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FTC's Leibowitz: Industry must work together to fight spam

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Federal Trade Commission Commissioner Jon Leibowitz told attendees at the FTC/ National Institute of Standards and Technology E-mail Authentication Summit in Washington, D.C., earlier this week that they must work together to develop the tools necessary to solve the spam problem. Though law enforcement and education efforts can help in the fight against spam, they alone cannot do the trick, he said. E-mail authentication systems will reduce "phishing," make ISPs less reliant on their spam filters, help ISPs and law enforcement determine where spam comes from, and ensure consumer trust in the Internet. Several authentication systems have been developed and show promise, Leibowitz said, including both IP-based and signature-based approaches. But in deploying an authentication system--or combination of systems--the industry must ensure balance and flexibility to accommodate all users, he added. "Work up your plans and work out your differences," he said. "If we have competing authentication systems that do not work together, we may not have any that work."

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