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Last October, in the vibrant city of Bangkok, the Internet Society joined regulators for an in-depth conversation about how to eliminate spam and its harmful effects. Our kind hosts were the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) and the International Institute of Communications (ICC). The CRTC has published a comprehensive and insightful report on the workshop, capturing the key issues, observations, and ways forward. We encourage you to read it carefully. First and foremost, take note of the answer to “why act now?” – it’s a shared responsibility. —The Internet Society
Last month Yours Truly got snookered by a too-good-to-be-true online scam in which some dirtball hijacked an Amazon merchant’s account and used it to pimp steeply discounted electronics that he never intended to sell. Amazon refunded my money, and the legitimate seller never did figure out how his account was hacked. But such attacks are becoming more prevalent of late as crooks increasingly turn to online crimeware services that make it a cakewalk to cash out stolen passwords. —Krebs on Security
Tesla has carved out a small niche by selling a $50,000 car for $100,000 to customers who are willing to pay a premium to be able to say that they’re on the cutting edge or that they’re saving the planet. It’s now trying to go to a larger market by selling a $20,000 car for $35,000. It’s not clear that this business model works without government subsidies. What the regulatory support for Tesla has actually managed to achieve is to inflate a massive bubble that sucked billions of dollars of private capital into a company that probably doesn’t have a sustainable long-term business model. At the very least, money and capital are being diverted from places they would otherwise have gone and instead are being used to support a politically favored innovation at a very high risk of failure. —The Federalist
Reading junk spam messages isn’t exactly my idea of a good time, but sometimes fun can be had when you take a moment to check who really sent the email. Here’s the simple story of how a recent spam email advertising celebrity “diet pills” was traced back to a Washington, D.C.-area defense contractor that builds tactical communications systems for the U.S. military and intelligence communities. Your average spam email can contain a great deal of information about the systems used to blast junk email. If you’re lucky, it may even offer insight into the organization that owns the networked resources (computers, mobile devices) which have been hacked for use in sending or relaying junk messages. —Krebs on Security