"Spamtrap" is an interactive installation piece the prints, shreds and blacklists spam email. It interacts with spammers by monitoring several email addresses I have created specifically to lure in spam. I do not use these email addresses for any other communication. I post individual email addresses on websites and online bulletin boards that cause them to be harvested by spambots and then to start receiving spam.Link
Because I know that all email sent to these email addresses are spam, I have set the installation to print and then shred each email as it arrives. Simultaneously the installation is feeding spam blacklists on the web with information gathered from all the received spam. This in turn helps to feed spam filtering systems across the web that are working to reduce the amount of spam we all receive.
The installation uses a Pentium II computer connected to a wireless network, personal printer, personal shredder, aluminum rails, Spamtrap email addresses, automatic printing software, email client software, antivirus software, and a SpamCop user account. The paper is recycled after the spam email has been shredded.
Mark Frauenfelder is the founder of Boing Boing and the editor-in-chief of MAKE and Cool Tools. Twitter: @frauenfelder. His new book is Maker Dad: Lunch Box Guitars, Antigravity Jars, and 22 Other Incredibly Cool Father-Daughter DIY Projects