Weeding Out Spam

By Michael Miller  |  Posted 2003-07-29 Print this article Print

Like weeds, spam just keeps coming back. But new legislation, better anti-spam programs, and good behavior can help.
The Supreme Court's Library Rule With the summer upon us, I cant help but see the parallels between the weed problem that plagues those of us with lawns and the spam problem. I keep trying new solutions, from pulling them out to spraying them with a variety of weed killers, but they keep coming back. Like spam, weeds are just impossible to escape.

There is no magic bullet, but I am hopeful that we can reduce the amount of unsolicited e-mail through a combination of legislation, better software, and changes in behavior. Congress is currently debating several bills, with CAN-SPAM (S 877) in the Senate and RID Spam (H.R. 2214) in the House having the most support.

Both bills call for e-mail mass-marketers to label their messages as marketing, use valid return addresses, and enable consumers to opt out of additional messages by taking their names off mailing lists. The House version would let state and federal officials and ISPs sue spammers, while the Senate version would impose fines for sending unsolicited e-mail to people who have opted out. Other bills call for the Federal Trade Commission to set up a Do Not Spam list, similar to its Do Not Call list, or for rewarding people who report spammers to the FTC.

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Michael J. Miller is Executive Vice President and Editorial Director of Ziff Davis Media Inc., where he takes an active role in corporate editorial issues, helps identify new editorial needs in the marketplace and shapes the editorial process of every Ziff Davis Media publication.

He joined the company in 1991 as Editor-in-Chief of PC Magazine. Under Miller's supervision, PC Magazine has grown to have the largest readership of any technology publication in the world, at 5.9 million readers. He oversaw the redesign of PC Magazine, the launch of pcmag.com and an expansion of PC Magazine Labs, the largest computer testing lab run by any publication.

Prior to joining PC Magazine, Miller was editor-in-chief of InfoWorld, which he joined as executive editor in 1985. Previously, he was the West Coast Bureau Chief for Popular Computing, and Senior Editor for Building Design & Construction.

An experienced public speaker and veteran technology journalist, Miller has become the 'spokesperson' for the technology industry. He has received several awards for his writing and editing, including being named to Medill's Alumni Hall of Achievement. In 2002, Mr. Miller was named the number one consumer/computer journalist by Technology Marketing magazine.

Mr. Miller holds a Master of Science degree in Journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Computer Science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York.


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