by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
france, spam

France Making It Super Easy To Report Spammers

from the click-here dept

We tend to be skeptical of most government involvement in technology matters, but the French government is trying an interesting experiment that could be worth following. In an effort to stop the flow of spam, it's funded an open-source spam reporting toolbar for both Outlook and Thunderbird that makes reporting spam exceptionally easy. There are already commercial products that do this for the sake of building filters and such -- but this is the first time we're aware of one (though it certainly could be true of others) that automatically forwards the spam to the government. In this case, the system does a few other interesting things. One of the problems with these types of easy-report tools is that people start using it to report emails they don't like -- even if they signed up for it. However, if someone does that with this French service, it will automatically send you back info on how to unsubscribe (assuming the marketer in question has registered). Of course, on the downside, this service will only work for spam that originates in France. If it originates outside the country (meaning: most spam), the system will simply ignore it. It will be worth watching to see how well this works. Certainly, over the last few years, private efforts at filters have gotten much better -- but many still believe that gov't intervention is needed in tracking down the worst spam offenders.

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  1. identicon
    Zorak #9, 9 Oct 2007 @ 3:13am

    Its only good if...

    The only way this will be useful is if all countries do it, and convicted spammers get the death penalty. A SLLLOOOOOWWWW painful death, just for entertainment sake, web-broadcast of course!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Nicolas Jondet, 9 Oct 2007 @ 4:17am

    A tool to enable prosecutions

    It is also interesting to note that “Signal Spam” is intended to transmit information to authorities such the French data protection authority and the Police in order to initiate prosecutions. Data is also intended to be shared with ISPs to help them in their anti-spam efforts.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    dorpus, 9 Oct 2007 @ 4:23am

    Can the private sector do this?

    When push comes to shove, can the private sector arrest spammer slimeballs? Or is the government much better at such tasks? Do we want to depend on Blackwater security to enforce the law?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Huh, 9 Oct 2007 @ 6:21am

    But wait there's more!


    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    James, 9 Oct 2007 @ 6:51am

    Re: Its only good if...

    I'm with you... and (with credit to George Carlin) we, "...brodcast the execution on Pay-Per-View, and let viewers bet on which numbered hole the head will roll into...".. LOL

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Oct 2007 @ 7:15am

    Re: 1

    damn spammers... die

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    unknowleddable geek, 9 Oct 2007 @ 1:47pm


    The French actually doing something that makes sense. I am impressed.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Oct 2007 @ 2:36pm

    Re: Wow - the French

    Without the French, we would not have been able to win our independence from England. Then they went home and let us form our own country by ourselves.

    I hope that impresses "unknowleddable geek", who lives up to his/her own nickname.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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