Junk posts on forums

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I have a discussion forum at http://samplingplans.com/forum/forum.htm
which is recently receiving more junk posts than valid posts.

The junk posts have lots of links in the, most to to Romanian tourist
sites.   I think that the perpetrators can increase the google ratings
of their links that way.

The majority of the offending links contain http://www.anuntu.ro /
Other links are to folders or subwebs within that.

The junk messages are completely inappropriate for the technical
discussions on my forum.

Q - Is there any way that I can prevent the junk messages? The forum
is built with Microsoft FrontPage.

Q - Is there any legal recourse?

Q - Can anyone see how I can contact the perpetrator by email. I did
not recognize an email address on http://www.anuntu.ro /

Help will be appreciated, Stan Hilliard

Re: Junk posts on forums

Stan Hilliard wrote:
Quoted text here. Click to load it

I assume you have some control of the scripts - FrontPage surely didn't
create those.

On my site, I count the number of links vs. real text, look for certain
keywords that would indicate spam and others that would indicate
legitimacy, and keep track of whether I "know" the poster - that is,
whether they have posted good stuff before.   All that assigns them a
score, and if they score too high, the post is disallowed.  I also track
how recently they have posted and the more often they post, the more
time they need to wait between posting again.  These measures cut down
on MOST of it, but some still gets through now and then.

Tony Lawrence
Unix/Linux/Mac OS X  resources: http://aplawrence.com

Re: Junk posts on forums

:I have a discussion forum

:The junk posts have lots of links in the, most to to Romanian tourist

:Q - Is there any legal recourse?

There is always a legal recourse. There just isn't always a
cost or time effective legal recourse, and there isn't always a
winning legal argument when it comes to international cases.

Before you get into a long long chain of lawsuits against
hapless trojan'd PC owners all around the world (hoping that somehow
some of the PCs will have enough forensic traces to be able to
track the offenders back closer to their origin), you may wish to
investigate the question of whether the actions are illegal under
Romanian law.

I don't know much at all about Romanian law, but as a general
statement, there are some countries in which computer-related actions
are not illegal at all (e.g., laws too old to have wording sufficient for
electronic cases); there are other countries in which computer-related
actions are only illegal if carried out against computers within that
country (e.g., the only applicable laws are national laws which do
not attempt to have extraterritorial scope.)

In general in such cases, you might find that your ownly legal recourse
is to sue the company in the United States (where you are), on the
grounds that they are "doing business in the United States" {by trying
to attact US customers}. You might even get a default judgement.

But good luck trying to -collect- on such a judgement: the best you
might be able to do is obtain an open writ of seizure so that if the
principles of the company -happen- to visit the USA, that you can
have their pocket cash seized and their luggage and other personal
goods confiscated and sold at auction to help pay the judgement.
You might get 3 cents on the dollar... but you might get lucky and
they might happen to have had a nice watch or jewelry or a fur coat.

If you are getting the impression that I'm hinting that there is
no -effective- legal recourse and that chances are that you are
effectively wasting your time in considering the possibility, then
I've been too subtle: it should be more than just an "impression".

If you still at this point think you want to Do Something legally
against them, then call up your nearest FBI office, say that you
believe you have been the victim of international theft (theft by
conversion), and ask what the smallest dollar value misappropriated
is that they will start an investigation for. Don't be surprised if
they tell you it is in the neighbourhood of $US100,000 of -provable-
damages and that they won't even consider investigating "soft damages"
such as the opportunity costs of your time spent deleting the messages.

Your best legal recourse is probably to rewrite your forum to
only allow authorized people to post to it.
   I was very young in those days, but I was also rather dim.
   -- Christopher Priest

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