(Techworld) Europe's ISPs are just about holding their own against the global spam barrage, a Europe-wide report has found. Put another way, things are not getting better, but are not getting any worse either. Judging from the 2009 ENISA (European Network and Information Security Agency) spam survey of ISPs across 27 EU states, ISPs spend substantial sums trapping spam before it gets to the end user, mainly because they have to to keep customers. Small providers spend at least 10,000 Euros ($14,100) fighting unwanted messages, while large companies will exceed seven figure euro sums to do the same.
(01net) La France s'est dotée en 2007 d'une plate-forme nationale de signalement de pourriels, appelée Signal-spam. Selon la Cnil, elle compterait aujourd'hui 50 000 utilisateurs inscrits qui lui auraient adressé plus de 17 millions de signalements. L'association Signal-spam, partenariat entre pouvoirs publics et acteurs privés, est financée par ses membres. L'Etat vient de lui renouveler son soutien financier, d'un montant de 32 000 euros.
(ABC) Fines totalling almost $16 million were handed down to two companies and three individuals in the Federal Court in Brisbane for breaches of the Spam Act. The scheme involved using dating sites to procure mobile phone numbers, and then sending unsolicited text messages. The landmark case brought by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) is the first court action against people sending unwanted text messages.
(RAPID) The European Commission has repeated its call for EU countries to do more to tackle online privacy threats to the public. A Commission-funded study found that although in recent years several EU countries have taken some measures to enforce Europe's ban on spam, including fines for spammers, the number of prosecuted cases and sanctions imposed on lawbreakers vary considerably. The study confirms the need for the legislative improvements proposed under the reform of the EU's Telecoms rules: clearer and more consistent enforcement rules and dissuasive sanctions, better cross-border cooperation, and adequate resources for national authorities in charge of protecting citizens' online privacy.
(Washington Post) Nearly 83 percent of all Web sites advertised through spam can be traced back to just 10 domain name registrars, according to a study. The data come from millions of junk messages collected over the past year by Knujon ("no junk" spelled backwards and pronounced "new john"), an anti-spam outfit that tries to convince registrars to dismantle spam sites.
(BBC) New guidelines for how internet service providers should combat spam have been published. The advice, from the Messaging Anti-Abuse Working Group (MAAWG) recommends ISPs use separate servers for received and forwarded e-mails. It also recommends ISPs block the port - known as port 25 - through which spam travels.
(BBC) MySpace has won a $234m legal judgement over junk messages sent to members of the social networking site. Victory in the case was awarded to MySpace after Sanford Wallace and Walter Rines, the men behind the junk mail, failed to show up in court. The judgement is thought to be the largest ever given against senders of unsolicited commercial e-mail. However, anti-spam experts said MySpace had little chance of getting the cash it sought.
(ZDNet) MySpace.com is well known as a social-networking service that allows members to create unique personal profiles online to find and communicate with other people. But did you also know that MySpace is actively trying to root out spammers?
In a lawsuit in federal court, the company alleged it was the victim of an abusive scheme to disseminate commercial messages and solicitations to MySpace users. The defendant was ordered not to access or use the MySpace Web site to transmit any electronic messages. The court said he could not establish or maintain any MySpace profiles or accounts. What's more, he was ordered not to use MySpace for any commercial purpose or to refer to MySpace in connection with any unsolicited electronic communication in any way that suggests that the message is affiliated with the company.
(Pew Internet & American Life Project) The volume of spam is growing in Americans' personal and workplace email accounts, but email users are less bothered by it. 37% of email users said spam had increased in their personal email accounts, up from 28% of email users who said that two years ago. And 29% of work email users said spam had increased in their work email accounts, up from 21% two years ago. Yet fewer people say spam is "a big problem" for them.
Spammers, phishers and other Internet bottom-feeders, be warned. A key Internet standards body gave preliminary approval on Tuesday to a powerful technology designed to detect and block fake e-mail messages. It's called DomainKeys Identified Mail, and it promises to give Internet users the best chance so far of stanching the seemingly endless flow of fraudulent junk e-mail.
(ZDNet France) L'association Signal Spam a lancé depuis le 10 mai une plate-forme nationale de signalement de spams. Une initiative dont l'objectif est de lutter contre le spam en répertoriant toutes les variantes de ces messages non sollicités qui polluent les boîtes mails, avant éventuellement d'engager des poursuites contre leurs auteurs. La plate-forme peut recevoir jusqu'à 1 million de messages par jour, qui seront transmis aux autorités compétentes susceptibles d'engager des poursuites, comme la Cnil, la police nationale ou la gendarmerie. Les données sont également transmises aux FAI afin de les aider dans leur lutte contre le spam.
(Washington Post) For spammers, volume is king; the more e-mails sent advertising penny stocks or miracle cures, the higher the odds that someone, somewhere will open the message and buy the "product." Thus, the spammers focus on sending as many unsolicited e-mail messages as possible in the shortest amount of time. MailChannels of Vancouver, Canada, found that by forcing e-mail programs to wait a few seconds before being allowed to communicate with Internet servers handling the recipients' incoming mail, most spammers give up and move on.
(CNET News.com) "Offensive" or "inappropriate" spam has been steadily declining, and in February only constituted 3 percent of junk mail, Symantec says.
There's still plenty of spam going around, but "adult" spam has been on a steady decline and hit an all-time low in February, according to a new Symantec report. Of all the spam filtered by Symantec's e-mail security tools in February, only 3 percent could be classified as adult spam. Adult spam, according to Symantec, contains or refers to "products or services intended for persons above the age of 18" and is "often offensive or inappropriate. Examples: porn, personal ads, relationship advice.
(BBC) A British company has been ordered to pay damages for sending spam.
Gordon Dick took Transcom to Edinburgh's Sheriff Court for sending an unwanted advertising email, which he claimed was a breach of anti-spam laws. He was awarded £750 in damages plus legal costs of £616.66 through a "decree in absence" after Transcom did not appear in court. But a spokesman for Transcom denied any intentional wrong-doing, and stated: "We are not spammers."
(Lawrence Lessig) Over the next couple weeks, I'm going to try to put together short presentations outlining arguments for five Internet-related proposals that I believe Congress should enact: Copyright - Orphan Works and Remix Culture; Network Neutrality; Spam; Harmful to Minors Material.
(PC World) Researchers and IT managers are complaining that spam levels have risen significantly in recent months - some organizations have reported increases as high as 80 percent. Overall spam volume has increased 67 percent since August 2006. The new spam evades traditional spam filters because it doesn't include any text -- instead, it uses an image embedded in the body of an e-mail to deliver its message.
(Euroap) The European Commission has hosted a two day meeting of international spam fighters in Brussels. Authorities and stakeholders from all over the world discussed how to win the fight against spam, as well as other on-line malpractices that threaten both citizens and businesses.
(OUT-LAW.com) Microsoft has stopped a man from selling lists of email addresses which were being used for spam. A court in England has granted a summary judgment against Paul Martin McDonald, stopping him from selling the lists.
(Sydney Morning Herald) The Internet's key oversight agencyhas rejected a proposed search service to help guide people who mistype ".travel" Web addresses or seek nonexistent ones. The decision comes after a review panel warned that the proposal from Tralliance Corp., which operates ".travel," could hinder spam filters and other applications that rely on the Internet's Domain Name System, the directories crucial for finding websites and sending e-mail.
(RAPID) The Commission has called on all regulatory authorities and stakeholders in Europe to step up the fight against spam, spyware and malicious software. Despite existing EU legislation to outlaw spam in Europe, Europe continues to suffer from illegal online activities from inside the EU and from third countries, the Commission underlines in a new Communication. The Communication stresses that although internet safety is on the political agenda for some time, national authorities should step up their actions to prosecute illegal online activities
(Guardian) By the last day of the IGF everyone had decided that the forum had come up trumps. A determined effort by the OECD to create an international coalition to fight spam finally took off. Another 'dynamic coalition' was formed to push open standards to governments across the world. A third coalition promised to look at gender issues; a fourth determined to set up an 'Internet Bill of Rights'. Another was set up to raise funds for developing countries. Yet another promised to push access to knowledge and to protect freedom of expression online.
A long-simmering dispute over whether the U.S. government has too much control over the Internet's underpinnings will heat up again next week at a United Nations summit in Greece. Officially, the inaugural meeting of the United Nations' Internet Governance Forum is designed to explore topics like free speech, security, spam and multilingualism. But the diplomatic subtext is more pointed: Does the U.S. government have too much influence over how Internet addresses are allocated and domain names are assigned?
Anti spam organisation Spamhaus will recognise an Illinois court's authority when it fights a $11.7 million order against it. Previously the London based not-for-profit had argued that the court has no jurisdiction over it. The company has filed papers with the Illinois court room saying that it will fight the case brought against it by email marketing company e360insight. E360 claims that it is a reputable email marketing company and sued Spamhaus because it was put on the 'blocklist' which Spamhaus operates in order to identify spammers and keep their messages out of inboxes.
The nonprofit group behind a popular blacklist used to block spam has been hit with a multimillion-dollar judgment, but the order may not be enforceable. A U.S. District Court ordered that Spamhaus must pay $11,715,000 in damages to e360insight, who sued the U.K.-based organization earlier this year over blacklisting.
(out-law.com) Microsoft has won what it described as the largest reported civil award against a spammer in Europe. The software giant says it won a court order requiring spammer Paul Fox to pay £45,000. Rather than pursue a case under Britain's limited anti-spam laws, Microsoft filed a complaint that Fox had breached the terms and conditions of its Hotmail service.
Microsoft has won what it believes to be the largest civil award against a spammer in Europe. Paul Fox, whose e-mail messages were intended to direct traffic toward his pornographic download site, was this week forced by a court order to pay Microsoft 45,000 pounds for breaching the terms and conditions of its free Hotmail service. Those terms explicitly prohibit the delivery of spam to its customers.
Spam messages that tout stocks and shares can have real effects on the markets, a study suggests. E-mails typically promote penny shares in the hope of convincing people to buy into a company to raise its price. People who respond to the "pump and dump" scam can lose 8% of their investment in two days.
(eco) Focus on international Anti-Phishing Projects. The 4th German Anti Spam Summit will take place on the September 5th in Cologne, this time focusing on Phishing. Organisers are eco, the Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK) Cologne and EuroISPA. Again it will be an international congress with international speakers, so the event will be held mainly in English language.
(out-law.com) The State of Michigan is bringing criminal proceedings against two companies that are accused of sending spam to children to promote gambling and alcohol. Attorney General Mike Cox is bringing the actions under the State's Child Protection Registry Act which requires email senders to check the registry to remove children's email addresses before sending messages advertising goods or services that children cannot legally buy.
(Vodaphone) Mobile phones offer a wide range of features including picture messaging, downloadable pictures and video clips, games and internet access. These technologies bring significant benefits to our business and personal lives, but can also raise concerns about misuse. We care about our customers and have developed tools to combat spam and enable parents to protect their children from inappropriate content, contact and commercialism. The implementation of our content standards varies between markets reflecting local cultures and specific areas of concern. see also Privacy.
(CNET News.com) The majority of spam servers are physically located in Taiwan, according to CipherTrust. The e-mail security company found that 64 percent of machines sending out junk mail were in that country. Next was the United States with 23 percent and third China, with 3 percent. CipherTrust also determined that unwanted e-mail traffic went up as much as 20 percent worldwide in May. The company attributed the spam rise to two factors: the demise of antispam efforts by Blue Security, and growing use by spammers of image-only e-mails to defeat filters.
(Heise ) Das Thema "Internet Governance" dürfe beim ersten "Internet Governance Forum" (IGF) im Herbst in Athen nicht unter den Tisch fallen. Das forderte der brasilianische Regierungsvertreter José Marcos Nogueira Viana in Genf zu Beginn des Vorbereitungstreffens der Beratergruppe für das neue UN-Forum. Vertreter anderer Länder, darunter auch die EU, favorisieren Spam und Sicherheitsfragen als Hauptthemen für das erste IGF-Treffen. Russland nannte Cyberterrorismus und Cyberwarfare vordringlich.
(BBC) Some net searches are leading users to websites that expose them to spam, spyware and other dangerous downloads, reveals a report The Safety of Internet Search Engines by Ben Edelman and Hannah Rosenbaum. According to the research the most dangerous words to search for are 'free screensavers'.
(Press Release) Sophos has published its latest report on the top twelve spam relaying countries over the first quarter of 2006. While the United States has continued to make good progress in its efforts to reduce spam-relaying statistics, there is still more spam sent from US computers than any other nation. China is second. Europe is in danger of overtaking North America as the second worst spam-relaying part of the world.
(OECD) Spam, once a mere nuisance, has become a serious problem for individuals and businesses alike. To support the development of an inclusive and coherent answer to the spam issue, the OECD, through its ad hoc Spam Task Force, has launched an Anti-Spam "Toolkit" as the first step in a broader initiative to help policy makers, regulators and industry players orient their policies relating to spam solutions and restore trust in the Internet and e-mail. See also OECD Recommendation on Cross-Border Co-operation in the Enforcement of Laws against Spam;
(ACMA) The Australian Communications and Media Authority has registered a code of practice for internet service providers and email service providers on countering spam. The code was developed in support of the Spam Act 2003 by the Internet Industry Association in conjunction with the internet associations from Western Australia and South Australia.
(ITU) Efforts by governments to counter internet spam by tracking down and prosecuting spammers have had limited impact and require far more resources than most countries can muster, the United Nations telecoms agency (ITU) warned. It says in a report that while all countries need anti-spam legislation so that spammers have nowhere to hide, a more effective approach would be to require the establishment of enforceable codes of conduct by internet service providers (ISPs).
(FT) Efforts by governments to counter internet spam by tracking down and prosecuting spammers have had limited impact and require far more resources than most countries can muster, the United Nations telecoms agency warned. It says in a report that while all countries need anti-spam legislation so that spammers have nowhere to hide, a more effective approach would be to require the establishment of enforceable codes of conduct by internet service providers (ISPs).
(Wired) America Online's controversial plan to charge mass e-mailers a fee to bypass their anti-spam system highlights the other, lesser-known, horn of the junk-e-mail problem: Filters that allegedly work too well. At issue is the problem of 'false positives,' industry-speak for legitimate messages mistakenly filtered out by anti-spam software.
(Press Release) The GSM Association (GSMA) has brought together 15 of the world's leading mobile phone operators to sign a code of practice committing them to work together to minimize spam sent via text and picture messages.
(BBC) AOL and Yahoo plan to charge fees of up to one cent (US) per message to those that sign up for the service. Paying the fees means that messages will not go through spam filters, are guaranteed to arrive and will bear a stamp of authenticity.
(International Herald Tribune) Any e-mail users would argue that spam is still going strong, and some spam fighters even warn that the number of unsolicited e-mails is on the increase. The unwanted commercial messages circulating on the Internet far outnumber legitimate e-mails. Outblaze, a company that manages more than 40 million e-mail accounts around the world, calculated a ratio of more than 14 spam messages to each genuine message. What is more, a fundamental shift is under way in the world of cybercrime toward using spam to make specific organizations targets for extortion, a report from IBM warned.
(OUT-LAW News) Chartered engineer Nigel Roberts became the first person to win a court judgment over a company's breach of the UK's anti-spam law. His success received widespread media coverage ? and now he's encouraging others to do the same. Roberts sued Media Logistics (UK) Ltd, a marketing firm based in Falkirk, Scotland, for sending him unsolicited emails about contract car hire and fax broadcasting businesses.
(FTC) According to a new study by the Federal Trade Commission, spammers continue to harvest email addresses from public areas of the Internet, but Internet Service Providers? anti-spam technologies can block the vast majority of spam sent to these email addresses. The FTC staff report also found that consumers who must post their e-mail addresses on the Internet can prevent them from being harvested by using a technique known as "masking".
(BBC) Internet professor Michael Geist explains why the arguments over who runs the internet are far from over. After two years of frequently acrimonious debate, delegates to the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in Tunis reached a last minute agreement that, at first glance, appears to resolve the debate over the regulation of the internet's domain name system. The one significant change to the current framework is the creation of a new Internet Governance Forum. The forum, to be established by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, will feature representatives from government, business, and civil society. It will first meet this spring in Greece with a mandate to address a broad range of internet issues including governance, spam, cyber crime, and privacy.
(BBC) An internet spammer convicted of running a £1.6m e-mail scam from a bedroom in his father's house has been jailed for six years. Peter Francis-Macrae, of St Neots, Cambs, was found guilty of threatening to kill and blackmail. The 23-year-old was also convicted of threatening to destroy or damage property, concealing criminal property and fraudulent trading. He had offered thousands of e-mail and website names when he had no right. And when victims complained, he threatened to destroy their internet systems by sending millions of spam e-mails.
(MSNBC) Nigeria has signed an agreement with Microsoft to work together to fight Internet crime. Microsoft hailed the agreement as a first with an African country and said it will work with the Nigerian government "to combat issues such as spam, financial scams ... spyware, viruses, worms, malicious code launches and counterfeiting."
(saferinternet.org) Member organizations of Friendly Internet Forum (BIF) have recently signed a contract with the Hungarian National Telecommunications Authority to launch a wide-ranging campaign against spam. The campaign consists of a series of conferences and workshops, various online and print publications, the update of the content providers' Code of Conduct and a new website that aims to publish all information available on the issue of spamming and running a spam-helpdesk with around-the-clock service.
(AFP) China has ordered telecom operators to clean up the content of spam short messages spread on their mobile phone networks as part of an ongoing fight against 'unhealthy' influences.
he situation is serious,' the ministry of information industry said in a notice on its website. Messages containing text or pictures with pornographic or superstitious content such as fortune telling and sex chat are frequently sent to mobile phone users en masse.
(International Herald Tribune) The European Union has joined calls from other nations for giving supervisory power to an intergovernmental body, but the idea was rejected by Washington as leading to unnecessary bureaucratization. The uncompromising U.S. stance has led to a deadlock in the talks, called the World Summit on the Information Society, which started in 2003 and are set to conclude in Tunisia next month. Groups representing Web surfers at the talks complained that the dispute between the United States and the rest of the world over administration is overshadowing more important issues, such as cleaning up spam from e-mail systems and combating cyber crime and identity theft, areas where they say governments should play a more active role.
(Heise) Computernutzer können unerwünschte E-Mails aus ihrem Postfach künftig an eine neue Beschwerdestelle der Verbraucherzentralen weiterleiten. Nach Prüfung sollen dann rechtliche Schritte gegen die Versender und Auftraggeber unternommen werden, teilt der Bundesverband der Verbraucherzentralen (vzbv) mit. Ziel sei eine abschreckende Wirkung.
(Heise) Versendern unerwünschter E-Mails soll es mit einer europäischen Spambox-Initiative nun juristisch stärker an den Kragen gehen. Der Internet-Verband Eco und Microsoft rechnen laut ihrer Aussagen beim 3. deutschen Anti-Spam-Kongress heute in Köln damit, dass die EU-Kommission in den nächsten Tagen das Projekt "Selfregulatory Plan on Tackling Spam", kurz "SpotSpam" bewilligt. Unter dem Internet Safer Action Plan erhält SpotSpam dann rund 200.000 Euro für zwei Jahre.
(Heise) Spamfilter gibt es wie Sand am Meer, aber wie gut sind sie eigentlich? Dieser Frage geht ab Oktober ein von der EU-Kommission unter dem Safer Internet Action Plan mit einer halben Million Euro gefördertes Projekt nach. Das berichteten Vertreter der EU-Kommission beim 3. Deutschen Anti-Spam-Gipfel des ECO-Verbandes und der Industrie- und Handelskammer in Köln. Acht Spamfilter sollen in der auf drei Jahre angelegten Studie überprüft werden, vor allem weit verbreitete proprietäre, aber auch offene Programme, sagte ein EU-Mitarbeiter. Anfang Oktober soll der Vertrag mit dem aus insgesamt elf Bewerbern ausgewählten Konsortium geschlossen werden.
(eco) Am 7. und 8. September findet der 3. Deutsche Anti-Spam- Kongress in Köln statt; wie in den letzten Jahren, wird der Kongress auch dieses Mal von eco, in Zusammenarbeit mit der IHK Köln durchgeführt; verstärkt durch die Unterstützung des Bonner und Kölner Anwaltvereins.
Der erste Tag widmet sich internationalen Initiativen der Spam Bekämpfung (hier werden u.a. Vertreter der Federal Trade Commission, der Europäischen Kommission, der OECD sowie der amerikanischen Anti Spam Initiative MAAWG und der UK Anti Spam Group berichten), der zweite Tag juristischen Mitteln und Vorgehensweisen zum Thema Spam, Viren, Würmer & Trojaner.
(CNET News.com) A new Web site aims to help determine whether a specific computer has been sending legitimate e-mail or spam. The TrustedSource Web site uses data from reputation filters, which are billed as the next big thing in e-mail security. Makers of spam-fighting tools collect data on e-mail senders and use that to assign "reputations" to e-mail sending computers and Internet domains. Those who send a lot of spam get a negative rating and their messages are more likely to be filtered out.
(BBC) A former AOL employee has been sentenced to 15 months in prison for selling members' details to spammers. Jason Smathers, 25, said he turned into a 'cyberspace outlaw' after selling the database of 92 million screen names and e-mail addresses.
As a result of his actions in 2003, about seven billion unsolicited spam e-mails flooded inboxes of AOL members.
(CNET News.com) At the start of last year, Bill Gates told the world's elite at an annual conference in Davos, Switzerland, that the problem of spam would be solved in two years. But if the Microsoft chairman was betting on Sender ID to play a major role in achieving that goal, it looks like a losing bet. The Microsoft-backed protocol to identify e-mail senders aims to stem spam and phishing by making it harder for senders to forge their addresses and by improving filtering. So far, though, there's been a lack of adoption by legitimate businesses. Instead, it's been proving popular with a group it's meant to deter--spammers.
(silicon.com) Anti-spam campaigners have branded the UK's anti-spam laws 'a waste of time and public money' as the Information Commissioner admits it hasn't prosecuted anyone for sending junk emails. The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has admitted it fails to take legal steps against UK spammers while 'successfully' enforcing regulations against 13 fax marketers.
(Economist) Microsoft has reached a settlement with Scott Richter one of the world?s leading spammers. which includes a payment of $7m to the software giant. Despite legal and technological challenges, spamming is still a big problem. Internet users have been taking matters into their own hands using blocking technology, which is improving all the time. Around 90% of all spam is caught by filters these days. But spam still clogs servers, And a troubling development is the increased incidence of ?phishing?, a form of fraudulent spamming that can be extremely costly to victims. Phishers send out millions of e-mails in an attempt to steal personal and financial-account details from unsuspecting dupes. These e-mails purport to come from reputable businesses and contain links to websites where recipients are asked to divulge bank and credit-card details.
(OUT-LAW News) China is adopting the London Action Plan on Spam Enforcement Collaboration. The country is thought to generate 20% of the world's spam, making it the second biggest source of unsolicited emails after the US. The Plan calls for increased investigative training, the establishment of points of contact in each agency to respond quickly and effectively to enforcement inquiries, and the creation of an international working group on spam enforcement.
(CNET News.com) by Declan McCullagh. An online dating service does not have the right to blast unsolicited email at thousands of University of Texas email addresses. The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals said that the university did not run afoul of federal law or the US Constitution when blocking a torrent of spam from White Buffalo Ventures' LonghornSingles.com site.
(ITU) In a survey to test whether top e-tailers are allowing consumers to opt out of receiving promotional or marketing messages, the FTC has determined that 89 percent of the online merchants it tested are honoring requests to halt future mailings.
The study showed a high rate of compliance with the CAN-SPAM opt-out provisions.
(ITU) The ITU WSIS Thematic Meeting on Cybersecurity took place from 28 June - 1 July 2005 in Geneva, Switzerland. A large number of written contributions, presentations and a webcast archive are available online, with the following background papers: A Comparative Analysis of Spam Laws: the Quest for Model Law, A Comparative Analysis of Cybersecurity Initatives Worldwide, Harmonizing National Legal Approaches on Cybercrime and ITU Survey on Anti-Spam Legislation Worldwide
(Reuters) Five companies have agreed to pay $1.16 million in fines to settle charges of sending spam without a warning that it contains sexually explicit material. Three other businesses also face lawsuits for allegedly sending improperly labeled e-mail, the Federal Trade Commission said.
(Australian IT) Ausralia's broadcasting and telecommunications watchdog has won its first injunction against an alleged spammer under anti-spam laws introduced early last year. The Federal Court in Perth granted Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) an interim injunctions against Clarity 1 and its managing director Wayne Mansfield.
(out-law) The Office of the Information Commissioner (ICO), enforcer of the UK's main anti-spam laws, has received around 600 spam complaints in the past 12 months. But it has taken no legal action, in part because its powers are inadequate and impractical.
(vnunet.com) The volume of pornographic spam almost trebled during May, according to newly published research.Security vendor Clearswift reported in its monthly email analysis that spam relating to pornography rose from 5.6 per cent to over 14 per cent of total spam sent in May. Healthcare spam remains the dominant form at 44 per cent.
(CNET News.com) Sometime around November, Hotmail and MSN will flag as potential spam those messages that do not have the tag to verify the sender. The move is meant to spur adoption of Sender ID. Sender ID is a specification for verifying the authenticity of e-mail by ensuring the validity of the server from which the e-mail came. Critics say Sender ID, which includes technology developed by Microsoft, is not an accepted standard and has many shortcomings.
(FTC) An operation that spammed millions of consumers with graphic sexual descriptions to drive traffic to their Web sites to "date lonely housewives" has been halted by the court at the request of the Federal Trade Commission. A U.S. District Court Judge has ordered a temporary halt to the spamming and has frozen the assets of the outfit, pending a hearing on the FTC's request for a preliminary and permanent injunction for violations of federal law. The FTC alleges that the spam contains short messages or a picture and a hyperlink promoting the "lonely wives" service. The agency charges that the spam violates nearly every provision of the CAN-SPAM Act. It contains misleading headers and deceptive subject lines. It does not contain a link to allow consumers to opt out of receiving future spam, does not contain a valid postal address, and does not contain the disclosure, required by law, that it is sexually explicit. It also includes sexual materials in the initially viewable area of the e-mail, in violation of the FTC's Adult Labeling Rule.
(BBC) Almost one million net addresses owned by UK cable firm Telewest have been blacklisted by an anti-spam group. The Spam Prevention Early Warning System blacklisted the addresses because many of the machines using them have been hijacked by spammers. The army of remotely-controllable machines have probably been recruited by viruses and worms.
(ZDNet Australia) Twelve Asia-Pacific communications and Internet agencies have joined the Australian Communications Authority in signing a memorandum of understanding - the Seoul-Melbourne Anti-Spam Agreement - on cooperation in countering spam.
(BBC) Research has revealed that peer-to-peer (P2P) networks are proving a lucrative hunting ground for spammers. Start-up Blue Security has found that junk mailers are actively harvesting and spamming e-mail addresses they find on file-sharing networks. The address books they are exploiting are inadvertently being sharing on the peer-to-peer networks by novice users.
(BBC) UK spam laws are failing to stop spammers, say campaigners. According to anti-spam organisation Spamhaus, loopholes in UK law render legislation useless in the fight against spammers. The majority of spam originates from the US but there are a handful of hardcore UK-based spammers. Since the law came into force over a year ago no UK spammers have been fined or prosecuted.
(AP) Filters for blocking junk e-mail from inboxes have improved to the point that doing much more will needlessly kill legitimate e-mail. So e-mail gatekeepers are getting more aggressive at keeping spam from leaving their systems in the first place. EarthLink, for instance, is phasing in a requirement that customers' mail programs submit passwords before it will send out their e-mail.
(Register) The IT industry should do more to protect kids online, according to campaigners, who believe that tech companies should spend dosh to create a global child protection organisation and use their expertise to regulate chat rooms and block the transmission of offensive images. Tighter regulation and increased education make up just part of a rack of proposals following the launch of the global make-IT-safe campaign . Thailand-based child-rights group ECPAT International and the UK's Children's Charities Coalition on Internet Safety (CHIS) reckon that while the IT industry has done stacks to crack down on online fraud and spam, it has failed to invest the same amount of time and resource in combating child abuse. see also Safety urged for child web users.
(BBC) Net users are as annoyed as ever about spam, but seem to be getting used to it, says a report. The poll of US net users by the Pew Internet and American Life Project found that 52% of people complain that junk mail is a big problem. The research found that 28% of users are getting more spam than they did a year ago. Despite this, the numbers of people saying that the deluge of spam made them use e-mail less has shrunk.
(BBC) A man has been sentenced to nine years in jail by a Virginia judge for sending millions of junk emails, or 'spamming'. Jeremy Jaynes, 30, is the first person in the US to get a prison term in a spam case. He is said to have been the world's eighth most prolific spammer. By selling sham products and services advertised in his messages, he earned up to $750,000 (£398,000) per month. Jaynes has appealed, and the court has put off the start of his prison term because the new law raises questions.
(out-law.com) A car dealer who sent unsolicited marketing e-mail and offered an unsubscribe facility either by calling a premium-rate phone number or by clicking a link in the e-mail that did not work, has lost its case before the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).
(BBC) The net's self-declared spam king is seeking bankruptcy protection. Scott Richter, the man behind OptInRealBig.com and billions of junk mail messages, said lawsuits had forced the company into Chapter 11. OptInRealBig was fighting several legal battles, most notably against Microsoft, which is pushing for millions of dollars in damages. The company said filing for Chapter 11 would help it try to resolve its legal problems but still keep trading.
(CNET News.com) Cornell University researchers are trying to clear file-swapping networks with a new program aimed at filtering spam out of the peer-to-peer pool. But the tool could also ratchet up the antipiracy arms race, by filtering out the numerous 'decoy' files used by Hollywood and record label allies to discourage illegal downloaders.
(ZDNet France) Toute société de marketing direct peut désormais envoyer un message commercial sur l´adresse professionnelle d´une personne physique, sans son consentement préalable. Seule condition: cet e-mail doit être en rapport avec la fonction du destinataire. La Commission nationale de l'informatique et des libertés (Cnil) a entendu les revendications des sociétés de marketing direct qui s'inquiétaient d'une interprétation trop stricte des dispositions anti-spam de la loi pour la confiance dans l'économie numérique. Ses membres ont accepté de revoir leur position sur la prospection des personnes physiques via leur adresse professionnelle.
(Washington Post) A Virginia state judge dismissed a North Carolina woman's conviction on felony spamming charges, saying there was insufficient evidence that she flooded tens of thousands of America Online e-mail accounts with unsolicited bulk advertisements. But the judge upheld the conviction of the woman's brother, who had been found guilty of the same crime. They were found guilty in November of three felony charges each for using false Internet addresses to send mass e-mail advertisements through an AOL server in Loudoun. Prosecutors said their felony convictions for spamming were the nation's first. The jury had recommended that Jaynes spend nine years in prison and that DeGroot pay $7,500 in fines for violating the anti-spam law.
(Press Releas) Representatives from the Australian Internet Industry Association (IIA) and the Internet Society of China (ISC) have signed an agreement to help manage spam. The signing ceremony formalises the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)between the associations to lessen spam traffic over the Internet. Giving immediate effect to the MoU, the IIA and ISC will hold a roundtable on March 1 to share technical and policy measures to limit the amount of spam originating from or passing through the two countries.
(ZDNet UK) Months of pressure from anti-spam campaigners have paid off. Send-Safe.com, a service that helped spammers to send junk emails over the Internet was on the run after US telecoms giant MCI bowed to mounting pressure and stopped hosting it late.
(RAPID) A joint drive to combat spam e-mail from Europe and Asia was agreed by Government participants attending an Asia-Europe (ASEM) conference on eCommerce, held in London on 21-22 February. In a joint statement on international anti-spam cooperation, ASEM's 25 European and 13 Asian member countries agree to take action to fight spam nationally and to promote anti-spam efforts in international organisations and by industry. ASEM members include China and South Korea, which are reportedly major sources of spam.
(Computeractive) The Office of Fair Trading has kicked off this year's annual 48-hour global assault on scammers infesting the internet. With the UK this year holding the presidency of the International Consumer Protection Enforcement Network (ICPEN), the OFT organised the annual sweep of rogue traders on the internet. This year's annual spring clean targeted scammers as per usual but predominantly focused on how frauds are spread by spam. see Press Release.
(Australian IT) The Australian Communication Authority (ACA) has endorsed the London Action Plan which encourages government and private sector agencies in 21 countries to tighten co-operation to defeat spammers.
(The Register) Consumers are more likely to change their operator than their mobile number to dodge the growing nuisance of text message spam. More than eight in 10 mobile phone users surveyed in a study by Switzerland's University of St.Gallen and mobile services firm bmd wireless have received unsolicited mobile messages. Four in five (83 per cent) of telecoms industry representatives polled in the survey reckon mobile spam will be a critical issue within the next two years. With complaints about mobile phone spam on the rise, both consumers and operators see mobile operator self-regulation as the most effective means of combating mobile spam. Customer-initiated actions are perceived to be less effective.
(RAPID) 'Anti-spam' enforcement authorities in 13 European countries have agreed to share information and pursue complaints across borders in a pan-European drive to combat "spam" electronic mail. They will cooperate in investigating complaints about cross-border spam from anywhere within the EU, so as to make it easier to identify and prosecute spammers anywhere in Europe. The voluntary agreement, which establishes a common procedure for handling cross-border complaints on spam, has been drawn up by the contact network of spam enforcement authorities (CNSA). The CNSA facilitates the sharing of information and best practices in enforcing anti-spam laws between the national authorities of EU Member States and of the EEA.
(Heise) Bußgelder bis zu einer Höhe von 50.000 Euro sieht eine geplante Ergänzung zum Teledienstegesetz (Gesetz über die Nutzung von Telediensten, TDG) vor. Im einem neuen Paragraph 7 Absatz 3 des TDG wird dazu das Verheimlichen oder Verschleiern von Absenderadresse und kommerzieller Natur einer E-Mail im Header als Ordnungswidrigkeit eingestuft. Der saubere Header soll Filtermaßnahmen für die Nutzer erleichtern.
(Associated Press) Under an agreement with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, a man known as the 'Spam King' will stop infecting computers with advertising programs until a federal lawsuit against him is resolved.
(EDRI-gram) For the first time since the spam-ban went into force in the Netherlands, the Dutch regulatory authority OPTA has fined Dutch spammers. One spammer now faces a fine of 42.500 euro. OPTA has also fined an SMS-spammer with 20.000 euro in total, for sending unsolicited SMS's costing the recipient 1,10 euro per message, without providing any unsubscribe options. Currently, in the Netherlands only natural persons are protected against unsolicited commercial, idealistic or charitable e-mail messages. The minister of Economical Affairs has promised additional legislation to protect all recipients against spam. Companies that wish to receive unsolicited mail will have to create a special new e-mail address and make it publicly available.
(CNET News.com) The United States is in a league of its own when it comes to sending junk mail to e-mail users. Researchers at security software company Sophos found that 42 percent of all spam sent this year came from the United States, based on a scan by its researchers of a global network of honey pots--computers designed to attract spam e-mails and viruses.
(ZDNet UK) The majority of Web users believe that Internet service providers should bear the burden for protecting their customers from spam, viruses and other malicious attacks, latest research has found. But the respondents also said they were willing to pay more for a better service and would even switch providers to avoid the attacks. 54 percent of those surveyed said they would pay up to £2 more a month for a better service, while almost a third (32 percent) said they would change ISPs.
(ZDNet UK) On the first anniversary of the introduction of Britain's Privacy and Electronic Communication regulations, it emerges that not a single offender has yet been brought to book for sending unsolicited junk mail. The UK government's anti-spam legislation has yet to make an impact, 12 months after its introduction.
Not a single prosecution has been brought under the Privacy and Electronic Communication regulations and none is imminent, according to the Office of the Information Commissioner on Monday."
(RAPID) The EU Telecommunications Council has agreed on the Safer Internet Plus programme, which aims to empower parents and teachers with internet safety tools. The 4-year programme (200508), proposed by the European Commission in March, will have a budget of 45 million to combat illegal and harmful internet content. The new programme also covers other media, such as videos, and explicitly addresses the fight against racism, and also spam’. It will focus more closely on end users: parents, educators and children.
(Korea Times) Unwanted spam mail and calls have become a major irritant for mobile phone subscribers these days, with unsolicited messages or calls from numbers with the dialing prefixes of 060 or 030 exploding. The bulk messages cost cell phone users? precious time and effort and most typically carry sexual content, fanning concerns about the influence on youth.