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Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Not so funny junk mail

Googling “privacy” took me to this piece about the problem of junk mail sent to dead people.

After this scribe found black humor last year at the ceaseless stream of direct mail advertising directed at my recently deceased partner, an admonition arrived from a reader who lost her husband in 1999.

“Write about this again in a year,” she said. “The junk will just keep arriving, and by then you may have stopped laughing.”

Yes it really isn’t that funny, especially as the failure to find good ways to stop junk mail (and junk email) will mean bad ways, i.e. ways that don’t stop the junk, but stop other things which are good, like, I don’t know, freedom of communication.

5 comments to Not so funny junk mail

  • It could be worse, you could be still alive, whilst corrupt government officials and criminal members of your family falsely declare you dead:


    ‘Cases of ‘living dead’ growing in India
    Associated Press 31 Jul 2003


    Filed at 5:30 p.m. ET

    LUCKNOW, India (AP) — As far as the government is concerned, they’re dead — and they’re not at all happy about it.

    Calling themselves “the Living Dead,” two dozen people held a last rites Hindu ceremony outside the State Assembly to draw attention to their plight.

    All say unscrupulous relatives fraudulently had them declared dead in order to steal their property. They’ve been struggling for years to get the government to rectify their official standing.

    “My son produced a fake death certificate to revenue officials and grabbed my 12 acres of property. The government still refuses to recognize me as alive,” said Rashida Bibi, 62, who was declared dead in 1993.

    “I have been certified a living person by my village head but still the revenue officials refuse to recognize me as alive,” she said.

    India’s bureaucrats are notorious for doing little work, and corruption is rampant. Many officials and clerks refuse to accept a claim or even talk to a petitioner without receiving a bribe.

    The “living dead,” having been cheated out of their property, cannot afford to pay bribes or even legitimate fees to get their cases dealt with.

    Lal Bihari, president of the Association of the Living Dead, estimated 35,000 people in Uttar Pradesh state have been wrongly certified as dead.

    “We have knocked on doors of government officials and police. No one is ready to recognize us as living persons because revenue records declare us dead,” he said during the protest Wednesday.

    Bihari was declared dead by an uncle 18 years ago, but despite numerous public protests has been unable to get the decision reversed. ‘

    Even a Biometric ID card would be of no use to you in such cases.

  • Megan

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  • Hey, ghosts are people, too! Kinda’ reminds us of that Geico “caveman” commercial…you know the one, “It’s so easy, even a caveman could do it.”