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e-mail forwarding rules by EU a gift to spammers?
Thursday 12 September 2013 18:28:15 by Andrew Ferguson

The vast majority of people will have been happy with what the European Commission has proposed with regards to improving the level of digital connectivity - or in non marketing speak, ensuring all of us spend more time online and buy/sell/interact more online.

If you look carefully there is what at first glance should be a great help to many of the public, i.e. a new requirement on Internet Service Providers to forward e-mails free of charge for 12 months after a customer has left. That sounds great, no need to spend hours telling your friends your ISP based email address is changing, but there is a large note of caution, there are the words "notify senders about their new e-mail address".

As one of the nice things about changing email addresses is that you can notify the handful of people who you want to keep in touch with, and let the hundreds of others that are now just a source of annoying spam disappear into a black hole. The longer versions of the proposals do indicate that there will be an option for people to request that senders are not notified of the new e-mail address.

Comments

Posted by ScubaGirl over 3 years ago
Well spotted. Perhaps someone should fill the private email boxes of every single member of the EU commission with spam, they might then get the hint that we don't want it either.

To be really effective, someone will have to then add any new email addresses that they create to the list to.
Posted by herdwick over 3 years ago
More regulation is seldom a good thing and usually introduces more perverse incentives than cures.
Posted by Kushan over 3 years ago
Some people are never satisfied. Changing email addresses is NOT an effective way to fight spam. You'll get spam no matter where you go and if it's becoming an issue, you need better anti-spam software. I get thousands of spam a month to my gmail yet I see only one or two in my inbox and it rarely ever gets a false positive.

The thing that people are missing is that many people don't realise they'll lose their email address when they switch ISPs and some choose to keep their ISP because of it. It's harder to move email addresses than it is to move banks.
Posted by mervl over 3 years ago
Perhaps this will cause ISP's not to offer e-mail services? Get your e-mail from a specialist provider then you don't have a problem. If we expect to be spoon fed all of the time then we should stay in our pram. And with a bit of care I manage to get negligible spam. It can be done.
Posted by john (Favicon staff member) over 3 years ago
This is one benefit of the non-ISP based e-mail services.

Also, it is of course possible to not advise your ISP of your new e-mail address. Then they can't spam you either (trying to win you back)!
Posted by mdar5 over 3 years ago
@merlv
Indeed
I have long suggested that ISP's might dump their email provision in the same way that they have dumped webspace for subscribers.
It must be a load of aggro what with spam/virus issues etc.

Then those that don't care can go and use the 'free'ones like Gmail and Hotmail.
Those that want business grade email with the security/reliability and other facilities that go with it can go and pay for it
Posted by AndrueC over 3 years ago
The system I use has been working for over a decade and still works. I give every contact their own address. If I get spam I know who has leaked the address (or been compromised) and I can block just that address.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disposable_email_address#Multiple_email_aliases

I actually wrote that second paragraph several years ago. Nice to see it still survives :)
Posted by undecidedadrian over 3 years ago
I went business grade email several years back and haven't looked back. It is so much better just having your own domain and email provider rather than rely on an ISP.

Take Sky for example 2 changes of mail provider in 5 years and always some problems when it happens.
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