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Maker of Viagra Goes After Spammers

Techstination feature for Monday, February 14, 2005

The maker of Viagra…goes after the spammers. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. Pfizer has been working with Microsoft to go after companies that have been using unsolicited email to sell generic Viagra. Together the companies have filed 17 lawsuits against two international pharmacy spam rings. Aaron Kornblum, Microsoft's Internet safety enforcement attorney, says while the rings are international, they aren't beyond the reach of the lawsuits…

"We're quite confident that the people responsible are located right here in North America. We'll be using the discovery process in our suits to learn more about how they conducted their business, how they're making money…and using that information to stop them."

Microsoft, AOL, Earthlink and others have been using the legal system and the Can Spam Act of 2003….to try to reduce the volume of spam. While some say it's just as big a problem as ever, Kornblum maintains…

Microsoft has changed the economics of spam with its comprehensive approach which includes not just enforcement, putting spammers out of business and taking them off line, but also developing new technology solutions like filters to stop the mail from getting to our customers. Hotmail customers say they're receiving 90 percent less spam with the introduction of these filters on Outlook and Hotmail. We're also working to help government enforce spam laws, develop new industry collaboration and initiatives that different companies can participate in together."

While you still like see some spam, Microsoft claims its filters block more than 3.2 billion unwanted messages…per day. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.