>>Spam is a scourge on the Internet - I wish there were more direct ways to tackle it.<<
I chase down the headers, find out where it came from, and then sign THAT address for the DMA "Sucker List" - ensuring they get a whole boatload of what they just gave me.
Thing is, the primary spam-center of the universe is the DMA, Direct Marketing Association, and supposedly you can "opt-out" by contacting them, but more often than not those who do so wind up with more spam, so I would not exactly believe them.
The key, in junkmail, telemarketing, or spamming, is to get yourself "blacklisted"...I've been a telemarketer for a short period before leaving in disgust, and spamming is very similar in many ways.
Firstoff - don't bother with do-not-call lists or unsubscribe, etc...it will ensure you get further unwanted ads and possibly harrassment (askin to be put on a do-not-call-list damn near guarantees midnight-prank calls, believe it).
In order to reduce the amount of spam and hassle you get, the key is to make things difficult for them, in hopes of getting yourself "blacklisted", and believe me, the blacklist does exist in this business, but not as a universal measure, each company generally maintains their own.
How to get on it ? simple.
Hurt them, cost them money, or interfere with their operations to the point where they want nothing to do with you.
My personal favorite bandwidth-choking retaliation is to find out where the spam came from in the first place, and give that Email address to the DMA as a "live one" to be put on the "Sucker" (has actually fallen for this crap a time or two, and therefore gets ten TIMES as much) listings.
But if you really wanna kill spam, dead, dead, dead ?
Take the MONEY out of it.
The pay-per-click system is, in fact, the root of all spam.
The good ole fashioned "Click HERE to continue" crap would not exist at the level it does were it not for pay-per-click.
I fail to see any benefit to this system other than the encouragement of spam, nasty flashing, eye-searing, distracting ad banners, and hostile java applications all designed to "force" a net user to those clicks, which make the spammer money.
If you took the money out of it by killing pay-per-click, spam would not be lost and forgotten, but it would damn sure reduce it by 80% or more.
Cut off the head, and while the body may flop around a while, the beast is certainly dead.
Outlaw or Destroy the pay-per-click system, and see an 80% reduction in spam, which wastes time, money and resources ?
That's a political budget issue I can get with.
How bout you ?