A rare case in which spamming IS morally admirable

I'm fulminating a lot about spam these days. So it's only fair that I post one of the rare instances I know of in which spamming actually is a good and virtuous thing to do.

Internet censorship is a huge problem around the world, especially in unfree countries in the Middle East and Asia. Anonymizer set out to do something about it. Specifically, they offer free access to anonymous proxy servers, to people at least in Iran and China. They estimate they have about 100,000 users in Iran, and a few thousand in China.*

*I have a guess as to why the latter number is so low, and plan to post about it at another time.

But here's the thing -- Anonymizer can't fight censorship without being guilty of spam. The reason, in a nutshell, is that part of their technology requires them to send email into the censored countries. Soliciting such email could get the recipients into a whole lot of trouble. And so Anonymizer sends that email both to those who want it and, so as to give them legal cover, to a whole lot of people who didn't ask for it as well.

Sounds like a good deed to me!

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