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June 03, 2004 12:32am
Vircom: Less Than 15% Spammers Comply
Source: Vircom
by: Company Press Release

(MONTREAL, CANADA) -- Montreal-based Vircom, developer of Modus e-mail security solutions, said its SpamBuster Team observed less than 15% compliance with the recent FTC rule for labeling e-mail containing sexually oriented material.

Effective May 19th, the rule adopted by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) decreed that all e-mails containing sexually oriented material must include the warning label 'Sexually-Explicit' in the subject line.

Over a 2-week period, Vircom's SpamBuster Team analyzed over 300,000 pornographic e-mails that should have been classified as 'Sexually-Explicit' under the new FTC rule. The result was that only 14.72% of these e-mails were actually labeled in accordance to the law.

"Of the rare few we found that actually complied with the new FTC ruling, most came from the same sources" said Marc Chouinard, head of Vircom's SpamBuster Team. "This indicates that the vast majority of spammers who distribute sexually explicit material either do not know, or do not care about eventual legal repercussions."

In a recent interview with a spammer who exclusively distributes sexually oriented material, Vircom asked why spammers will not comply with the new FTC rule.

"If I write 'Sexually-Explicit' in the header, I can guarantee that none of my e-mails will make it through a spam filter. In fact, it won't even make it through Outlook rules" said Paul. "You might as well kiss your job goodbye."

"We are not surprised in the least that spammers are not complying with the labeling rule," said Michael Gaudette, Product Manager for Modus anti-spam solutions."Unless the rule becomes harshly enforced, it will have negligible influence on pornographic spam. You have to remember why spammers actually spam; to get their message through to you."

For further information

Vircom recently published two studies about spam legislation and about the business of spam. "Can Laws Block Spam?" and "Why Spammers Spam" can be downloaded here.

About the "Label for E-Mail Containing Sexually Oriented Material Rule"

The Rule implements the requirements of the Can-Spam Act by requiring that any person who initiates, to a protected computer, the transmission of a commercial e-mail that includes sexually oriented material must:
(1) Exclude sexually oriented materials from the subject heading and include in the subject heading of that e-mail the mark "Sexually-Explicit" and
(2) provide that the matter in the e-mail message that is initially viewable when the message is opened include only certain specified information, not including any sexually oriented material.

About Vircom

Since 1994, Vircom has specialized in advanced Internet infrastructure and secure messaging solutions for the ever-evolving needs of both its ISP and corporate clients. Vircom is a major force in the anti-spam market with its mature and powerful Modus (TM) anti-spam technology, which was presented as the best Windows-based anti-spam solution by Network Computing magazine and awarded several recognitions such as Cata Alliance's "Innovation & Leadership Award". With offices in Canada and Europe, Vircom has become a leading player in the secure messaging industry.

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