21 June, 2007

Dr. Evil's spam

Email spam is ubiquitous these days, and its 'superfluidity' may give it an additional application besides selling stuff to people and hijacking their data and/or machine time.

If you read any detective stories about international assassins, spies and whatnot - and these are the only type of detective stories worth reading - you've definitely noticed how convoluted are the schemes for contacting the guy who spends most of his time in hiding. Every third Saturday of the month come to Piazza del Popolo in Rome, holding 3 red roses and a copy of Sacramento Bee dated exactly 10 days earlier. Now the guy who needs to be contacted has to wander around the square, looking for someone with Sacramento Bee. Thankfully, international assassins have to have sharp eyes, so he will be able to read the issue date, but still... what if Sacramento Bee goes bankrupt?

Or consider the "moles" -- the guys who work quietly in the heart of the enemy's government for years and even decades, only passing the most valuable information or acting in the most critical moments.

How to communicate effectively with these people? Email would be nice, but a permanent email address can be monitored and again, what if you loose the access to it? Thankfully to the cloak-and-dagger people, they don't have to rely on a constant email address. Instead, what they can do is set up an email address -- at any free service, for example -- and just leave it at a few message boards. Then, their handlers call one of those companies who offer "mass mail services" and send the message out to their guy and to the whole world.

Sure, everyone will receive the secret message, but who's going to know if it is a secret message? Do you have a habit of counting spaces at the ends of the lines in Ci41is ads? :p

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