Unsolicited Electronic Mail also called “spam” is a growing concern among corporations and individuals. Spamming, once viewed as a mere nuisance, is now posing some alarming problems. Spam may be defined as Unsolicited Commercial Bulk E-mail (UBE) or Unsolicited Commercial E-mail (UCE). In either case, it is important to note that Spam is “Unsolicited” which means that there is no prior relationship between the parties concerned and the recipient has not explicitly consented to receive the communication.
Why is Spam Harmful?
- Content: Many of the objections to spam relate to its content. Objections to commercial messages, which promote dubious ventures and messages that contain sexually explicit material, are commonplace. However, the single most important objection is as far as messages containing contain harmful embedded code and hostile file attachments.
- Consumption of Internet Resources: Spam represents a significant proportion of all E-mail traffic, consuming massive amounts of network bandwidth, memory, storage space, and other resources. Internet users and system administrators spend a great deal of time reading, deleting, filtering, and blocking spam, as a result of which they pay more for Internet access.
- Threat to Internet Security: Spammers frequently tap into Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) Servers and direct them to send copies of a message to a long list of recipients. Third-party relaying usually represents theft of services because it is an unauthorized appropriation of computing resources. A company’s reputation may be damaged if it is associated with spam because of third party relaying.
Courtesy: Information Technology and Cyber Laws, Raman Mehra