Lawmakers Bring Home the Bacon, er, SPAM | News | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice


Lawmakers Bring Home the Bacon, er, SPAM


Published September 21, 2010 at 9:22 a.m.

Since January 1, the legislative email system has received more than 12 million messages—or roughly 52,000 emails for each of the State House's 285 email accounts.

The legislature's information technology office recently examined the email volume as part of a periodic review. The emails were sent between January 1 and September 20, according to Duncan Goss, the legislature's IT director.

According to Goss, the more than 12 million missives approximately 550,000 were delivered directly to the 180 lawmakers and staff — as in they cleared the system's filter.

"The remainder were either quarantined as spam or deleted for containing viruses," wrote Goss in an email to staff and lawmakers. "Of the quarantined e-mail, approximately 11,000 messages were subsequently released by the recipient (in other words, these messages were OK, but quarantined by the automated system).

In other words: 95.7 percent of the more than 12 million messages sent to the State House was tagged as Internet spam. No, not this kind of SPAM.

Surprisingly, Goss noted to Seven Days, the amount of email addressed to the State House rose from roughly 1.25 million messages per month during the legislative session (January to May) to about 1.7 million emails per month during the months of June to August.

The volume of emails, and spam, is growing, Goss said.

"A few years ago, we were receiving something like 650,000 messages per month, with about 50,000 passed. Today, it's closer to 1.75 million messages, but still about 50,000 passed," Goss noted.

That means the legitimate email is about the same, but the spam has nearly tripled, said Goss. "It ticks me off that we have to go to considerable expense and effort to clean the email stream due to these low-life spammers and virus writers," he said.

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