March 23, 2004 - Internet Service Providers, systems and network administrators and EMAIL users around the world are planning a day of action to protest about the growing misuse of EMAIL.
One EMAIL manager told us "We are totally sick and tired of dealing with spam. Every day, our systems process literally thousands of invitations to buy performance enhancing drugs, participate in illicit funds transfers or collect nonexistent lottery winnings. Obnoxious junk like this wastes gigabytes of network bandwidth and disk space and makes our lives a misery, so we've decided to take positive action. This may inconvenience EMAIL users but it will hit the spammers and scammers where it really hurts - in their pockets. We'll interrupt their business."
At midnight UTC on Global No EMAIL Day:
web-based EMAIL applications will be withdrawn from service
Internet mail servers will be shutdown
SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) will be switched off
EMAIL traffic to TCP port 25 will be blocked.
EMAILs in transit at that time will disappear into the ether and users will be unable to launch new messages until service is resumed some time on April 2nd.
Not everyone plans to join the day of action but as other systems close down, backlogs will build and mail routers may be overloaded. This could cause severe problems for those who try to keep going and long delays in EMAIL delivery.
Internet watchdogs are sympathetic to the cause but plan to monitor the network carefully on the day for signs of trouble.
Users who need to send urgent EMAILs are advised to set the "priority" flag (the equivalent of sticking on a first class e-stamp). This will take them to the front of the EMAIL queues and should reduce problems.