• United States
News Editor

Bin Laden hates ‘e-mail tax,’ too

Mar 14, 20062 mins
Enterprise ApplicationsMalware

Goodmail’s public relations firm has decided that it’s had quite enough of the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s petition urging AOL to deep-six plans to use Goodmail’s CertifiedEmail service.

EFF contends that AOL’s offering of CertifiedEmail “amounts to an ‘e-mail tax’ for every e-mail sent.”

I contend that contention is contemptible, both in this ‘Net Buzz column and — with the help of e-mail expert Paul Hoffman — in this Buzzblog entry.

However, as of lunchtime today some 37,000 individuals had signed on to the petition, according to the Web site on which it sits, proving once again that you can get a bunch of people to oppose just about anything as long as you’re willing to fib and call it a tax.

As might be expected, Goodmail’s PR representatives at Connors Communications have been watching the petition carefully.

“Looking closer at the organizations that are ‘backing’ the EFF petition you will notice the phony and artificial signatures that are making the signage numbers grow,” Connors says in an e-mail. “A few of our favorites are new signatures from: Stop Your Lies & MoveOn, Stupid Moron, Busty Baby, Scare Mongering, Anti-Capitalist Idiot, Get Facts First, Thisis A. Fraud, Time to MoveOn, Socialist ForSpam, June Cater Cash, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Don Duck, Mother Theresa,  Joseph Stalin, Charlie Chaplin, Herbal Viagra, Dr. Evil and Osama Bin-Ladden.”

I’m figuring bin Laden didn’t really sign, since he probably wouldn’t have misspelled his own name and I’m not sure what kind of Internet access he’s getting these days.

By the way, Connors assures me that they didn’t sign those fake names themselves — and I believe them — although it is worth noting that their original e-mail to me did not disclose their connection to Goodmail. I had to ask.

News Editor

In addition to my editing duties, I have written Buzzblog since January, 2006 and wrote the 'Net Buzz column in Network World's dearly departed print edition for 13 years. Feel free to e-mail me at