Spam busters wary as Verizon buys MCI

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The anti-spam fraternity has reacted warily to the news of Verizon’s $6.7billion acquisition of MCI. The marriage of the communications giants, finalised today, brings two of the biggest spam-hosting Internet Service Providers (ISPs) together.

"It's wait and see right now," Steve Linford, director of anti-spam organisation Spamhaus. "It's a shame that Qwest wasn't successful in its bid. Its security team has almost completely turned around the spam problem. MCI could benefit from that."

Qwest made a bid of well over $7 billion, but MCI favoured Verizon, arguing that it was in better financial shape.

Linford is particularly dismayed that Verizon, traditionally very good at tackling spam, has recently let its guard slip.

"They've begun hosting a number of new spam outfits and are now up to eighth on our list of ISP badguys," he said. "This may be something to do with the merger. Sometimes departments don't know what's going to happen to them so activity slows down."

MCI has come under attack this year for not doing enough to combat the spam problem. Weeks ago SC reported that the company had been slammed for continuing to host some of the world's most prolific and well-known spammers. Following the report the London Internet Exchange (LINX), a community of ISPs, hammered the US company for not preventing spam and even violating the its best practise procedures.

Copyright © SC Magazine, US edition

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