Spam fighters gather for US conference

Researchers, industry experts and spam filter hackers will meet at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) today (Friday)...

Researchers, industry experts and spam filter hackers will meet at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) today (Friday) for the first Spam Conference.

Paul Graham, an antispam campaigner and designer of the Arc computer language, organised the conference. His paper, "A Plan for Spam", which was published last August, argues for the use of e-mail content-based filters, but the conference will feature a variety of speakers with their own takes on how to fight spam.

Speakers include open-source researchers, a cyberlaw expert, and representatives from e-mail security firms CipherTrust, and MessageLabs. More than 560 attendees are expected, with a special welcome for hackers working on spam filters who hope to get together and compare notes.

A recent poll by market research company Harris Interactive indicated that 80% of US Internet users find unsolicited bulk e-mail "very annoying", compared with only 49% in 2000.

Spam now accounts for 30% of all e-mail and MessageLabs has predicted it will comprise half of all e-mail by July.

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