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MIT Spam Conference: 2010 Call for Papers and Participation

I am proud (or disappointed) to announce the 8th annual MIT Spam Conference, March 25th and 26th at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts. A regular research competition that brings out the best minds in the fight against unsolicited email. At this point it would be helpful to provide a little background on the conference and remind everyone that the Call For Papers (PDF) is still open. Just as the spammers have developed new tools, platforms, and tactics to deliver their message we need to match them and push it back. Spam is still the number one threat on the Internet today as it drives illicit commerce, delivers viruses, opens doorways for intrusions, and tricks the savvy and gullible alike to hand over cash and credentials. To this end, the conference has been broadened in the last two years to include a variety of subjects and revolutionary proposals.

This top-talent but low-key session was started in 2003 by Paul Graham, the inventor of Bayesian spam filtering, which is the basis for current spam filters. After a few years of chairing the Spam Conference Graham moved on to YCombinator, Yahoo’s start-up development project. In 2006, William “Bill” Yerazunis of Mitsubishi Electric Research Labs (MERL) took up the mantle and worked to expand the conference to two days. Yerazunis isn’t just a spam guy, he has worked in a number of technical fields including optics, computer graphics, transplant immunology, artificial intelligence, and other diverse disciplines. Yerazunis, who holds 29 patents, turned the Spam Conference over to University of Akron Computer Science Professor, Kathy Liszka. Last year, Liszka, coordinated and ran one of the most topic diverse conferences yet. Liszka will be accepting research submissions until February 1, 2010.

For those who do not have research to submit, but are still interested in the subject, the conference is open to the public and usually held in the unique “dancing building” at MIT, the Stata Centerv designed by Frank Gehry. There is always a lively debate and discussion as well as a review of shocking developments in spam and predictions for the coming year. All points of view are welcome as some of the brightest minds take a deep look at this ongoing and troubling technology problem.

By Garth Bruen, Internet Fraud Analyst and Policy Developer

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Minor correction Garth Bruen  –  Jan 22, 2010 5:32 PM

Conference will be held in Building 34, the EG&G;Education Center, 50 Vassar Street, near the Stata.

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