Merry Spamiversary

Peter G. Neumann at the RISKS Forum notes that Last Friday was the anniversary of the sending of the first e-mail spam:

[Thanks to Mike Hogsett for noting this event, and Brad Templeton for recording it.]

What is allegedly the very first spam message was sent roughly 30 years over the ARPANET.

In seeing this, Mike was amused because he works with some of the people it was addressed to, of whom a few are still at SRI: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected] and some of whom are retired: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected] (I am always amused when some of these old ARPANET addresses show up in today’s incarnations of spam.)

Also somewhat before Mike’s time, Geoff Goodfellow, Eric Kunzelman, Dan Lynch, and many others at SRI were instrumental in the evolution of the ARPANET.

Also included in the enormous enumerated TO: list (historically interesting in itself by not having been suppressed!) are Bill English (who was the catalyst for much of Doug Engelbart’s innovations being transitioned from SRI to PARC), Dave Farber, Irv Jacobs, Bob Metcalfe, Jon Postel (who by then had moved from SRI to ISI), three Sutherlands, and Lauren Weinstein, to name just a few.

Happy Birthday, Spam! Sorry I cannot wish you many happy returns.

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  1. Posted April 28, 2008 at 00:38 | Permalink

    i wonder how thee Mr. Richard M. Stallman feels about unsolicited messages these days ;-) [ second last reaction from the bottom ]

    1) I didn’t receive the DEC message, but I can’t imagine I would have been bothered if I have. I get tons of uninteresting mail, and system announcements about babies born, etc. At least a demo MIGHT have been interesting.

    4) Would a dating service for people on the net be “frowned upon” by DCA? I hope not. But even if it is, don’t let that stop you from notifying me via net mail if you start one.

  2. Edward Lansink
    Posted April 28, 2008 at 07:37 | Permalink

    That first spam message was a lot more innocent than the kind of trash we get these days. Wonder how they’d have reacted if the message was pushing performance enhancing drugs ;)

    What amazes me is that after 30 years spam still seems to be worthwhile…

  3. Posted April 28, 2008 at 07:49 | Permalink

    If you’d just blindly accept my Green-Card-penis-enlargement-dead-dictator-husband story, things would be a lot easier. For me.

    Yours, etc.

    Cantor & Thighcreme.