The "Do Not E-Mail" list seemed like such a simple idea based on a common outcry: Someone, for the love of God, save me from the 200 pieces of unsolicited e-mail, or spam, I get everyday. The Federal Trade Commission was ordered by Congress to have a look at the feasibility of such a list. Last week, the FTC offered its conclusion: the list would create more problems than already exist. The reasoning was that giving spammers a centralized list of emails like that would only give them more people to spam. It makes sense, but at the same time, if you violate that trust, couldn't the government prosecute? Apparently, spammers are just too wily.
So this brings us to the FTC's proposed solution: private industry, with your knack for innovation, please intervene and rid us of this colossal annoyance. Interesting. Often we look to public officials to save us from our problems (scary, yes. But true). This time, the government admitted it was beaten. Is this disturbing or refreshing?