This month, we put a stop to it - cold turkey. Anyone sending business spam is now blocked from the 22,000 users of Beth Israel Deaconess and its affiliates.
Here�s how we did it - using a commercially available appliance we have black listed organizations which send bulk email and companies which violate unsolicitied email policies.
I realize there are many categories of activity going on here
1. Those who have my contact information for a legitimate business reason but sell that information without my consent. Maybe there is something buried in a conference registration that suggests my information will be sold, but I�ve never found such a disclosure.
2. Those who create mailing lists by guessing at email addresses. John.halamka, halamkaj, john_halamka, halamka.john are all guesses since I�ve never used such addresses on any materials.
3. Those who facilitate bulk mailing. I�ve had conversations with the management of companies that provide bulk mailing services such as newsletters/product updates/special deals. Many of these bulk mailing companies have sound anti-spam policies. However, they have to trust that organizations which use their services adhere to the policies, accepting attestation that consent/subscription has been obtained from receipients on mailing lists. Many customers of bulk mailing outfits submit false attestations. Remember, I�ve not opted into a single thing in 2016 and I�m receiving hundreds of bulk emails every day.
May of 2016 marks �email liberation� month at BIDMC, since we put a stop to the electronic equivalent of garbage passing through our email gateways. This Zero tolerance for bulk email approach may very well transform email into a once again useful medium for communication. Sure, we�ll implement secure texting and groupware over the next year as alternatives to email, but there is a chance email could be salvaged.
My email box has gone from 1500 emails a day to 150. If everyone does this, maybe the business spammers will stop their flood of unwanted communications.
Viva the email liberation!