Microsoft and Symantec give Senate recipes for frying spam

Thursday, 22 May 2003, 11:18 AM EST

In a sign of the difficulty facing federal lawmakers as they craft antispam legislation, Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates and Symantec Corp. Chief Executive Officer John Thompson have offered starkly different plans for combating the problem.

The plans were outlined in letters submitted by to the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.

The Committee held hearings on Wednesday to solicit input on the spam problem.

Writing to U.S. Senators John McCain and Fritz Hollings, the chairman and ranking Democrat of the committee, Gates said that spam, or unsolicited commercial e-mail, costs businesses billions of dollars each year and was eroding public trust in technology.

"(Spam) is decreasing our collective ability to realize technology's full potential," Gates wrote.

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