No More Hiding from Spammers

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The common anti-spam refrain- "Don't give your email address out to someone you don't trust" is being turned on its head by a startup in Salt Lake City. Their new product combines state of the art technology with a legal arm dedicated to hunting spammers. Give it out and bring it on.

The new federal law does not allow individuals to sue spammers

Any veteran of the fight against unsolicited emails has seen or uttered the refrain- "Never give out your email address to someone you don't trust." This is current advice from companies like Microsoft, HP, AOL, various government agencies,, and dozens of others. The basic idea is that if spammers never manage to get your email address on their lists, you'll be spared the torrent of spam that most users experience. But a new voice in the industry has a different message- "Give it out and bring it on."

Inter-net-solutions, a Salt Lake City based corporation, has began their official EmailCop launch: a technology that promises users they can do just that- give their email address out to anyone, anywhere. "The beauty of the program is that when you give your address out, you change it slightly," said CEO Joseph Wecker. "If, for example, your electrical company asks for your email address, you put a power-co dot in front of your base email address." In doing so, he added, you can track exactly who sells you out to the spammers. And if (when) someone does sell you out to a spamming list, you simply turn off that "alias."

The technology will easily allow you to work with existing email addresses, whether you're an Outlook user or have some webmail addresses. Or you can just start from scratch and use their webmail in addition to accessing their servers with Outlook or Thunderbird. "We've also built the technology to be very portable," said Curtis Mortensen, inter-net-solutions' VP of Product Development. "It should be relatively trivial for any ISP or other email provider to integrate EmailCop features into their systems. The point is to truly eliminate spam, and that means hitting it from all angles." Many users are currently reporting zero spam in their inbox, and they're also reporting absolutely zero false positives (when a filter, for example, marks an important email as spam and deletes it). "This is because we don't use filters," said Mortensen. "The control is completely in the hands of the user."

As far as multiple approaches go, inter-net-solutions is planning on hitting spammers hard with the legal angle. "The new federal law does not allow individuals to sue spammers," said Wecker, referring to the (in many opinions) barely functional Federal CAN-SPAM Act. "Spam Justice is a service that we give to EmailCop subscribers so that they can rest easy knowing that we will protect their legal interests when it comes to email." Instead of turning off an alias, you can set it so it reports all incoming email straight to Spam Justice, where it is analyzed and legal cases are developed. Any money recovered from spammers minus expenses is turned over to the users who were the intended targets of the spam. "We're just getting the wheels rolling on this one, but it looks very promising," said Wecker.

In order to build stronger cases against spammers, EmailCop actually encourages people to give their email address out (with slight variations), anytime they feel like it. "So feel free when chatting online or posting something- feel free when buying something or talking to someone on the phone. You're not going to get any spam, and we're going to nail the spammers thanks to your help."

In addition to simply turning aliases off, users can turn on a number of other protections per alias. For example, they can turn on Background Check for any alias (let's say "friends") that sends out challenges to anyone the user hasn't emailed before. The challenge email asks them to click a link before their original email is delivered. "With the combination of aliases, challenge-response, white and blacklists per alias, and the threat of legal action against spammers, all wrapped into one very affordable package, we believe we will truly turn the tide of spam. It may not be a silver bullet," said Mortensen, "but it's five or six silver sledge-hammers, and we expect to win."

For additional information and product availability, see:


(Creators of EmailCop and Spam Justice)

Founded by businessman Richard Pack and developer juggernaut Joseph Wecker in 2001, inter-net-solutions is dedicated to abolishing everything they find annoying about the Internet. A group of passionate engineers, customer support specialists, and other team members work at discovering solutions to the most difficult problems and presenting them to the public. They are dedicated to giving control of the Internet back to the people.

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Joseph Wecker
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