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Meat eaters are being given the chance to trade their unwanted spam for prime steak and burgers. The Spam Recycling Center (SRC) says it will forward any spam it receives from Net users to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) as part its fight against junk e-mail. Last month it dumped almost 200,000 spams on the FTC and since then it's accumulated a further 100,000 unwanted e-mails which are also destined to be reported to the authorities. And the prize for responsible netizens who send their spam to the SRC? Omaha Steaks is offering 40 per cent off steaks and six free hamburgers with every order. Mmmm sounds fishy. For it's not until you read the small print that you discover that the venerable SRC is part of ChooseYourMail.com, "an ethical, private, 'opt-in' e-mail marketing company that acts as a private sector intermediary between e-mail marketers, netizens and ISPs." In other words it trades in spam that people have requested. The fact that it is an "opt-in" service appears to make ChooseYourMail think it is somehow different from regular spammers. "The Spam Recycling Center serves as a demonstration of email advertising conducted in a consumer friendly, non-spam, manner," it claims. Think again. For how did it let other net users find out about it spam-for-steak offer? It sent an unsolicited e-mail. Bingo. The Register will be sending ChooseYourMail's junk mail to the Spam Recycling Center in the hope it too will be reported to the FTC -- but we'll be steering clear of their mad cow-meat promotion. ®

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