MSN Spam Postman Delivers Twice

As part of its spam fighting efforts, Microsoft today announced a pair of
new services to help users and ISPs fight the deluge.

MSN Postmaster is a new online resource that Microsoft is making
available globally in 10 different languages to help users
and ISPs understand when and why MSN’s popular Hotmail service considers an
e-mail to be spam.

The Postmaster service provides a variety of tools and
information resources that will help streamline the reporting of e-mail
abuse, as well as improve the delivery of legitimate commercial
e-mail messages.

Microsoft claims that its MSN Hotmail service has over 200 million user
accounts worldwide and, as such, can provide a wealth of e-mail activity data.

The other new service announced today by Microsoft is Smart Network Data
Services, which is currently just a preview release and only available in

The service is geared toward ISPs and reports on e-mail traffic
characteristics sent from the ISP’s IP range to Hotmail. The characteristics
will help ISPs determine the volume of e-mail coming from under their
auspices that is considered spam by the Hotmail service.

The intention for ISPs, with the spam information in hand, to take whatever remedial action necessary to limit the volume of spam coming from their IP range.

“MSN Postmaster and Smart Data Network Services represent a move by
Microsoft toward broader, more comprehensive and transparent
Information sharing with ISPs and e-mail senders to help protect e-mail and
ensure that it continues to be an essential and valuable communications
tool,” said Kevin Doerr, product unit manager for MSN Hotmail at Microsoft,
in a statement.

Microsoft also used the new services launch as an opportunity to remind
users about their Sender ID initiative, which helps verify the authenticity of an e-mail.

Hotmail has been implementing Sender ID since January, and it currently redirects potentially “spoofed” e-mails to users’ junk e-mail folders. Microsoft
expects to enhance the feature at some point this year with new “warning
alert” notifications that will be viewed in the upcoming safety bar feature
planned for Hotmail.

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