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2005 Kentucky Digital Government Summit - A Government Technology Executive Leadership Forum
April 26, 2005, Lexington, KY
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Commonwealth Technology News

New Facial Recognition Software Fights Identity Fraud
Kentucky's digitized driver's license is helping law enforcement officials reduce fraud, identity theft and increase safety.

Kentucky First State to Fight Prescription Drug Abuse Online
The nation's first self-service, Web-based system for tracking all schedule II-V prescription drugs is announced.

Using GIS and Remote Sensing to Improve Efficiency
Statewide workshops are being conducted in April to discuss the fast growing demand for remote sensing and GIS integration at all levels of government.

Kentucky Digital Government Summit Comes to Lexington
The Center for Digital Government's Paul W. Taylor Ph.D., keynotes this summit focused on sharing ideas and continuing to improve government services using technology.  

National Tech Stories
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You've Got SPAM

 

In 2004, the Kentucky Long-Term Policy Research Center studied the effects of federal legislation designed to curb SPAM, or unsolicited e-mail.

Long Term Policy Research Center Logo

The federal Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing (CAN-SPAM) Act went into effect in January 2004. The law did not prohibit the sending of unsolicited bulk e-mail (UBE). Rather, it stipulated that such e-mails must contain opt-out options, valid postal addresses, warning labels for sexually explicit content, and accurate sender information, subject lines and product claims. The act also made illegal the unauthorized use of another’s computer to send bulk e-mails and banned the harvesting of e-mail addresses from Web sites and mail servers.

 

To study the effects of this legislation, in early 2004 the Kentucky Long-Term Policy Research Center created 12 e-mail accounts for the sole purpose of gathering illegal spam.  They placed 11 of these addresses on several government Web sites, some hidden as comments within the HTML code, some hidden in plain sight by making the text the same color as the background.  The 12th address was not listed anywhere online but could still receive e-mail. Though invisible to the people visiting these pages, automated harvesters trawling the Internet for e-mail addresses would be able to find them.

 

Spam received by month

In spite of the federal prohibition against harvesting, the hidden addresses began receiving e-mail only days after being posted online, and the influx steadily increased in the months to come.  In December 2004 alone, these addresses received over 2,300 e-mails; altogether they accumulated an amazing 11,371 pieces of spam in the span of 11 months.

 

It's clear that, despite good intentions, the federal legislation is not the final answer to controlling unwanted SPAM.

 

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Last Updated 4/27/2005
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