Redmond, Wash. (Feb. 20, 2003): Microsoft Corp. is calling for "the cooperation of industry and government" to fight unwanted and unsolicited e-mail commonly called "spam," in a Web posting at 2003/02-12spam.asp. The company reports that spam is spreading like a plague."Spam is big, several billion messages every day and still growing. With it grows the frustration of millions who must wade through a rising tide of junk e-mail, much of it deceptive and some of it lewd," Microsoft says. Its Web site message further says that "spammers face virtually no economic constraints," and that the economics of e-mail lets them "turn a profit even if only one in 100,000 recipients responds."

While the company touts the use of anti-spam filters and urges spam-victimized consumers to file complaints to the Federal Trade Commission, it stresses that "new, strong laws are needed." It is calling for laws that prohibit e-mailers from misrepresenting their identity, falsifying the subject of a message, or gathering e-mail addresses without owners' consent.

-- John M. Covaleski

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