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Blue Security Reborn As Social Action Enabler 29

griswaldo writes "Wired News writes about the re-birth of the ill-fated Blue Security as a social action company. According to the article, founders of the former anti-spam company that made headlines after incurring the wrath of a Russian spam king have set up a company called Collactive that provides tools to organize grassroots action on political and social web sites. The article mentions a global warming initiative called WorldCoolers and, for the Slashdot YRO crowd, the Privacy Alert Network that kicked off by letting people comment on Homeland Security's latest crazy idea."
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Blue Security Reborn As Social Action Enabler

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  • The DHS, on a mission to turn the US into Communist China, has made it nearly impossible to submit comments to about their "Automated Targeting System". Alas, Collactive works like a charm and submits the comments with a push of a button. Power to people! Try it yourself at 444 []
    • Congratulations! (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      You've just caused several dozen Slashdot mods to cranially self-destruct, after they couldn't figure out whether to mod you -1 Troll or +5 Informative.
    • The site must be the worst website in the history of the world. No, strike that, in the history of the universe!
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by NoTheory ( 580275 )
        Quote from
        Starting in December, randomly selected visitors to may be asked to complete a short customer satisfaction survey. Your feedback will help us improve the quality of this site for all users. We thank you in advance for your participation.
        Customers? We're customers now? Does that mean that i'll be able to demand satisfaction or perhaps my money back?
  • Their plans to take so-called Web 2.0 sites and make them easy to use for normal people sound like a good idea. If sites like Digg claim to be aimed at a broad audience and not only at techies, why is it that they are still dominated by Slashdot wannabes?

    Maybe this will bring user-generated sites to everyday folk. I can already envision my grandma telling me how many stories she Dugg, and all without even leaving her bridge game!

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by nacturation ( 646836 )

      I can already envision my grandma telling me how many stories she Dugg, and all without even leaving her bridge game!
      Be careful... pretty soon she'll tell you about this cool link to a funeral home and how she Dugg her own grave.
    • Obligatory.

      In Korea only old people use Digg.
    • How can someone be a "Slashdot wannabe"? /. is free to join and open to all. Clearly they are slashdot don't-wannabes, even if you don't think the site in question is well designed or run.
  • by 280Z28 ( 896335 ) on Monday December 18, 2006 @05:54AM (#17284098) Homepage
    From the article:

    "Once it's installed, the organizers can send alerts to users or update the software with scripts that know how to take particular actions, such as automatically filling in feedback forms on a politician's website. End users can also forward e-mail alerts to their friends, who have the option of installing the software themselves and joining the network." ...
    "By picking a couple of issues that all Americans agree on, we can really rain holy privacy hellfire," Scannell said.

    If you simply define spam as "unwanted commentary," a large, disruptive user base that does nothing but repeat itself could easily be placed in there.

    Another problem is this: Dr. Smith disagrees with the movement being "addressed" by the Collactive users and wishes to comment. She/He should be able to offer feedback like anyone else, but if 537 near-duplicate comments fly in while she/he responds, then his/her comment is very likely to be either mass-deleted or simply overlooked.

    The point is simply this: political debates should be won by the good arguments, and NOT by drowning the opposing side in a flood of automated replies. From where I'm sitting, this just looks like a hack of a piece of software trying to push a hack of an argument.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      You're wrong about it being automated replies. Take a look at what people sent the DHS []. These are serious, well-thought out comments. These people would have no way of doing this without this tool!
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by griswald9 ( 1041044 )
      Have you actually seen what people wrote on the DHS issue? Take a look at the comments submitted - it's not automated (well, unless they have a bunch of intelligent monkeys doing the work)
    • I think you are a bit confused.

      In many cases, quantity is much more relevant than quality. A general rule of thumb is that for every 1 person who bothers to write & complain, there are ten people who feel the same way, but didn't.

      If you want just one example of why this technique is effective, look no further than the effects Christian Conservatives have had on the FCC. Greater than 95% of complaints come from members of just two organizations who employ these carpet bombing techniques.

      Government and bu
  • I missed Blue Security in the headlines, but what these guys seem to be doing is pretty cool. Providing a way for people to send and receive information about issues they care about isn't really ahead of it's time technology-wise, but is definitely an appropriate and commendable use of technology.

    I don't know how much hype comes from the word AJAX being thrown around, but if ever there was a place for it, I say they've found it. A niche, and a productive one at that.

    Better luck this time, guys.

  • I've actually been chasing this one spamming idiot around for months. It's really weird in that he's the only spammer that seems to bother that address, and he's a totally small-scale nuisance level spammer. Kind of a throwback to the old days of 10 years ago? He per force switches ISPs, websites, and DNS services continually, sometimes gets bounced out for a few days, but keeps right on coming back for more. It's actually sort of nice to find at least one spammer that stupid.

    Of course, the big fear is that
  • Are we all destined to become tertiary adjuncts?

  • I guess after you get your ass handed to you by a Russian spam king, the DHS isn't all that scary.
  • can't beat = join (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    letting armchair activists [...] seed collaborative web forums with sympathetic news items [...] automatically filling in feedback forms [...] forward e-mail alerts to their friends [...] help users through processes like registering and voting on sites like YouTube, or submitting stories to news aggregators like Digg and Reddit

    In short: a spamming network. Oh the irony.
    • by redcane ( 604255 )
      With once crucial difference. Each post/form submission/email alert, requires a user to enter their thoughts, and then select their options for transmission. It just automates the process of sending your comment more than one place. Like a search engine aggregator. This was the one big thing about blue security last time. They gave you a button saying "send SPAM complaint", but each user could only click it once. It just took the time out of writing to all the different spammers, so that a large enough amou
  • by ardor ( 673957 ) on Monday December 18, 2006 @07:46AM (#17284434)
    AFAIK, anti-spam methods tried to solve the problem on the email clients.
    But what about whitelists for email servers? Maybe something similar to the DNS system, with propagating server lists. So, you register your server with your telco, wait an hour or two, and the thing is propagated. Registration should be free, but a mandatory delay of at least 10 minutes between registration should be there; the telcos are also free to check if somebody is registering tons of servers (maybe a limit would do). This allows emailservers to reject unknown ones along with all their mail, so spammers could no longer setup a room full of machines sending millions of emails a day, and spambots with their own SMTP servers are useless. Furthermore, if some trojan hijacks Outlook accounts for spamming, email servers could (a) introduce an one second delay, thereby limiting the max amount of emails per day while not overly hurting the user, (b) report when a whitelist server suddenly sends heaps of data, and the sending server is obliged to investigate this and warn clients that they are sending too much.

    All of this requires no client changes, they are all server side updates.
    • The problem with so many spam "solutions" is that they're all predicated on the vast majority of server admins in the world all magically agreeing on the solution and implementing it, all at once.

      The whitelist solution is useless when 99.9999% of valid email servers are not yet on the whitelist, right? Because if you turned on whitelist filtering you'd just be blocking all mail. So no one will install and activate the filter until the vast majority of valid email senders *are* registered.

      Now consider all
    • Your post advocates a

      (x) technical ( ) legislative ( ) market-based ( ) vigilante

      approach to fighting spam. Your idea will not work. Here is why it won't work. (One or more of the following may apply to your particular idea, and it may have other flaws which used to vary from state to state before a bad federal law was passed.)

      ( ) Spammers can easily use it to harvest email addresses
      (x) Mailing lists and other legitimate email uses would be affected
      ( ) No one will be able to find the guy or collect the

  • King's Pawn (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Doc Ruby ( 173196 ) on Monday December 18, 2006 @10:38AM (#17285684) Homepage Journal
    I guess when Russian mafia politics starts poisoning people with rare nuke byproducts [], right when Russian mafia politics rolls out new ICBMs [], and Russian mafia politics steals huge oil/gas operations [] for their favorite clients, smart Russians [] start to work together against their mafia government.

    But is it too late for them to do anything but inspire a new generation of gulags?
  • > called Collactive that provides tools to organize
    > grassroots action on political and social web sites.

    Well, an anti-spam company should know well how to generate spam.

    Remember, it's not spam if it benefits you or a cause that's worthy to you.

    • by redcane ( 604255 )
      It's also not spam if you are required to hit send once for each message sent. (as opposed to clicking "load email list"->"send" once for >10,000 messages).

The explanation requiring the fewest assumptions is the most likely to be correct. -- William of Occam