• United States
by Readers

Letters to the editor: “Vendors, users dispute FTC report on spam”

Jan 23, 20065 mins
Cellular NetworksData CenterMalware

Also, VoIP, wireless laptop problems, Skype, patches, more

Stemming the spam flow

Regarding “Vendors, users dispute FTC report on spam”: Let’s go back to Dec 2003, when the CAN SPAM Act was signed into law:

* The CAN SPAM Act took precedence over more stringent state-level anti-spam laws.tracking down spammers.

* The CAN SPAM Act does not remediate the common practice of circumventing anti-spam laws by sending spam e-mails through an offshore ISP.

* The FTC was not a supporter of the CAN SPAM Act. The FTC supported a different bill (International Consumer Protection Enforcement Act), which gave the commission greater power in

The CAN SPAM Act has not affected the volume of e-mail spam being sent. The average consumer and enterprise user sees less spam in 2005 because:

* The majority of enterprises and ISPs have installed spam-filtering technology. * Spam-filtering technology is more sophisticated.

* Security vendors have bundled spam filtering within broader security applications.

* Spam filtering capabilities have been built into the latest releases of e-mail servers (e.g., Exchange and Domino) and e-mail clients (e.g., Outlook, Notes and Eudora).

Maurene Caplan Grey

Founder, principal analyst

Grey Consulting

Kent Lakes, N.Y.

Reliability concern

Regarding Kevin Tolly’s column, “VoIP: more survivable than legacy PBX”: The concern about VoIP’s lack of reliability does not lie with the reliability of the call management server. Vendors have resolved this issue for ages. The biggest vulnerability comes from the data network. No data network today can be as reliable as the old PABX network because of the existence of lower-end switches between the call management server and the IP phone access path. This area is still insurmountable.

Raymond Cheung

Hong Kong

Power trip

Regarding Kevin Tolly’s column, “VoIP: more survivable than legacy PBX”: More survivable? Three numbers: 911.

During the 1960s the nuclear submarine Thresher sank. It was destroyed not because the reactor shut down, but because the rest of the sub was not built to the same standards as the reactor and failures outside the reactor systems caused the shutdown. At the moment, VoIP is in the same state. So what if VoIP hardware and software is five-nines reliable? VoIP is only as reliable as its power supplies. And few organizations and home users can afford robust backup power systems to ensure five-nines power reliability.

Keith Rosenberg

Rancho Cordova, Calif.

Wireless laptop problems

Regarding the “Help Desk” item on wireless problems on the laptop: I had a similar problem with a Thinkpad at work. The problem was traced to the DHCP server setting a four-hour lease on the IP address. The Thinkpad would not update the lease at the end of the four hours. I had to run ipconfig /renew to force it. The problem was resolved by setting the DHCP server to lease IP addresses for 24 hours.

Bob Hunter

Herndon, Va.

Skype mocks security

Regarding “Assessing Skype’s network impact”: So much for layered security!

Either your desktop anti-virus works, or it doesn’t. With Skype there is no way to filter zero-day events, file attachments for malicious code, images or, well, anything. Want to filter out IM or files with links to malicious Web sites? You can’t. Skype tunnels through HTTP, is self-encrypted, and is nearly impossible to block with firewall or traditional IDS/IPS technology. In short, Skype makes a mockery of network security.

Daniel Schrader

Product marketing, application switches and switched firewalls


Santa Clara, Calif.

All grown up

Regarding “Report: The Internet is for girls, too”: If the article refers to women, I suggest the title not use the word “girls” – makes it sound like a story about young kids.

Laura Sneddon

Research Analyst

Infonetics Research

Campbell, Calif.

Patch it up

Regarding “Any patch in a storm? The debate rages anew”: Maybe if Microsoft had done a better job and put out production-grade code in its products, we wouldn’t have to wait for production-grade patches.

Furthermore, I do not buy Microsoft’s excuse for how long it takes. They should change their priorities and get the patch out sooner.

Stephanie Callahan

Circle Pines, Minn.

No great loss

Regarding Mark Gibbs’ BackSpin column, “The myth of the digital lifestyle”: I recently moved from the city to a rural area where the only broadband option is satellite. I’ve suffered with 28.8Kbps dial-up for the past year, no cable and only three broadcast channels. I was reading Gibbs’ column in the print version of Network World while sitting in front of a roaring fire in the wood stove in my work shed when it struck me.

I’ve lost very little. I have more free time because there are quite a few hours in each day where there is nothing on TV that I can bear to watch. I’ve lost the ability to quickly send or receive large digital photos online.

At the same time I’ve learned a few things. Sitting in front of a warm fire with good music on the radio beats watching most reality shows. Many of my friends and relatives have no idea how to resize a photo for e-mailing. And, maybe most importantly, many of the things I considered to be necessities just a year ago are, at best, distractions.

The only thing I can honestly say that I’ve lost by becoming less digital is about 10 pounds.

Cory Jaeger


CAS Technologies

Birnamwood, Wis.