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Anti-Spam Group Publishes Recommendations

The Anti-Spam Technical Alliance (ASTA), whose participants include Yahoo! Inc., Microsoft Corp., EarthLink and America Online Inc., today unveiled the result of more than a year of close collaboration by presenting a host of detailed best practices and technical recommendations for the entire industry in an effort to fight the scourge of spam.

The proposal provides recommended actions and policies for Internet service providers (ISPs) and e-mail service providers (ESPs) as well as large senders of e-mail including governments, private corporations and online marketing organizations. These recommendations primarily focus on two key issues: helping solve the e-mail forgery problem by eliminating domain spoofing through Internet Protocol (IP)-based and signature-based solutions; and best practices to help prevent ISPs and their customers from being sources of spam.

The complete ASTA proposal can be found at each adopting company’s Web site:

* http://antispam.yahoo.com 
* http://download.microsoft.com/download/2/3/7/23779c05-d409-46ce-b9d6-c24908789d8b/ASTA
* http://www.microsoft.com/spam
* http://www.earthlink.net/spamblocker
* http://corp.aol.com/press/press_release062204.html

ASTA was founded in April 2003 to bring together key industry stakeholders to drive technical standards and promote collaboration in the development of industry guidelines to address the spam problem. Current members include leading technology companies such as America Online, British Telecom, Comcast, EarthLink, Microsoft and Yahoo!.

Comments:

“With these proposed solutions, ASTA is taking a huge step toward collective and enforceable technologies in reducing spam and e-mail forgery,” said Brad Garlinghouse, vice president of Communication Products at Yahoo! Inc. “We are laying out clear best practices and Good Neighbor policies that will help change the rules of the game on spammers once and for all.”

“We believe that thanks to continued innovation and the ongoing cooperation of governments and industry around the world, we are on the right path to turn the tide against spammers – but further change is needed on an industrywide basis to thoroughly contain the problem for consumers and businesses worldwide,” said Ryan Hamlin, general manager of the Anti-Spam Technology & Strategy Team at Microsoft. “Our aim with this proposal is to help lay out a clear framework for the industry as we continue to work together to end the spam business and put our customers back in control of their inboxes once again.”

“Today’s announcement shows the industry’s commitment to working together to develop the best technical standards and practices that all providers can use to stop spam,” said Linda Beck, executive vice president of Operations at EarthLink. “By collaborating on new ways to better identify the origin of messages, we can help lift the veil of anonymity on spammers and restore the integrity of e-mail. We encourage continued testing and public discussion in order to move toward industry-standard technical solutions.”

“This announcement opens an entirely new chapter in spam fighting on behalf of all online consumers. Spam is an industrywide challenge that merits an industrywide solution. Creating a set of best practices puts us on a clear glide-path to winning a major battle against spammers, scammers and spoofers,” said Matt Korn, executive vice president, Network & Data Center Operations at America Online. “This proposal also shifts the spam fight toward identifying legitimate senders of e-mail to ensure prompt delivery of their e-mail. Now we’re going to focus on testing and evaluating cost-effective technologies that can identify legitimate senders of e-mail and help restore consumer trust in their e-mail inboxes.”