FTC Cautiously Optimistic About Spam Trends

from the moving-in-the-right-direction dept

The FTC wasn’t a big supporter of CAN SPAM early on, believing that it wouldn’t do much to help the spam problem — but now that they have it in their arsenal, they’ve been using it. Today they released the first assessment of the spam world since CAN SPAM went into effect and are noting that people are seeing less spam — but that improved technology appears to have a lot more to do with it than the CAN SPAM law. Some are noting that the report may paint a slightly rosier picture than what we’re really facing, but it does seem like a fairly accurate portrayal. Filtering technology has definitely improved, and there have been some lawsuits which may have scared off a few borderline spammers. The FTC also timed the release to announce some more anti-spam lawsuits as well — but also asked for better laws to help them go after spammers outside the country by allowing easier cooperation with foreign governments. Overall, it would appear that the spam situation has improved slightly — but it has very little to do with the law. Of course, we shouldn’t have to worry soon, because we’ve almost reached the deadline for when Bill Gates said he’d wipe out spam. Update: It would appear that a lot of people are not buying the FTC’s findings.

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Comments on “FTC Cautiously Optimistic About Spam Trends”

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Howard Lee Harkness (user link) says:

spam load increasing for me

I maintain one unfiltered email account (the one I used for this post), and I have seen a fairly steady increase in spam over the past year. I have been experimenting with PopFile to see if it could be trained to spot virii, and it sort-of can, with a lot of false positives. BTW, I have a whitelisted term that I give to people that I actually want to contact me on that address.

Spam will not end until it costs the sender more money than it brings back in. Currently, the cost of spamming is so low that it needs only to fool a tiny percentage of its target audience.

The Celtic Fiddler

Jeff R says:

Decreasing? Can I buy some of the pot they're on?

Over the last month or so, procmail’s log tells me that 2732 of the 3004 pieces of mail were immediately identified as spam by either my procmail rules or spamassasin.

That’s about 91% of the mail processed for my account. Of the remainder, somwhere between 1/4 and 1/2 of it was spam not caught by the filters.. so that’s 93% to 96% of the mail accepted by my mailserver for me.

Looking at the MTA logs, about one in 20 connection attempts reaches a real account on my server (most of the attempts are bad brute force attempts with a random character string for the user). So we’re approaching 99% spam on my server.

It’s reached the point where I’m just about ready to toss SMTP entirely.

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