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!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
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

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill


I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

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.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?