Home & Office

MSN, Yahoo! and AOL in spam-busting pact

They've got cunning plans... but will they work?
Written by Sandeep Junnarkar, Contributor

They've got cunning plans... but will they work?

AOL, Yahoo! and Microsoft on Monday sketched out a broad outline that calls for technical changes to email to make it more difficult to send spam. Among the mooted steps are plans to hinder spammers from creating multiple fraudulent email accounts and to determine the real identity of the senders. The three companies said they will work with organisations across the industry to drive technical standards and guidelines that will work across any software or hardware systems. They also said they will work with companies that regularly communicate with consumers and businesses through email to help them become aware of what is considered spam. One of the most oppressive aspects of connecting to the net, spam wreaks havoc for computer users and for internet companies such as AOL, MSN, Yahoo! and EarthLink. AOL and Microsoft recently filed separate lawsuits against individuals and companies that are allegedly spamming their members, although the law has not yet been proven to be an effective way of hindering spammers' activities. Most internet service providers and email services offer technologies to block spam. But in a cat-and-mouse game, the spammers regularly figure out how to bypass the blocks. With individual filters routinely fooled by spammers, AOL, Microsoft and Yahoo! said that a concerted effort may be the best way to fight spam. "Spam is an industrywide challenge, requiring industrywide teamwork, in order to yield industrywide solutions," Ted Leonsis, AOL's vice chairman, said in a statement. "By cooperating and collaborating together, we can make real progress against this toxin that pollutes the internet environment." The companies said they will continue to work with law enforcement agencies to deter those who fraudulently skirt antispam filters or otherwise violate applicable law. In this effort, the companies said they would develop better mechanisms for preserving electronic evidence related to spamming activity and cooperate with other Internet service providers to track down spammers. Sandeep Junnarkar writes for News.com
Editorial standards