It’s finally here, and almost over! While unfortunately unknown to many, National Email Week occurs during the second week of June, and is my second-favorite week of the year (after Shark Week, of course!) In honor of this holiday, I’d like to share some of the most interesting facts about email, and expose some of the history of the technology on which this week is based.
The first spam email was sent on May 3rd, 1978. The DECSYSTEM-2020 and TOPS-20 new computer and operating system, had just been released. To advertise the new technology, a DEC marketer, sent out a message about the computer to 600 ARPANET (a precursor to the Internet) users. The message was not well received, and another commercial mass email was not sent for several years.
“Smith used dummy Web sites and domain names to send spam promising free credit reports or free Internet service, but in order to get the free goods, users would be asked to submit a credit card number, password or other personal information to secure their new account.”
It turned out that Smith was responsible for 25% of the spam sent at the time, and Earthlink won $25 million from the lawsuit.
According to the Atlanta Business ChronicleOn December 16th, 2003, president George W. Bush signed into law the CAN-SPAM Act, which created restrictions on content that can be included in unsolicited marketing emails. However, it is sometimes referred to as the “YOU-CAN-SPAM” Act because of its inability to prevent spam.
Hope you had a great end to National Email Week, and as they say at Return Path, National Email Week is every day.