Wednesday, 12 November 2003

Greenbelt , Tech

Send spam not mail

With increasing frequency I'm getting emails like this:

A recent e-mail from you has been quarantined by rule Spam cat 4 - Healthcare Travel Alcohol Drugs for checking as it may contain inappropriate content.

The offending email was today's Greenbelt Festival Dispatches. It's hard to see which words triggered the filter on one Greenbelter's mail server; maybe repeated use of the word "Tour"?

It won't be long before this is a real problem. These automated filters are completely dumb, and before long we'll all have to start censoring our own language. No more tales of heroes and heroines, no longer will we refer to the village of Beer, and don't imagine you can email about Scunthorpe.

Of course it's all about cutting back spam, but the censorware is dumb enough that you can work round them by adding punctuation: heröine, Béer and Sçunthorpe. And these are the same techniques the spammers are using to defeat these incompetent filters.

Prettÿ soøn àll oûr régülàr máî1 wï1l løök l!k3 spàrn.

Posted by pab at 19:54