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Microsoft Takes Stands Against Spam, Sanctions

"I cater my services to professional bulk e-mail marketers," he said. "If we find out such e-mail marketing was done illegally we make every effort to warn users. Then if they do it again they get kicked off our network."

He said an advertisement on his Web site linking to information on "World Wide Spam" should not be taken seriously, calling it freedom of speech and not an expression of his site's policies.

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For spammers, bulletproof hosting and secure Internet connections are as necessary as oxygen. It will be interesting to see if other Internet providers or prosecutors follow suit in attacking the air supply.

Speaking of spam, sectors of the Internet world are still buzzing over the release of a Microsoft patent application that appears to claim rights to the underlying method being used or proposed by companies to better determine whether e-mail is coming from a trusted source.

As spam has overwhelmed e-mail traffic, industry has been hoping for widespread adoption of a system to certify "good" e-mail and block everything else, rather than trying to filter out spam.

Most of these system involve, at their core, the ability of a computer to look at an e-mail address and check it against databases of addresses authorized to send mail.

Microsoft worked with other companies and Internet standards-setters to come up with a unified approach.

Along the way, Microsoft sought to allay fears that it would try to co-opt the process by promising to share whatever technologies it developed for the greater good.

In its recently released patent application, Microsoft seeks rights for "the act of querying a name server for a list of network addresses authorized to send electronic messages for the sending domain."

Microsoft argues that is merely an application and that it is offering to license various authentication technologies at virtually no cost.


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