Feeds

MS opens Hotmail to bulk mailers

Pay $20k bond, behave yourself, reach millions

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

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

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
NEW, SINISTER web tracking tech fingerprints your computer by making it draw
Have you been on YouPorn lately, perhaps? White House website?
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Black Hat anti-Tor talk smashed by lawyers' wrecking ball
Unmasking hidden users is too hot for Carnegie-Mellon
Attackers raid SWISS BANKS with DNS and malware bombs
'Retefe' trojan uses clever spin on old attacks to grant total control of bank accounts
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.