E-petitions warning (from snopes.com)

So today, I got the following email from a relative:

Pass this one on to all your e-mail buddies and take the time to read the Snopes.com article listed at the bottom of the message. It is full of good advice especially about the “cookies.”To whom it may concern:Just a word to the wise. E-mail petitions are* NOT* acceptable to Congress
or any other municipality. To be acceptable petitions must have a *signed*signature and full address.Almost all e-mails that ask you to add your name and forward on to others are similar to that mass letter years ago that asked people to send business cards to the little kid in Florida who wanted to break the Guinness Book of Records for the most cards. All it was, and *all this type of e-mail is, to get names and “cookie” tracking info for tele-marketers and spammers to validate active e-mail accounts for their own purposes.*

*Any time you see an e-mail that says forward this on to “10” of your friends, sign this petition, or you’ll get good luck, or whatever, it has either an e-mail tracker program attached that tracks the cookies and e-mails of those folks you forward to, or the host sender is getting a copy each time it gets forwarded and then is able to get lists of “active” e-mails to use in spam e-mails, or sell to others that do.

*Please forward this notice to others and you will be providing a good service to your friends, and will be rewarded by not getting 30,000 spam e-mails in the future.*

(If you have been sending out the above kinds of email, now you know why you
get so much spam!)

Check it out: http://www.snopes.com/inboxer/petition/internet.htm

So STOP sending them to me.

And here is my response:

> Guinness Book of Records for the most cards. All it was, and *all this
> type of e-mail is, to get names and “cookie” tracking info for
> tele-marketers and spammers to validate active e-mail accounts for their
> own purposes.*
>
> *Any time you see an e-mail that says forward this on to “10” of your
> friends, sign this petition, or you’ll get good luck, or whatever, it
> has either an e-mail tracker program attached that tracks the cookies
> and e-mails of those folks you forward to, or the host sender is getting
> a copy each time it gets forwarded and then is able to get lists of
> “active” e-mails to use in spam e-mails, or sell to others that do.

Interestingly enough, the above paragraph is completely false. There
is nothing that can track an email (either with cookies, a browser
only technology, or through a tracker program) and forward the
addresses to spammers. That’s called a virus and only works if you
open an executable program. Forwarding does not forward the program.
Rarely does a virus send any type of information back to the
originator as it would easily incriminate them.

> Check it out: http://www.snopes.com/inboxer/petition/internet.htm

Read the article fully. It is accurate and doesn’t mention anything
about spammers or a tracker program.

I found this incredibly funny. Here s/he is sending a link explaining the evils of sending inaccurate information through email and doing exactly that.

Thanks for the laugh!

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