In June, politicians in Washington had finally declared an all-out war on spam, vowing to take speedy action to curb the Internet's No. 1 menace. One senator gave an impassioned floor speech warning that without a law, "we risk the destruction of all legitimate expression and commerce on the information superhighway." The New York Times predicted "a lively congressional debate" on spam over the next few months. Well, almost. Those events did occur, but the year was 1997.