Italy now opt-in-only, SoBig.F phones home

Heads up for all the businesses out there sending mail to European customers — the EU E-Privacy Directive is now coming into force. Italy is the latest country to implement it; so businesses mailing Italian customers or prospects may wish to make sure that they abide by these rules:

  • Companies may send direct marketing email only to customers and subscribers who have given their prior consent to receiving such, either by subscribing explicitly or by providing their details during a prior transaction, such as a purchase.

  • Forged headers and other means of disguising or concealing the sender’s identity is illegal.

  • All messages must bear opt-out details as well.

  • Apparently, in the Italian rendition, senders may also ‘collect’ addresses but must immediately give the user a clear opportunity to opt-out at that point — but as far as I know this isn’t in the core EU directive.

Similar laws will be coming in all over Europe, so USian senders should really pay attention: opt-in — it’s not just a good idea, it’s the law (in Europe at least ;).

Malware: It sounds like SoBig.F is about to call home for new code (scroll down to ‘Downloading Functionality’). This is not good. :( Block port 8998/udp.

SoBig.F, the assorted bounce messages from forged SoBig.F mails, the assorted replies from autoresponders and list admin software from forged SoBig.F mails, and (of all things) user complaints about the forged mails (argh! surely they know they’re forgeries by now!) are really driving me up the wall. As I check my mail, there’s at least 400 of these messages this morning alone.

IP: Lessig lays into USPTO director: ‘If Lois Boland said this, then she should be asked to resign.’ … ‘That someone who doesn’t understand them is at a high level of this government just shows how extreme IP policy in America has become.’

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