No easy solution for spam

The problem of spam--unwanted e-mail--transcends international borders, the power of governments and the reach of enterprises. It will take action by government, businesses and Internet service providers to solve it.

The ability of commercial spammers to evade detection by relying on insecure servers in Asia and elsewhere shows how pervasive and how difficult to stop spam has become. Spam is now an international problem, and a body of international law--comparable to the network of agreements that govern the world's postal authorities--will eventually be needed to counter the tide of spam.

That day is far away, however, and until it comes, enterprises will have to rely on institutional and technological solutions to help resist the tide of spam. Fortunately, technological solutions already exist that can at least partially deal with the problem. Getting good anti-spam software enabled on the Internet will certainly help smaller companies with limited IT resources, which at present have to fight spam on their own.

The first line of defense against spam must certainly be the Internet service providers (ISPs). Many leading ISPs already offer spam-blocking services to their individual customers, and they should be prepared to offer similar high-quality services to their enterprise customers. Most enterprises will willingly pay an additional price for such services because they deliver a clear return on investment by reducing the time and resources spent on dealing with spam.

News source: ZDNet News

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