ISPs turn up the heat on spammers

Spammers beware: Major e-mail service providers are sick and tired of you clogging their networks, annoying their customers and eating up their revenue as they attempt to stop your officious ways.

"We are fed up with spam and we HATE it as much as you do!" America Online Inc. (AOL) wrote in a message posted to its members this week.

In fact, AOL is so annoyed with spam that it announced the formation Thursday of a special anti-spam task force, as well as preparations to roll out new spam fighting tools and advocate for tougher laws to combat the unsolicited e-mail plague.

AOL's declaration of war comes on the heels of news that Microsoft Corp. is corralling even more suspected spammers to court. The Redmond, Washington, software maker filed suit against unnamed defendants in a California court last week for allegedly harvesting the e-mail addresses of users of its Hotmail service for the purpose of spamming. [See, "Microsoft to fight spam with subpoenas" Feb. 20.]

Furthermore, a Microsoft representative said this week that the company would be lodging even more suits against spammers soon.

And now AOL is also taking spammers to task, which is not surprising considering that the heavyweight ISP said that its filters are blocking 780 million pieces of junk mail a day from e-mail users' in-boxes.

"We are redirecting ourselves to the spam fight with purpose," said AOL spokesman Nicholas Graham. The company is reporting to its members this week on its efforts to stop spam as feedback to its recently launched "Tell Us" campaign, Graham said.

"Fighting spam was far and away the top issue for our members," Graham said.

The company is taking a multifaceted approach to the issue, through the courts, lobbying for tough legislation and working with other ISPs.

"While there is no silver bullet we are taking a double-barreled approach," Graham said.

The onslaught of spam, which some researchers predicated would overtake legitimate e-mail in users' in-boxes in coming years, has become a serious focus for e-mail users and service providers in recent months. In fact, the deluge even led to the first-ever spam filter conference held in Cambridge, Massachusetts last month.

While experts currently disagree on which solutions for stopping spam are best, they do agree that user pressure on ISPs is one of the most effective ways to turn up the heat on spammers. If the news from Microsoft and AOL this week are any indication, that appears to be true.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Scarlet Pruitt

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?