IT Confidential: Filter This--Ignorance Is Bliss, Or Is It? - InformationWeek
IoT
IoT
Business & Finance
Commentary
11/15/2002
05:36 PM
John Soat
John Soat
Commentary
50%
50%
RELATED EVENTS
Ransomware: Latest Developments & How to Defend Against Them
Nov 01, 2017
Ransomware is one of the fastest growing types of malware, and new breeds that escalate quickly ar ...Read More>>

IT Confidential: Filter This--Ignorance Is Bliss, Or Is It?

One defendant used logos of well-known financial institutions.

Spam used to be like Mark Twain's old witticism about the weather: Everybody talks about it, but nobody does anything. Not any more. Legislators, both state and federal, are rushing to enact anti-spam laws, and most companies are rushing to implement spam-filtering systems. Last week, the Federal Trade Commission and 12 federal, state, and local law-enforcement and consumer-protection agencies trumpeted an anti-spam initiative showcased by more than 30 law-enforcement actions, including "three FTC complaints and four settlements with spammers caught in an FTC sting," according to the agency. Law enforcers sent letters to 100 spammers warning them action might be taken "if they continued their fraudulent scams." Also, the FTC published results of a program called Spam Harvest, in which it and 10 other agencies looked at what consumers do online that puts them at risk for getting spammed. Brightmail, an anti-spam software vendor, says spam attacks increased by more than 300% last month, compared with October of last year. Sprint last week introduced an anti-spam, antivirus program called Sprint Email Protection Services. And while Sprint may have a tough time convincing businesses to turn over E-mail filtering to a third party, more companies are doing it in-house and creating a growing chorus of user complaints about the E-mail spam that's still getting through and the important E-mails that aren't.

The Supreme Court last week agreed to review a decision made earlier this year by a Philadelphia appeals court that struck down a law granting federal funds for Internet access only to libraries that implement filtering software on public computers. The Philadelphia court ruled that Internet-filtering software was a "blunt instrument" that served to censor potentially First Amendment-protected free speech. Congress passed the Children's Internet Protection Act in 2000, and it was challenged by groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union, the American Library Association, and Planned Parenthood. The Court will hear the case next spring.

CIO/CFO power struggle solved? Harmon AutoGlass, a national franchise windshield repair-and-replacement business, last week tapped Robert Bishop as the company's new CIO and CFO. In his dual role, Bishop will manage both the financial and the technology groups at Harmon AutoGlass and "lead the company's efforts to develop and implement an advanced technology platform for claim-management solutions," according to a statement. Bishop had been working with Harmon AutoGlass as a consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers.

CIO/CFO--isn't that an oxymoron, like jumbo shrimp? Seriously, I couldn't take the pressure--one side of me would be green-lighting innovative IT solutions, while the other side was nixing them with a flurry of pen strokes. Got a solution to such solipsism, or an industry tip? Send it to jsoat@cmp.com or phone 516-562-5326. If you want to talk about E-mail filtering in business, Internet filtering in libraries, or how to get along with your CFO, meet me at InformationWeek.com's Listening Post: informationweek.com/forum/johnsoat.


To discuss this column with other readers, please visit John Soat's forum on the Listening Post.

To find out more about John Soat, please visit his page on the Listening Post.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
2017 State of IT Report
In today's technology-driven world, "innovation" has become a basic expectation. IT leaders are tasked with making technical magic, improving customer experience, and boosting the bottom line -- yet often without any increase to the IT budget. How are organizations striking the balance between new initiatives and cost control? Download our report to learn about the biggest challenges and how savvy IT executives are overcoming them.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll