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Imagine 9 out of 10 emails being spam?

In case you didn't notice the increase lately, we've had our heaviest month in over a year with MessageLabs reporting that the poor folks in Hong Kong are seeing 89 percent of all email as spam and in the U.S. it was a modest 74 percent.

There must be a lot of bandwidth being wasted and internet users paying for at least 3 spammers emails for everyone of their own, along with all that anti-spam software and the time wasted dealing with spam.

It appears that the people running the place certainly don't know how to deal with it (there is someone running the internet isn't there?). Surely legitimate users spending yet more money on spam filters isn't the ideal solution.

One good? bit of news - phishing was down 0.1%. 

I have some ideas of my own about how to fix it, but what do you think we can do to stop it?


Comments: (2)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 09 June, 2008, 16:27Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

I've always been an advocate of introducing a small (say 1p per recipient) charge for sending emails.  A not-for-profit organisation would administer the scheme, and profits could be donated to charity.  Spammers would think twice if sending an email to 10000 addresses cost them £100.

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 12 June, 2008, 04:40Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

I would happily take the 1p and provide a solution, however I think that paying a fee may not simply stop it, it may just lead to more fraud in order to pay for it, but who knows. One thing I am sure of is that things need to change. Authentication of users is the real problem with the internet, I'm all for anonymity, but not without accountability.

While the news that the internet will reach capacity sometime in the next two years, and spam is part of the problem, I don't expect that reducing spam will suddenly give the internet the capacity required for the future. Some carriers are already 'tailoring' traffic and not just to stop skypers. This does not bode well for social networking sites and video sites such as Youtube, unless they use a lot more local storage. The social  sites will lose visitors if they censor their footage to try to minimise the amount of rubbish flying around, but as much of it is humorous and we all need a good laugh I'd like to see it continue, but there is a limit. Spam is the obvious standout target.

The fines for spamming should represent the cost number of man hours required by the average human to read it (every single message they sent) and the cost of defending against it, but without authentication who do you prosecute?

After all 1p is still a lot of money to billions of people. I'm still amazed that so many dummies pay so much for the SMS's they send each other, it's a bit like the credit card industry. $1.50 per megabyte for data transmission charges would not go down well in any other arena and considering there are 3 times as many mobile users as there are internet users there's obviously one born every perhaps they'll go for 1p per email.

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