Anti-spam is flavour of the day

Software giant Microsoft has revised its anti-spam specification Sender ID in a bid to attract industry support for its initiative.


Microsoft has submitted revised plans to the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) standards body in a bid to breathe new life into its Sender ID proposals. Last month IETF closed its Sender ID working group amid infighting over Microsoft’s plans.

Sender ID is a specification for verifying the authenticity of email with Internet Protocol records. Microsoft has revised its plans to be compatible with the widely used Sender Permitted From standard for email authentication.

The changes have convinced AOL to renew its support for Sender ID. It had withdrawn support last month. Critics of the scheme had argued Microsoft’s patent claims could result in the charging of royalties. The system’s inability to work with previously published records in SPF also came under fire.

Sender ID has now been granted ‘experimental’ status by the IETF in order for the industry to test it.

Meanwhile, the UK-based organisation Spamhaus is to advise the European Commission on new legislation to block junk mail.

Steve Linford, director of Spamhaus, advocates Australian-style regulations where spammers are fined up to AUS $1.1m (£446,000) per day for offending. Such strict measures have forced antipodean spammers to disappear or relocate. “We are recommending that Europe uses the Australian law as a template. That’s the best one so far. It’s working because it penalises spammers.”

Britain’s implementation of the EU’s directive on Privacy and Electronics Communication allows unsolicited junk mail to be sent to businesses. Those that contravene the rules regarding consumers face a maximum £5,000 fine. Linford criticised the Department of Trade and Industry: “The DTI is still of the opinion that British industry wants spam.”

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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