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Spam Solutions Still Missing The Point

Mike McDonald
Staff Writer
Published: 2005-03-22

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IBM has announced a new anti-spam initiative today. Surprisingly enough, it is actually somewhat reminiscent of Lycos's 'make love not spam' fiasco of a few months ago.

Editor's Note: What are your thoughts on the myriad of anti-spam solutions available? Are they effective? Will they ever be? Discuss at WebProWorld.

As you may recall the 'make love not spam' program was designed to basically launch a denial of service attack against servers they had labeled as spam sources. The venture was of course short lived for a number of reasons the least of which not being the fact that DDOS attacks are hacks and therefore illegal.

Fast forward a month or two and here we are with another big name company (IBM) grabbing headlines by attempting to save us all from spam. To their credit, the IBM program is slightly more intelligent in function than the Lycos effort.

It simply bounces back the email it receives rather than attempting a DDOS attack on the mail server. Unfortunately, it falls short in the same aspect that most other spam solutions falter. Namely, what is and isn't spam.

Now, I get as much spam as anybody and I hate it as much as the next guy. However, what I find a bit more upsetting than the spam is the growing sentiment among the anti spam camps declaring unabashedly that some false positives are tragically unavoidable and acceptable. ANY false positives that take away ANY legitimate, non-spam email is too many.

Otherwise, email becomes completely unreliable and few bad filters away from utter uselessness. Arsenic might cure the common cold but I aint gonna down a dose next time I get a sniffle.

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About the Author:
Mike is a manager at iEntry. He has been with iEntry since 2000.

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