Spam Wars

from the the-never-ending-battle dept

MIT’s Technology Review has a fairly long, but all-encompassing look at the spam problem. There’s nothing really new in the article, if you read stories about spam regularly, but it is a good overall summary of the problem, who’s responsible, and the various attempts to fix it (and their associated problems). The one interesting point that not too many people talk about is that this “escalation” of spam wars, has (in many ways) made the spam problem worse. For every message blocked by a spam filter, a spammer feels the need to send two more messages. This makes it worse for the messages that get through – but whether or not they get through, it increases the load on the various ISP servers that get sent all this spam. There’s also a companion piece that talks to two spam fighters, Barry Shein of The World and Dave Crocker of Brandenburg InternetWorking giving their opinions on the spam problem. Shein, as outspoken as ever, says that email is broken, and it needs a complete overhaul. Crocker thinks a less drastic solution is needed – and we need to find ways to bring spam down to a manageable level, since we’ll never get rid of it entirely. While the original article talks up legal solutions, most people seem to agree that legal solutions are never going to make much of a difference, and technology is going to have to solve the spam problem.

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