Spam – should ISPs take more responsibility?

How often don’t we hear “spam is killing my internet experience?” You say “haven’t they heard about spam filters?” But the situation is getting worse by the day.

The anti-spam team at Internet Solutions (IS) are used to pretty high volumes of spam but two or so weeks ago, spam broke records by contributing to 97% of the total volume of all emails sent into their Anti Spam client community. "IS watched (initially with dismay) as our work queue averages across the anti-spam platform shot from 23 000 per hour to 30 000 per hour." said Hayden Lamberti, General Manager of Security Solutions at IS.

But the problem is worse. Many ISP’s who offer spam filters dump identified spam into a spam folder, but still count it as part of your 5 or 10 Meg mailbox. Spam mail boxes are emptied on a regular basis and users can set the frequency. However the highest setting is 24 hours.

With the spam arriving at the rates described by Internet Solutions one’s spam mailbox can easily exceed the 10 Meg limit with the result that all mail is rejected and a message is sent to the sender that the recipient’s mailbox is full and has exceeded the limit. This is a most embarrassing situation as it indicates that the mailbox owner does not read his mail. If one is in business that is an intolerable situation.

So the question arises should ISP’s take on more responsibility? They cannot control what comes in but they can increase the mailbox size to accommodate spam and at least assist their customers to keep getting real mail. They could increase the frequency of trashing spam mailbox content automatically every 6 or so hours.

I agree that this is not the ideal modus operandi, but at least shows some move towards better customer service.

To resolve the problem in the long term, ISPs should identify those ISPs where the spam mail originates from and work with SAIX, IS and others who control the international incoming links to block spam mail from entering the system. ISPs do a lot to prevent spam from their clients by limiting the number of recipients to whom one email can send mail. In many countries there are laws against spamming but little, if anything is being done to bring spammers to book. I wonder why?

Well I guess if spam gets any worse our mailboxes will be permanent locked and we will have to dust off the fax machine and support the post office with our mail!

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Spam – should ISPs take more responsibility?