The real issue with legislation is enforcing it. Spammers are elusive, sneaky criminals and are not easily identified. We're working with several organizations to find the best solutions to identifying the criminals and prosecuting them.
SALT LAKE CITY, UT (PRWEB) May 1, 2004
After more than a year of research and testing, Salt Lake City based inter-net-solutions has declared that email filters will not be the end-solution to spam. In addition, there is a growing perception in the industry that filters actually exacerbate the spam problem.
"Filters, by nature, are reactionary," said the company's CEO, Joseph Wecker, "which means that spammers always get to be one step ahead of the anti-spam crowd. Filters have to learn the tricks spammers are using and then learn how to stop them only to be attacked by a whole new barrage of tricks which they again have to learn. It's a vicious cycle."
It takes spammers little effort to find ways around keyword filters or ways to poison more advanced bayesian filters. It does take a few months, however, for their techniques to get put into spamware, the often illegal software that gets passed around to spammers that allows them to send millions of messages a day. Because of this cycle, filter developers are often given a false sense of accomplishment as they see spam drop temporarily in their own inbox. Meanwhile, however, the vast majority of email users have their inboxes filled with more and more unintelligible and fraudulent subject lines and marketing messages.
"Geeks use filters all the time in order to reduce the amount of spam they receive in their inbox," said inter-net-solutions marketing executive Danny Lasko. "They love them. They love them because they're tricky, time consuming, challenging, and if they can get them to work it's a real high. But most users don't have that same attitude towards filters."
Even some 'geeks' don't use filters because they're either ineffective or because of the possibility of a false-positive-- where a legitimate email gets marked as spam. At the annual anti-spam conference held at MIT last January, Shlomo Hershkop, a leading spam researcher at Columbia, presented his findings on the latest advancements in behavior based filtering technology. When asked if he used his technique on his own inbox he responded, "Would I use it? No-- I don't use any spam filters because I lost some important documents."
According to Wecker, "even the remote chance of one false positive is too much. It means that you still cannot focus on email and communications as you need to, but have to worry somewhere in the back of your mind whether an email you're waiting for got filtered out as spam. It's about trust." In fact, out of 6 top filtering products reviewed by PC Computing, filters blocked an average of 24% of all legitimate email.
Hope, however, is on the horizon. "Yes, we're getting closer," said Lasko. "New technologies are arriving all the time that show some real promise in eliminating spam when combined. No one has released the complete answer to spam-- yet." Some of these new technologies include challenge response as well as intelligent white listing. But even these new technologies, by themselves, have their drawbacks.
Also, the federal government is attempting to resolve the problem with anti-spam legislation. "It's a stepping-stone toward the final solution," said Wecker. "The real issue with legislation is enforcing it. Spammers are elusive, sneaky criminals and are not easily identified. We're working with several organizations to find the best solutions to identifying the criminals and prosecuting them." According to Wecker, the legislation will begin to become effective when it targets the monetary sources of spam-- the companies that often pay the 'basement spammer' to blast out the emails.
To keep the general public up to date, inter-net-solutions has developed a dedicated forum to spam-related news and discussions at http://www.email-cop.com and has invited the public to join the discussion.
Founded by businessman Richard Pack and developer juggernaut Joseph Wecker, inter-net-solutions provides answers to questions and issues of focus, productivity and efficiency in the corporate and personal realms of life.
For the past several years, inter-net-solutions has been researching the causes and possible solutions to the enormous spam issue. Currently, they are developing their own email server technologies and clients, as well as a strong legal arm known as Spam-Justice that will be combined to completely eliminate spam-- all without the use of traditional filters. Their first line of products are scheduled to be released late 2nd quarter.
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