Spam is lucrative. Enough people respond to spam so that it is an organized international activity. The scope of spam operations may be surprising:

“E-mail inboxes may be clogged with a little less spam — at least for a while. U.S. authorities said Tuesday they have shut down one of the largest spam operations in the world, a vast network involving countries from New Zealand to China and the United States.

The spammers sent out billions of e-mails in recent years encouraging people to click through to websites that allegedly used false claims to peddle prescription drugs, as well as “male enhancement” and weight-loss pills.”

link: U.S. authorities shut down worldwide spam operation

It is obvious how these spam operations clutter internet traffic with email junk. Less obvious but even more insidious is that it robs every email user of time. Cumulatively, over a year, that is measured in days of your time used just to clear away email clutter. The total product hours of internet users that are wasted would be staggering – and measured in decades.

Catherine Forsythe