Address Munging Considered Harmful

Few days ago someone sent an email to debian-project list complaining about the Debian Bug Tracking System, which has turned public his email address. This “big mistake” gave him his first spam and he got really nervous. Ok, that’s not good. I asked myself “why does not BTS hide our email address”? Quickly I got a nice answer by reading this article:

Address Munging Considered Harmful

IMO his comparison between spammers and terrorists make senses:

” …Terrorists, on the other hand, have no rules, or at least they allow themselves more freedom in action than do the societies against which they fight. If a terrorist’s goal is to subvert a government or to overturn a society, he succeeds if he is able to make the government ineffective or if he succeeds in making the society break its own rules, even if dealing with him…”


” …Address munging, by definition, is breaking some of the Internet’s functionality. As such, some of its value is lost. Rather than allow the Internet to be broken, piece by piece, by those who show no respect for it, we netizens should stand our ground and fight those who do not wish to become part of our society, but rather want only to make a quick buck from it at the expense and to the detriment of others…”

In summary, it’s not fair breaking standards to temporarily avoid some spammers instead of eliminate their effectiveness using intelligent tools. So, no more


  1. Posted December 1, 2006 at 17:19 | Permalink

    It may not be fair to break standards to temporarily avoid some spammers but it seems cheaper and more intelligent.

  2. Posted September 14, 2008 at 17:39 | Permalink

    Yes, I must agree with Adolfo’s comment above.

    To take this on, Mac OS X users can use a Dashboard widget called obfuscatr. It provides JS or just plain encoding of your email. See the details at flash tekkie.

    obfuscatr was also featured in MacWorld Italy of March 2008.

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