome email me

  • Join for Access to Our Exclusive Web Tools
  • Sidebar Top
  • Sidebar Middle
  • Sign Up For The Free Newsletter
  • Sidebar Bottom