Rise of spam in Mauritius

November 29, 2015

Google defines spam as “irrelevant or unsolicited messages sent over the Internet, typically to large numbers of users, for the purposes of advertising, phishing, spreading malware, etc.”

Abuse.net says the following about spam:

Spam is flooding the Internet with many copies of the same message, in an attempt to force the message on people who would not otherwise choose to receive it. Most spam is commercial advertising, often for dubious products, get-rich-quick schemes, or quasi-legal services. Spam costs the sender very little to send -- most of the costs are paid for by the recipient or the carriers rather than by the sender.

During the month of October I received several emails from APC Marketing. What intrigued me was that those emails were sent to my @opensuse.org email alias. I did not subscribe to some local newsletter/list to receive information about promotional stuffs.

On 26 October 2015, I wrote to APC Marketing asking where they obtained my email address from. Mr Anwar Mungly replied that my email address is in the Mauritius Email Listing database. I then questioned him where is this so-called “Mauritius Email Listing database” found? He provided me a link to A-Z Companies in Mauritius.

I searched that website and could not find my email address; therefore it can’t be that Mr Mungly got my email address there. Secondly, if my email is published somewhere, it does not mean that one can automatically subscribe me to some list. Did Mr Mungly verify what is stipulated in the local laws before adding email addresses without permission to his “database”?


Spam in Mauritius

Today I received a promotional email by Inbox E-Marketing and another email from HUM Mauritius, on different email addresses. I wrote to both of them asking where they got my email addresses and I copied the message to Dr K. Usmani, Assistant Manager, CERT-MU.

During the week I wrote to Dr Usmani, asking his opinion on provisions of the cyber laws in Mauritius to deal with unsolicited emails. Dr Usmani hasn’t reverted back; I am sure there must be a lot of work at the Computer Emergency Response Team of Mauritius.

There are legitimate ways in which companies can promote their products & services on the internet. Spam is not one of them.