We were shocked, not so very many years ago, when AOL reported that spam was 30% of their incoming mail. Now, some of the world's largest ISPs report that it's well beyond 80% — in some cases higher — and increasing.
Back then we knew who the spammers were, they stayed in one place and thought of themselves as "high volume" email marketers — but now, the leaders of the email marketing industry know they must respect permission, and can't engage in the spammy behavior of their predecessors. We predicted that a private right of action in civil court would be sufficient to keep those same marketers in line, and now we know that's correct — but today, much of the spam volume is sent by career criminals and malicious hackers who won't stop until they're all rounded up and put in jail.
In a lot of ways, we won the fight against the companies and individuals who were called spammers six to ten years ago. Some learned and improved, some retired, and some (though sadly few) have found themselves on the wrong end of the law. Most importantly, we won the true core battle of that time: no legitimate marketer, no legitimate brand wants to be associated with spam today.
But in the meantime, a new enemy has arisen.
Recognizing this, CAUCE has reformulated to represent the interests of innocent end users while working with ISPs, the computer security industry, and international law enforcement agencies to fight today's gleefully sociopathic criminal spam gangs.
Ten years ago, if we'd said the future of the internet was at stake, we might have been exaggerating, Today, that statement is more true than anyone had previously imagined.