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More Dirty Politics On The Net 18 June 2002 Edition
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Million $ Ideas
At last, the contents of Aardvark's "million-dollar ideas" notebook are revealed for all to see!
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I'm going to do my best to steer clear of issues related to politics and the upcoming election but I'm also really worried that the anonymity and power of the Net is going to be misused in the coming weeks.

Yesterday I covered the Greens plans (reported elsewhere) to introduce their spam-an-editor system. This drew a response from the party which I invite everyone to read. I guess we won't know for sure exactly what they're up to until the new site is launched.

A more worrying event however, was the appearance of a spam obviously designed to discredit the ACT party.

The email was written in a manner likely to imply that it was actually from ACT, right down to the links at the end. However, ACT MP Stephen Franks denied that the party had sent any such email and it certainly seems unlikely that they would publish something so self-critical.

Feature: Promoting Your Website
Dont' forget to check out the series of hints on how to promote your website which will be regularly added to throughout the next few weeks.

New this week: Writing an Effective Press Release

Or was it simply a double-clever move by ACT to make their opponents look bad? After all, ACT continues to behave in a totally irresponsible manner when it comes to its own bulk emailings that continue to solicit recipients to sign up others without their knowledge or permission -- very bad form!

It seems that the sender of yesterday's spam may have over-estimated the level of anonymity offered by the Net however, and reports indicate that the email has been traced back to the ISP used. It should be a trivial matter to identify the individual responsible from there (privacy laws not withstanding).

The email may not be illegal, although I suspect a claim of fraud or passing off could be implied, but it sure is unethical.

What next I wonder? Denial of Service attacks against political websites?

It's so nice to see that our politicians and their supporters are setting such a fine standard -- NOT!

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    IHUG To The Rescue
    Well here I was, packing up my archives and getting ready to free up the "Aardvark" space on my hard drive when a sponsor popped out of the woodwork at the 11th hour with an offer to help offset the costs associated with publishing this column.

    I'm sure I speak for all Aardvark readers when I offer a big thanks to IHUG for their kind contribution to keeping Aardvark on the Web.

    I must also thank the 100 or so readers who offered to cough up $50/year to subscribe and I suggest that you spend at least some of that money with the new sponsor as a token of your appreciation for their support of this column.

    Of course there will be some changes to this page as a result of the sponsorship deal -- but rest assured that the hard-nosed editorial style will remain unchanged.

    Checking DSL Usage
    Now that virtually every DSL plan has a usage cap associated with it, the need to be able to check just how much traffic you've consumed has become very important.

    I've received quite a few emails from DSL users who claim that the their usage page is consistently out of date -- and sometimes not even available.

    If you're in the same boat, please drop me a line and let me know the details.

    It could be time to bang some heads.

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