Proof that the country is in safe hands with the UK's keenest minds working tirelessly to protect their fellow citizens from the greatest evil of our age - spam - comes with one MP's brilliant solution to spam.
Derek Wyatt has been on a jolly to Washington DC as "Chairman of the all party internet group". It was time and taxpayers' money well spent, obviously, because here is Wyatt's suggestion as to how small changes to email addresses could stop spam:
MP suggests solution to Spam
Current email address is:
New address would be:
Sw1aoaa being his postcode and .co.uk so that we know where the email has come from so an end to .com though .com.uk would be fine.
Since some, especially children, might balk at giving their postcode in an email the postcode can be exchanged for a pin number so:
email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
The pin code is held by the Information Commissioner's Office.
ISPs would have to be persuaded of the need to resolve jurisdiction of emails (14th Amendment US constitution) and if they can't, then EU and other governments would legislate.
So spammers would be traceable by postcode or pin number and country of origin.
MP welcomes comments to these suggestions
For the love of all that's Holy, the man's gone completely bonkers. So, where to begin with a reasoned analysis of the proposal? First up, the privacy implications are too horrible to contemplate.
And what happens when your email address complete with postcode get out into the wild? That's right - a tsunami of junk mail on your doormat. Genius.
But how does Wyatt propose to ensure that email addresses actually contain the correct postcode in the first place? What's to stop Nigerian 419ers sunning themselves by the pool in Lagos using the postcode of a Kebab shop in Balham?
Then there's the small administrative challenge, although it shouldn't take more than about ten years to change every email address in the world and register pin numbers for kiddies and other vulnerables.
A final nice touch is the legislative proposal: "ISPs would have to be persuaded of the need to resolve jurisdiction of emails". By this, Wyatt means "persuaded" in the way Don Corleone would understand the word.
However, should Mr Wyatt succeed in "persuading" Parliament to adopt his cunning plan, and recruiting the two million or so "email police" it will require to enforce it, we would like to offer a few suggestions of our own:
- Mandatory identification of all registered sex offenders as follows: email@example.com. This would not only immediately alert children as to the mailer's sexual proclivities, but also enable enraged mobs to descend on the person's domicile and give him some "council estate justice".
- Obligatory use of email addresses in internet chat rooms. So, "Stallionnineinches" (24-year-old tanned Adonis) is revealed as firstname.lastname@example.org, who is actually 42-years-old, has a five-inch penis, weighs 23 stone, is bald, snores and is butt-ugly. This will put a stop once and for all to the extravagant claims made by users as to their physical attributes.
- Asylum seekers to have a personal email address tatooed on their arms upon arrival in the uk, e.g: email@example.com. The eight-digit id number is purely to allow the owner to claim his or her state benefits, free car, flat and executive jet without the need to carry bulky id card or passport.
- All MPs to be identified thus: firstname.lastname@example.org
We're sure that readers can offer Mr Wyatt a few suggestions of their own. Feel free to engage in this democratic righthere
Derek Wyatt is MP for Sittingbourne and Sheppey. No further comment is necessary.