Monday, February 2, 1998

Junk E-mail jangles nerves

Junk E-mail jangles nerves (excerpt)
Susan L. Thomas, LAN TimesFebruary 2 1998

..."I think the amount of spam continues to increase. There are fewer big-time spammers, but there are a lot more people getting into it on a smaller scale," said Dan Birchall, Internet systems administrator at 16 Straight Communications, a Web-hosting, graphic design and marketing company in Mount Laurel, N.J.

...Birchall said that the number of countermeasures against spam is also growing, and although he receives more UCE, less of it gets into his network and reaches the end user.

...The push now is to get vendors to default rather than relay, said 16 Straight's Birchall. On a good day he spends 15 to 30 minutes dealing with junk E-mail. That means reading it after it has been filtered out on the server and moved to a folder or calling sites whose servers have been unknowingly used for unsolicited mail.

...Although Birchall said he has tried to prevent spam at the end-user level, he has found it is more effective to do it at the server level, affecting hundreds of people immediately. Critics of cutting mail off at the servers, however, point to users losing mail they might otherwise need as well as the administrative costs. Often an administrator will not reject the mail but move it to a folder for closer scrutiny.

..."If there is a solution, it will be a combination of technical efforts, educational efforts, and legislative efforts," Birchall said.

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