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COMPUTING

Handling spam

November 10, 1998
Web posted at: 5:00 PM EDT

by Paul Hoffman

From...

(IDG) -- For the past 20 years, I've been involved with the Internet. As director of the Internet Mail Consortium, I've seen firsthand the problems that arise from spam.

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Spam affects different companies to different degrees, but it costs every recipient money. A few companies have been devastated by the tactics of typical spammers, but most have found it to be mostly be an annoyance.

Nevertheless, most Internet users want to see spam stopped, but don't know how to do it.

The two major options for controlling spam are laws and technology. A few states have passed anti-spam laws, but they are mostly untested. Some state laws appear to prevent any spam being sent to servers that have anti-spam policies, while others only restrict unauthorized relaying.

There are many technical solutions available, but they all have drawbacks. You can block spam based on source, destination or content. But is that enough? Join me online for this discussion at the Network World Fusion spotlight on dealing with spam.

Paul Hoffman is director of the Internet Mail Consortium.

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