Hear! Hear! I applaud Rob Preston's sensible approach to the problem of spam ("How To Contain Spam," May 15, 2003). At our organization, which has a small network of 10 machines, we filter everything through McAfee's SpamKiller, a product that is easy to deploy, configure and use.
Spam is a by-product of free enterprise, or capitalism, if you will. In an average daily newspaper, there are about 3 column inches of content for two full pages of advertisements. Why would we think e-mail would fare better? When state and federal legislators attempt to punish the spammers, they end up curtailing the legitimate business practices of ethical companies, with little or no effect on the masters of spam, who, as you point out, adapt almost more quickly than the Mediterranean fruit fly. Closing the door of capitalism to calm the ire of a few could have a much greater impact on the hopes of many.
Jeffrey D. Iverson;
Owner, Iverson Software Co.
While Rob Preston makes some good points about the effectiveness of spam filtering, he misses some of the issues.
Filtering doesn't eliminate the problem; it merely hides it. End users may love filters' effect on their inboxes, but filters exacerbate the problem of spam clogging inbound network connections and mail server queues as they become more complex and the spammers send more and more messages in an effort to dodge them. It's an arms race network administrators are doomed to lose.