Public education, ACMA, and anti-spamming

Public education, ACMA, and anti-spamming

We tip our hat to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) for its relentless fight against spamming.

The ACMA is responsible for the regulation of the broadcasting, radiocommunications, internet, and telecommunications industry in Australia. With approximately 540 staff spread over its principal offices in Canberra, Melbourne, and Sydney, the organisation is not small.

I have followed the activities of the ACMA during the last 18 months or so, and noted the organisation has not minced any words so to speak in making public its findings. The government watchdog has pursued its charter with no regard to whether the delinquent parties are large or small organisations. Continue reading

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The role of internet service providers in curbing spams

spamhaus-10-worst-spam-serv

Top 10 Worst Spam Service ISPs

For those who have been following me and my blogs over any period of time, my dislike to spam is well known. I regularly post news and anti-spam tutorials as part of our company’s educational drive.

Today, I posted an entry, Australia not in Top 10 worst spam origin countries, but home to #6 spammer.

The gist of my blog is that Australia has been able to stay away from the Top 10 list because of its strong spam laws.

But governments can only do so much in fighting spam. The real key to fighting spam is the private sector’s network of internet service providers. Unless ISP networks cooperate, the fight against spam will be a losing battle.

But will networks cooperate?

The daily updates of the independent spam-tracking organisation, the Spamhaus Project, show that the positions and ranking of the world’s worst spam service ISPs keep on changing. Last May 2009, even one of the largest ISPs in the United States was in this Top 10 list, and it was ranked #6 worst spam service ISP.

Here is a part of the Spamhaus Project report :

Although all networks claim to be anti-spam, some network executives factor revenue made from hosting known spam gangs into corporate policy decisions to continue to sell services to spam operations. Others simply decide that closing the holes in their end-user broadband systems that allow spammers access would be too costly to their bottom lines.

The majority of the world’s service providers succeed in keeping spammers off their networks and work to maintain a positive anti-spam reputation, but their work is undermined daily by the few networks who, out of corporate greed or mismanagement, choose to be part of the problem.

If corporate greed, it would of course be foolish to assume that these networks will give away the proverbial “goose that lays the golden egg”. At best, they may stop servicing spam business only when cost structure arising from loss of customer support or from government lock-down pressure will be greater than the profits they derive from servicing spammers.

If mismanagement, networks have to put plugs to holes in their operations including a regular monitoring and reporting of any unusual activities in their network. Even that would mean extra costs which many ISPs will try to avoid as much as they can.

You can read more about this in my blog, A Matter of Sharing.