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January 31, 2005

FTC to Use Anti-Spam Laws Against Spam, Not Fraud

"While the Federal Trade Commission to date has focused exclusively on fraud schemes in its anti-spam enforcement efforts, with an occasional dabbling with pornography, that might be about to change. Recipients of spam consider the junk email more of a convenience issue, where the government has typically focused more on the narrow category of criminal enterprises that happen to use spam. In the meantime, legitimate companies have been able to make non-fraudulent offers via spam with near impunity. But ClickZ's Pam Parker reports that one FTC official said that the Commission is "likely" to start prosecuting what normal people consider spam, under the 2003 Can-Spam Act. Staff Attorney Lisa Rosenthal said at a conference on Friday "It's likely we'll be looking at legitimate companies." She noted the requirements to include postal addresses and include working opt-out mechanisms."  From MarketingVox

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January 31, 2005 in Anti Spam | Permalink | TrackBack

January 24, 2005

Georgia Governor Pitches Tough Anti-Spam Bill

Recent article regarding proposed changes in anti spam legislation in Georgia:

"People in Georgia sending spam could face up to five years in prison and a $50,000 fine if the governor gets his way."

"Gov. Sonny Perdue proposed stiff penalties yesterday against spammers sending more than 10,000 false or misleading messages a day. The Georgia Slam Spam E-Mail Act also would hit spammers with felony charges if they generate large amounts of money through spam or use minors to help them send the e-mails. The bill also calls for misdemeanor penalties of up to a year in prision and $1,000 in fines for minor violations."  From DMNews.com

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January 24, 2005 in Anti Spam | Permalink | TrackBack

January 21, 2005

Email Use Down Due to Spam

"Because of the proliferation of spam, spyware, and related problems, 44 percent of computer users have reduced their use of email and the Internet in the last 12 months, according to findings of a survey conducted by Osterman Research."

"The key overarching theme that emerges from this survey is that spam really does have to be addressed in a serious way," said Michael Osterman, president of Osterman Research. "Four out of 10 e-mail users reducing their use of e-mail because of spyware and spam will have an intense impact on online marketers, who will have to rely more on other online channels."

The survey polled a total of 241 respondents between January 18th and 20th.

Full article from ClickZ

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January 21, 2005 in Anti Spam | Permalink | TrackBack

January 17, 2005

Spyware - Spy vs Spy

Recent article from Forbes on spyware:

"Here's a typical scenario in tech world: Without warning, your computer flashes a dialogue box that says your machine has been infected with spyware. Click here, it instructs, for antidote software that will fix it. And, indeed, the helpful link does offer a program to get rid of the prying software--before installing its own spy package on your PC instead. "

"Sometimes the cure for spyware is worse than the disease. It's a problem that affects at least two-thirds of PCs, often without their owners' knowledge, and generates 12% of all support calls to Dell. But once you find out your computer is tainted, getting rid of the offending software is tough and comes with serious pitfalls. "

Full Article >

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January 17, 2005 in Spyware | Permalink | TrackBack

Texas Seeks Millions from Major 'Spam' Operation

Texas sued one of the world's largest "spam" e-mail operations on Thursday, seeking millions of dollars from two men it says are responsible for sending illegal messages on the Internet, the state's attorney general said.

Greg Abbott said Texas filed the civil lawsuit in federal court in Austin against Ryan Samuel Pitylak, a University of Texas student, and Mark Stephen Trotter of California.

From Reuters

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January 17, 2005 in Anti Spam | Permalink | TrackBack

Constant Struggle: How Spammers Keep Ahead Of Technology

To defeat Bayesian filters, spammers have taken to inserting legitimate words into spam

Efforts to use automation to outsmart spammers and crooks online have had spotty results. Often it's because spammers keep coming up with new tricks to work their way around anti-spam technology, forcing the good guys to continually play catch-up.

Full story from Information Week

January 17, 2005 in Anti Spam | Permalink | TrackBack

January 12, 2005

Crackers Tune In to Windows Media Player

eWeek provides coverage of a recent exploit.

"Crackers are using the newest DRM technology in Microsoft's Windows Media Player to install spyware, adware, dialers and computer viruses on unsuspecting PC users."  Excerpt from Slashdot.

January 12, 2005 in Spyware | Permalink | TrackBack

January 10, 2005

Spyware Crashes and Spam King No More

Microsoft estimates that one-third of PC crashes can be attributed to spyware infections.

Sanford Wallace, affectionately known as the "Spam King," has agreed to stop sending out spyware disguised as ads for his spyware products, according to The Associated Press.

From Information Week

January 10, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack

January 07, 2005

CAN-SPAM Can't Slam Spam

A year after it went into effect, the federal CAN-SPAM Act is a "miserable" failure, a messaging security firm that monitors compliance with the anti-spam legislation says. From Information Week

January 7, 2005 in Anti Spam | Permalink | TrackBack

January 06, 2005

Revived Spyware Bill Could Crunch Cookies

The proposed legislation primarily seeks to regulate privacy-invading spyware commonly installed on hard drives without users' knowledge or permission, hence the name. However, its definition of "cookie" doesn't distinguish carefully between the various uses of code to capture user information. From ClickZ

January 6, 2005 in Spyware | Permalink | TrackBack