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Consumer Reports

New drastic measures to curb spam | (UPI) -- AvantGo co-founders Felix Lin and Linus Upson have turned to drastic measures to keep spam, or unwanted e-mail messages, out of their clients' inboxes, Wired News reported Monday. The mobile software company's new Qurb spam filter uses a process called "whitelisting," which builds a list of approved senders by looking through a user's address book and saved mail.

Any mail sent from someone not on that list ends up in a "quarantine" folder, which the company advises users to check from time to time to make sure senders have not mistakenly been identified as spammers.

The company also sends "challenge" e-mail messages to unidentified senders, which they can automatically reply to, and then asks their users whether they want to add the sender to their approved list.

Although whitelisting can be effective, not all Internet experts are convinced it is such a great idea. "The good thing about whitelists is they keep out spam," John Levine, a member of the board of the Coalition Against Unsolicited Commercial E-mail, told Wired News.

"The problem is that such strict filters are a sign of the increased damage spam is doing to the Internet. ... We're going to have a Balkanized Internet where no one can talk to anyone else for fear of spam."

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