IIA throws weight behind antispam cause

Aiming to help Internet users fight the rising levels of spam hitting their inbox, the Australian Internet Industry Association announced on Wednesday it is offering consumers a free one-month trial of a range of antispam software products.

The IIA’s new antispam campaign comes on the same day as the release of the National Office of the Information Economy’s (NOIE) report into spam, urging the government to introduce new legislation to combat the growing problem of electronic junk mail.

The NOIE report says spam is the term used to describe “unsolicited and unwanted electronic messaging, particularly e-mail”.

According to figures from Gartner, as listed in the NOIE report, about 35 per cent of all inbound business messages are spam, a percentage which is expected to hit 50 per cent by 2005.

In addition, spam represents around 20 per cent of all e-mail traffic, the report found.

IIA chief executive Peter Coroneos said the IIA’s new antispam campaign is a means of ensuring users that “there is an option for controlling this scourge”.

“People who have been using the Internet for a couple of years routinely have to start each day by deleting dozens, sometimes even hundreds of unwanted e-mails from their inbox. It has got to be stopped before people decide to just disconnect,” he said. “Spam runs the full range from nuisance to nauseating - all of it unwelcome in this country.”

The IIA offer will be available to consumers between now and May 16 2003.

The substantial list of vendors participating in the free trial initiative include MessageCare, MessageLabs, Symantec Australia, Trend Micro, Network Associates, SurfControl and Bluebottle Solutions.

More information on the antispam campaign and related products is available on the IIA Web site: www.iia.net.au

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