Feeds

MS opens Hotmail to bulk mailers

Pay $20k bond, behave yourself, reach millions

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

Microsoft said yesterday it had introduced a white list scheme to allow well-behaved email marketing firms to reach its customers without falling foul of its spam filters.

Marketing firms who post a cash bond of up to $20,000 through IronPort's "Bonded Sender Programme" will get guarantees that their message will be delivered to the estimated 170 million regular users of Microsoft's Hotmail and MSN e-mail services, providing they follow a strict set of guidelines. Firms who flout the guidelines - standards that exceed those defined in the CAN-SPAM Act - risk losing their money. The approach rewards marketeers who agree to be held accountable for the messages they send. Microsoft has been working on the programme with IronPort for five months but the arrangement was only made public yesterday.

With the support of Microsoft, more firms are likely to adopt the scheme. Good news for Ironport's sales team. Microsoft is behind the idea because it wants to reclaim email marketing from criminal spammers. For end users the scheme makes it less likely that messages they have requested from companies they do business with will be blocked (i.e. fewer false positives).

The downside is that what users think of as spam and what marketeers think of as spam are sometimes two different things. Excluding the get-rich-quick scams and penis pills it's not too long before we get into areas of potential dispute. In theory, Hotmail's filters could be adapted to apply tougher rules the spam-like email that isn't certified but whether this works in practice is still open to question. We fear Hotmail users will likely end up with just as much junk mail as before - except some of it will be certified as safe. ®

Related stories

Big US ISPs set legal attack dogs MS takes fight to the spammers
Microsoft aims to shift the tide in war on spam
Microsoft declares war on spam

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker
Natter-board tells middle-class Britain to purée its passwords
Web data BLEEDOUT: Users to feel the pain as Heartbleed bug revealed
Vendors and ISPs have work to do updating firmware - if it's possible to fix this
OpenSSL Heartbleed: Bloody nose for open-source bleeding hearts
Bloke behind the cockup says not enough people are helping crucial crypto project
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
Heartbleed exploit, inoculation, both released
File under 'this is going to hurt you more than it hurts me'
Experian subsidiary faces MEGA-PROBE for 'selling consumer data to fraudster'
US attorneys general roll up sleeves, snap on gloves
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.