zachariah Posted May 5, 2004 Share Posted May 5, 2004 I don't know if this is good or bad, but it's news... MSN, Hotmail fight spam using Bonded Sender By Edward C. Baig, USA TODAY Microsoft (MSFT) wants spammers to pay a financial penalty for the junk cluttering up your inbox. The Redmond, Wash., giant will endorse a plan today that aims to cut down on spam and help pave the way for legitimate e-mail to get through. Both MSN and Hotmail have begun implementing the Bonded Sender program from a privately held San Bruno, Calif., e-mail infrastructure company called IronPort. Adding the two Microsoft e-mail platforms, representing more than 170 million active e-mail accounts, is obviously a major boon for Bonded Sender. Here's how the program works. Instead of aggressively filtering the content of e-mail to identify suspect missives — an anti-spam approach that might result in excess "false positives" — Bonded Sender is built around the idea that legitimate mass e-mailers would be willing to put money at risk to ensure the integrity of their messages. By posting a bond, these on-the-level firms get on a universal list that allows mail at the network level to get passed on. (Such lists, without the bonds, have been used in other anti-spam schemes.) Messages sent by mass e-mailers not on the list get blocked. "Could it work? Absolutely," says Peter Christy, co-founder of the NetsEdge Research Group in Los Altos, Calif. Bond fees are priced according to the amount of mail sent but can add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars, says IronPort CEO Scott Weiss. To prevent spammers from buying their way onto the list, no-name companies must pass a rigid screening process that is certified by TRUSTe, an independent non-profit privacy organization. Bonds are debited if a sizable number of complaints are registered against companies on the list. If there are too many complaints, the company is kicked off the list permanently. Complaint rates are also monitored by TRUSTe. While the Bonded Sender concept is ultimately only as good as the companies willing to participate, IronPort is off to an impressive start. The list of Bonded Senders includes Warner Music, eBay (EBAY), Major League Baseball, Motley Fool, Nasdaq, DoubleClick and Cnet (CNET). IronPort is also working with corporations such as Cisco Systems (CSCO), Dell (DELL), eBay, Verizon (VZ), Viacom (VIA) and Sprint (FON) and Internet service providers such as Time Warner's (TWX) Road Runner. But the Microsoft deal represents the first time IronPort has penetrated the big three among Internet providers. For its part, Microsoft claims the amount of spam on Hotmail has declined 60% during the six months it has been quietly testing Bonded Sender. But Microsoft stresses the results are also tied to advanced-filtering and other anti-spam measures. Still, says Ryan Hamlin, general manager of the anti-spam technology and strategy group at Microsoft, "We want to see the industry move toward these safe lists." Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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