Microsoft Plans to Sue Spammers

Microsoft, along with other Internet industry players, is due to announce Wednesday lawsuits against spammers under the CAN-SPAM Act. The software giant also will detail a technical initiative aimed at stopping the onslaught of unsolicited e-mail, a company representative reveals.

The lawsuits announced under CAN-SPAM will be among the first since the law took effect on January 1, and will target "serial spammers," a Microsoft representative in Europe says.

Microsoft will also discuss plans for its Caller ID e-mail specification, the representative says. The sender authentication technology that aims to thwart the spoofing of e-mail addresses--a common spammer tactic--was talked up by Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates at the RSA security conference in San Francisco last month.

The technical initiative is presumably meant to supplement the antispam efforts being made under the CAN-SPAM law.

More to Come

A press conference on the announcement is being held Wednesday morning in Washington, D.C.

Leading Internet players Yahoo and America Online will be taking part in the announcement, European representatives for each company confirmed.

While CAN-SPAM was lauded by the Internet industry as a good first step at fighting spam, many have said that it does not go far enough to solve the problem. The law requires commercial e-mail to have an opt-out message, allowing recipients to choose not to receive further communications from the sender, bans techniques such as e-mail harvesting and sets out other guidelines on sending commercial e-mail.

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