InternetNZ gets tough on spam this year

InternetNZ is hoping this year will see the end of the spam epidemic that is plaguing New Zealand in-boxes.

InternetNZ is hoping this year will see the end of the spam epidemic that is plaguing New Zealand in-boxes.

Society members are hard at work on an anti-spam website that should go live within a week and will include practical anti-spam measures, says executive director Peter Macaulay.

"David Harris [creator of the Pegasus email application and former Computerworld columnist] has just about completed the site and it will include links to ISPs' anti-spam email addresses for reporting spam, things like that."

Harris is a staunch anti-spam proponent whose has written a white paper on the problem.

Macaulay says InternetNZ vice president David Farrar is attending an anti-spam conference in Brussels this week and that InternetNZ will also be represented at a conference in Kuala Lumpur to be held in February.

"We're also working towards hosting a government workshop sometime in the first quarter on spam."

As Computerworld Online reported yesterday, anti-spam vendor Brightmail estimates that in December 2003 it filtered 80 billion email messages and identified 58% of these as spam, up from 37% in July 2002. This growth can also be attributed to a greater number of spammers and availability of easy-to-use spamming tools, the company says.

“In 2003 there was a significant increase in attempts and techniques to hide information –- for example sender, origin and links from within the message -- from the recipient, especially within HTML-based email."

Brightmail founder and CEO Enrique Salem believes the spam epidemic still has three years left to run but has high hopes that in that time a combination of education, technology and legislation will reduce the problem to a more manageable size.

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