RealNews

The Big Business of Fighting Spam

Though Brightmail CEO Enrique Salem could not disclose 2002 earnings, he said an IDC estimate that Brightmail earned about $8 million in revenue in 2001 is “pretty close, maybe a little low,” then noted that the company’s revenue doubled in 2002. What do Viagra, stock tips, personal ads and activities with farm animals have in common? They are all the subject lines of unwanted, unsolicited e-mail messages, not-so-affectionately known as spam. The sheer volume of electronic junk mail has overwhelmed users’ inboxes and IT managers in the past few years, consuming valuable bandwidth and storage space while embarrassing and annoying its recipients. According to research firm IDC, in 2002, spam volume jumped 28 percent in North America alone, to 870 billion messages. That figure is expected to surpass 1 trillion by the end of 2003, according to Mark Levitt, vice president of IDC’s Collaborative Computing Program. Full Story

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