This is one of three documents I have compiled to comprise an FAQ for the news.admin.net-abuse.email newsgroup. Each document addresses points in a given area, specifically:
The SPAMFIGHTING OVERVIEW offers a taste of the many techniques people use to fight spam. The objective isn't to teach you how to fight spam (there are many far superior documents that do just this), but rather to introduce some of the techniques you can use and refer you to some more detailed works.
THE EVILS OF SPAM covers the more ethical, moral, and legal aspects of spam, including just what constitutes spam and the types of people who become spammers.
UNDERSTANDING NANAE aims to introduce all of the weird, wonderful, and sometimes impenetrable terminology that people use in news.admin.net-abuse.email (nanae). It covers both colloquialisms (e.g. "chickenboner") and technical terms (e.g. "direct-to-MX").
These three parts are designed to stand alone and don't have to be read in order; feel free to pick and choose just the bits you're interested in.
These documents shouldn't be considered to be "the" FAQ, as there are plenty of other FAQs that are superior in insight, detail, or depth of coverage. They are just an FAQ that I hope will answer some questions that have been troubling you.
These documents are currently maintained by James Farmer. If you have any suggestions for additions or corrections, then feel free to send an email to email@example.com.
The latest versions of all of these documents can always be found at http://www.spamfaq.net/. There's also an index there, which is the easiest way to find the answer if you've got one question in particular - just find the word you're looking for and click on it!
These documents are somewhat extensive. For a quicker overview of the main things you'll need to know, have a look at George Crissman's excellent document "Your First Post to NANAE".