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Mailbag: The future of spam

Sep 21, 20042 mins
Enterprise ApplicationsMalwareMessaging Apps

* Readers weigh in on spam

My recent article on the future of spam generated quite a few e-mail responses from readers.

Here’s a sampling of what they had to say:

* “It’s been so long since my first e-mail account that my perceptions fade, and so instead of seeing how it is today vs. how it was then, I look at my inbox, see that today I only got 25 ads for Cialis instead of the normal 28, and I think it’s better. It’s a 10.7% improvement over yesterday, but 2,500% worse than the optimum situation, which should be the goal.”

* “I hope you’re right, but I think spam will be a problem for a long time. No matter how good the infrastructure for blocking spam, there will always be some amount of it that will get through. First, because the spammers’ cleverness at disguising and dressing up spam to look legitimate should not be underestimated. Secondly, because no automated means of blocking spam is perfect, so there will always be a need to be less than 100% aggressive in our blocking techniques, lest we block too many legitimate e-mail messages.”

* “I suggest that governments should levy a tax (let’s say ONE U.S. CENT) for every e-mail sent for each addressee, and block incoming e-mail from countries not adopting the same standard and (roughly) the same price. The tax should be levied directly from every ISP by monitoring their backbone link; each ISP would be free to find ways to recover this expense from their users.”

* “Since we implemented a solution we can see that the volume of spam is just as high or higher but most does not get through. It’s becoming out of sight, out of mind. The only problem I see is that the home user will continue to operate without anti-virus or anti-spam unless it just becomes a part of the ISP offering.”

* “The problem is that the spammers feel that they are in a technological struggle with the anti-spam vendors. They (the spammers) obviously feel they are winning the war. As long as that mind set continues, spam and the costs associated with preventing it will continue to rise. The loser in all of this is corporate America, which has to spend millions on a non-productive defensive measure.”

Thank you to everyone who responded to the article.