FTC Plans Spam Workshop

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The Federal Trade Commission will have a three-day spam forum this spring to address the proliferation of unsolicited commercial e-mail and to explore the technical, legal and financial issues associated with it.


The forum, open to the public, will take place April 30-May 2 at the FTC's offices in Washington. The workshop will include panels to address 14 issues associated with spam:


· The daily experience of consumers, filter programmers and ISP abuse department personnel in dealing with spam.


· E-mail address harvesting technology.


· Deceptive routing and subject information in spam.


· Costs and benefits of spam, including costs ISPs spend on filtering, bandwidth and customer service, which are passed on to consumers.


· Security weaknesses such as open relays, open proxies and FormMail scripts in e-mail transfer technology.


· Blacklists.


· Viruses, Web beacons and spyware that may be attached to e-mail.


· Wireless devices, text-based messaging and wireless e-mail.


· Current and proposed spam legislation.


· Enforcement of current and proposed international spam legislation.


· Recent private and governmental spam law enforcement actions.


· Best practices for e-mail senders and receivers.


· Evolving technologies to eliminate or negate spam.


· Structural changes to the way e-mail is sent, including proposals to reverse the cost model of e-mail.


Parties interested in participating should e-mail spamforum@ftc.gov by March 25.


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