Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Boxbe, Trojan Horse Spam Machine

Sorry to everyone who got a Boxbe invitation from me. Boxbe is a "white-list" email program, that I got invitation to, and then it grabbed by address book and spammed others. Also it sends annoying reminders to them to be sure to sign up. Here is a story similar to mine.

Boxbe started in 2005, and it allows mail to pass between approved users, and this should block spam. A white list means that only people on this list can send you mail. Their original business model was to make spammers pay to get access to their email list.  This is sleezy in that clients want freedom from spam, but the plan was to auction their addresses off. Wikipedia says they are not doing this anymore, but the Boxbe site is less clear about that.

Recently, they started automatically spamming the address book of subscribers. I found the whole thing quite embarrassing, and I hope that I have succeeded in disengaging from them.

Thede Loder is one of the founders, and he is a  former PhD student at U Michigan Ann Arbor. The other founder, Corbett Barr, was a consultant. Both lived in San Francisco.


1-October-2009: I got an reply for Boxbe, so be sure to click on the comments. I liked the fact that they are concerned about their reputation. That suggests they are trying to improve.