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

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Business & Finance
05:36 PM
John Soat
John Soat

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 [email protected] 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's Listening Post:

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.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
State of the Cloud
State of the Cloud
Cloud has drastically changed how IT organizations consume and deploy services in the digital age. This research report will delve into public, private and hybrid cloud adoption trends, with a special focus on infrastructure as a service and its role in the enterprise. Find out the challenges organizations are experiencing, and the technologies and strategies they are using to manage and mitigate those challenges today.
Augmented Analytics Drives Next Wave of AI, Machine Learning, BI
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  3/19/2020
How Startup Innovation Can Help Enterprises Face COVID-19
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  3/24/2020
Enterprise Guide to Robotic Process Automation
Cathleen Gagne, Managing Editor, InformationWeek,  3/23/2020
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Current Issue
IT Careers: Tech Drives Constant Change
Advances in information technology and management concepts mean that IT professionals must update their skill sets, even their career goals on an almost yearly basis. In this IT Trend Report, experts share advice on how IT pros can keep up with this every-changing job market. Read it today!
White Papers
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.
Sponsored Video
Flash Poll