France launches anti-spam platform

– I’ve often wondered why Spam is such a problem. If you polled the computer using public, I have no doubt that 80% plus would say it is a big problem and something should be done. So, it is a non-partisan issue. And yet, and yet, nothing gets done.

– And many Spam ads can be tracked back to someone. If they are selling insurance, sex pills, prostitution or real estate, there has to be a track back pathway so interested customers can find the spammer and reward them with a purchase.

– Like many things in our society, nothing gets done if there’s no profit in doing it. Or, nothing gets done if the ones doing the bad deeds have big bucks on the line and can lobby against or obfuscate the issue. I know I’m getting to be like a broken record on this issue but societies need to preserve and use their power to limit business/profit making interests when necessary for the good of the people in that society.

– So, the next time your mail box is full of Spam, ask yourself why such a huge non-partisan issue is not being dealt with here in the US.

– This article is about an effort France is mounting to try to control Spam. I wish them luck but it is such an international issue that I think they will simply succeed in driving their spammers offshore to pester them from there.

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The increase in Spam over time

On Thursday, the French government launched “Signal Spam”, an anti-spam platform created in association with public entities and private companies, such as Microsoft. Internet users will be able to report spam messages by mailing them to this platform which will act as a centralised monitor of spamming activities. The platform will generate a blacklist and help initiate prosecutions against spammers.

Signal Spam” acts as a spam repository or notification platform. There are two ways to report spam. First, the internet user can copy and paste the spam in an online form on the website of “Signal Spam”. Second, any (French-speaking) internet user can register with the platform and install a plug-in compatible with the following mail clients: Microsoft Outlook 2003 and 2007 (the user will need to install “Microsoft Visual Studio 2005” and “Redistributable Primary Interop Assemblies”) and Mozilla Thunderbird 2.0. Once installed, the plug-in allows users to notify spam to the platform by using the dedicated icon in their mail client. “Signal Spam” will then analyse the message, and if its spam status is confirmed, will then blacklist the e-mail and IP address of the sender. According to Rasle , the tool was developed by John Graham-Cunning , an internationally recognised expert who has created the open source POPFile email filtering program.

Signal Spam” will also be able to contact users and transmit information to authorities such the French data protection authority, the Commission nationale de l’informatique et des libertés or CNIL, and the Police in order to initiate prosecutions. Data will also be shared with Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to help them in their anti-spam efforts.

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