Congress slams spam

Friday, 23 May 2003, 9:20 AM EST

"Spam" now accounts for 46 percent of all e-mails sent, said Enrique Salem, president of Brightmail, a San Francisco company that helps Internet providers block spam before it reaches users' inboxes. He told lawmakers that half of e-mail will be spam by December, up from 7 percent in 2001.

Spam costs U.S. businesses $10 billion each year in lost productivity, Salem told the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.

"E-mail messaging has fundamentally changed the way we communicate," said committee Chairman John McCain, R-Arizona. "The growing affliction of spam, however, may threaten all of this."

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