History of CAUSS

CAUSS - Citizens Against Ugly Street Spam

Citizens Against Ugly Street Spam (CAUSS) began in North Texas in 1997. The idea came about when local code enforcement offices throughout the area became overwhelmed with street spam (bandit signs) that were tie wrapped to median directional signs or nailed to utility poles. The web site of was started a short time later to act as a means of communication between the area's sharks (individuals who remove illegal signs). This communication was vital in the early stages of CAUSS due to the limited number of participants. Our goal in the beginning was to eliminate these signs in twenty-four hours. Our goal now is to ensure the signs never see the light of day.

CAUSS, like any other organization, was slow at first to catch on. However, travel requirements allowed several members to spread the word throughout the country and among friends with similar interests and concerns. A news article published in the Northwest MetroCrest News, now part of The Dallas (TX) Morning News, in the summer of 1999 jump-started the movement in North Texas. A Public Awareness Event in January, 2000 held at one of the busiest intersections in North Dallas (TX) led to an even greater degree of exposure. Additional TV coverage helped make the public aware of the movement. There are numerous articles about the efforts of CAUSS across the nation in the CAUSS in the News section of the web site.

CAUSS now has members in virtually every major city in the country with coverage in most states. Computer professionals within the organization have many years of experience on the internet and also possess sleuthing skills. We work with the code enforcement offices around the country to identification of hard to locate or hidden uniform resource locators (URL's) and rented third party toll-free numbers. All information provided for code enforcement offices is done in the highest level of confidentiality and is free of charge without obligation. The requests from CE's are never made public and are handled by only one person in the organization. Requests for identities on street spammers are normally returned within twenty-four hours. Requests for 800 telephone numbers may require a longer time period. CAUSS will forward to any code enforcement office, a sample of subpoena power that is used with great success by a major Texas city to identify owners of 800 numbers. We will also supply information used in successfully prosecuting the spammers under the "End Benefactor Rule".

CAUSS has come to the attention of several major Code Enforcement Departments across the country, including the American Association of Code Enforcement. AACE is a national association of all US state Code Enforcement organizations, with headquarters in Washington DC. CAUSS has worked closely with the president of AACE to successfully halt the overwhelming volume of street spam from Herbalife USA, based in Los Angeles.
CAUSS is a non-profit organization, with no fees or other monetary requirements for membership. Website costs are divided among the "directors". The directors have set the policies for participation on the CAUSS website forum as "keeping the moral high ground and keep it professional". The forum adheres to a strict policy of Netiquette.