The days of no spam and no seatbelts

Australia's very own antispam legislation comes into affect this week and it has made me feel decidely old and a tad nostalgic. T'is true I am pining for the days before 'just-about-everything' was regulated. Remember those carefree and wreckless days of the 1970s when everyone did as they damn-well pleased?

Ah yes, nobody wore seatbelts and one could puff away on cigarettes all day long, even on overseas flights. Yes siree, those were the days.

Nobody lived a 'low fat, wholegrain, salt reduced' lifestyle back then. Everyone had big cars and there was no metered parking and best of all, rock stars were not created by reality TV shows.

I know you may think it is irrational to equate antispam legislation with getting old. But it is based on the same logic I used when I decided to get into the IT industry, I actually believed it would make me feel younger. You know, cutting-edge technology, being a part of a future-based industry and all of that....ah well, it worked for me, once upon a time.

So here we are at a moment in history when laws are used to try and stem the tide of cyber garbage that litters our inboxes.

But the truth is that spam will continue to grow exponentially and those at the front lines fighting this menace are destined to lose.

According to industry analyst Gartner three-quarters of current antispam vendors will disappear by the end of this year. Out of roughly 40 vendors currently on the scene, fewer than 10 will remain by the end of 2004.

The spam problem is too acute for businesses to delay taking action, but enterprises are being forced to buy into immature technology.

As Gartner states in its research note, products available now are not up to scratch, but enterprises are left with little choice but to act.

An estimated 75 percent of incoming e-mail is spam with junk e-mail now commonly carrying malicious code. Rather than wait for the dust of consolidation to settle, Gartner recommends companies look for the best technology available.

However, Gartner does suggest a shorter-term contract that has a protection clause in the event a vendor is acquired.

So there you have it . . . new antispam laws, dodgy products and an over-supply of antispam vendors waiting to be steamrolled by consolidation. The only certainty is that spam is not going to go away and you have to do something about it NOW. Oh yeah, and there is one other certainty, we are all getting old. How are you coping with spam and old age? Drop me a line sandra_rossi@idg.com.au

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