Spam Scourge Unites Rivals
Chen: AOL, Microsoft and Yahoo could succeed where legislation falls shortMicrosoft, AOL and Yahoo may not play well together in the instant messaging space, but the trio announced today that they will combine forces in an attempt to help fight spam, or unsolicited commercial e-mail. The online giants will focus on reducing the ability of spammers to use their e-mail services to send spam. They also announced plans to work together to eliminate the ability to create fraudulent e-mail accounts, and to define best practices for anti-spam e-mail account policies. Considering that a significant amount of spam sent to my e-mail address originates from Hotmail and Yahoo accounts, Im keeping my fingers crossed. While the idea of bitter rivals such as these three working together might sound too good to be true, I have more faith in the trio than I do in federal legislation thats being announced this week. Today, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) proposed new federal legislation that authorizes prison time for chronic spammers. His proposal also includes spending $75 million on a "do-not-spam" registry to be operated under the auspices of the Federal Trade Commission. E-mail marketers would be required to check the list before sending mass e-mails.
Twenty-six states have already passed anti-spam legislation, with limited success. And I can see why. At the fifth annual "Making Spam History" event, executives from Brightmail said more than 40 percent of the spam tracked by the company comes from overseas.