Remember, we are looking for ways to reduce prosecutorial misconduct, abuse and oppression.
The newspaper, television and radio industries refer to bulk mailing through the U.S. postal system as "junk mail", because it competes with the billions of dollars of annual newspapers, television and radio advertising.
By defaming bulk mail, the nation's major media are influencing legislators to pass legislation or force rules which limit the ability of persons to use bulk mail effectively, thereby forcing them to spend their advertising dollars in television, radio and newspaper advertising.
Most people are unaware that bulk mailing is highly profitable for the U.S. Postal Service and it subsidizes first class mail. The reason for this is that bulk mail uses the down time of the post office's facilities. There is lower postage paid for bulk mail because the mailer performs some of the work of the Post Office in zip-coding, sorting and transporting the bulk mail, and the Post Office further lowers its costs by handling bulk mail only after all higher-priority mail has been handled.
Bulk e-mail on the internet is being eliminated by the large companies which control internet, such as AOL, other ISP's (internet service providers) and backbone companies such as AT&T, MCI, Sprint. They prevent bulk e-mail from being transmitted by terminating internet connections of those e-mail users, websites and ISP's which use or permit bulk e-mailing.
The argument is the same as the argument used against U.S. postal bulk mail: it is "junk mail" which is unwanted and offends most recipients.
Actually, such reason is false and misleading. Bulk mail is a legitimate marketing tool, one which AOL has used extensively during the past 2 years to blanket the United States and other countries (presumably) with FREE AOL disks and CD-Roms and FREE hours of introductory service to establish millions of e-mail users at AOL.
Now, AOL wants to be the only company sending "junk mail" or "spam" to AOL's e-mail and website users, which takes place through "banner advertising" which is forced upon AOL's e-mail and website users. These numerous banner advertisements are paid for by large companies, with large fees, which can only be justified if bulk e-mail is not permitted to reach the same customers at almost no cost at all per letter.
What does this have to do with prosecutorial misconduct? Well, imagine if you were being railroaded by an unethical prosecutor, out to win at any cost to promote his/her own career, even though one or more innocent persons go to jail.
If you are in the process of being railroaded, what advantage would it be to you to let 1,000,000 persons read about your plight, through bulk e-mail on internet, at a cost of perhaps $100. Would you like the opportunity to protect and save yourself at this low, internet e-mail cost of $100. [Of course, many of the 1,000,000 persons will elect to filter out your bulk e-mail message, which should be their right, as much as you have the right to send a bulk e-mail message to them.]
If you wanted to place a full-page advertisement in The New York Times, for example, to have as many readers of your message, the cost would be something like $40,000, which of course you probably could not afford.
If you want to send an e-mail letter to each of 500 some-odd U.S. Senators and Representatives, the U.S. Postal Service would charge you $160 or so (at $.32 per letter), plus stationery, printing and inserting costs. Bulk e-mail can do the job for about $5.
The point is, however, that the major companies which have gained control of the federally-created and financed internet refuse to permit bulk e-mail to be sent to their customers base of e-mail users, thereby preventing small business persons, victims of prosecutorial oppression, and others from making use of the internet in one of its most remarkable features: the ability to send unlimited amounts of e-mail at virtually no cost.
Bulk e-mail is not unlawful, but it has been effectively wiped out during the past few months, ever since 12/1/96, when AOL stopped charging by the hour for its services (remember, AOL also owns Prodigy and Comp-U-Serve), and switched to a flat rate monthly fee of $19.95 or so. The loss of revenues was made up by the sale of banner advertising (using massive amounts of internet bandwidth) to large companies for huge amounts of money, and at the same time bulk e-mail had to be stopped, otherwise AOL could not charge as much as it does for its banner advertising.
If personal freedoms are to be guaranteed in the U.S., there should be a related freedom to communicate one's plight to other citizens through bulk e-mail on the internet.
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