Political Spam This Week: Mitt Romney (sigh)

It became obvious in the past week that the real story of political spam in this campaign doesn’t involve ESPs and legitimate bulk email. It involves snowshoe spam being sent either by U.S. Presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s campaign, or a supporter. Whoever is sending this spam is sending much larger quantities of spam to purchased and other non-opt-in lists than all of the legitimate campaign mailing lists and ESPs combined.

Given the nature and types of the spam, I pretty much rule out a dirty trick by a campaign opponent pretending to be a supporter (called a “joe job” in the antispam world), although that is just barely possible. Spamhaus has finally caught on and is listing it, calling it snowshoe spam. From what I’m seeing, they’re (mostly) right.

This is more than a little disheartening. As an American, I must consider the totality of issues in this campaign when deciding who to vote for. I can’t just refuse to vote for a candidate because he uses sloppy or even immoral campaign practices. (As IMHO snowshoe spam is.) I am also aware that a candidate for U.S. President would not normally monitor the activities of their campaign staff in great detail. If the Romney campaign itself is behind the “Romney snowshoe” (as Spamhaus is calling it), chances are that Mitt Romney is unaware of it.

At the same time, I wish that the Romney campaign or its supporters were not behaving in a way that complicates voting decisions by introducing some question about the candidate’s people selection skills, judgment, and ethics. :/

Not surprisingly, the quantities of “legitimate” political spam continue to grow as the U.S. presidential campaign reaches its final stages. I had planned to blog daily, but simply can’t keep up and do other things. I’ll continue to make spot reports when I see something interesting, but will not try to provide a complete list.

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