New Delhi Wins Title of Top Spamming City
This year, India has again been called out as one of the top spam contributing countries. In fact, the country takes the number 1 spot on the list. As the world's biggest spammer, India produces 1.8 million sources of spam. Other top contenders for this title are Vietnam, Brazil, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. These findings come from a recent study done by PhD candidate Giovane César Moreira Moura from the University of Twente.
When looking at the statistics from a city level, India still keeps it's bad rap. In fact, New Delhi tops the list as the world's spammiest city. Other Indian cities in the top 20 include Bangalore, Madras, Pune, Hyderabad and Calcutta. To derive the list, the absolute numbers were looked at. However, when even looking at the numbers from a proportional perspective, Indian cities still find their place at the top. From a proportional perspective, the cities of Nagari, Gurgaon and Udaipur are top ranking. In Moura's study, findings show that 88 of the top 400 cities are located in India, followed by Brazil, Russia and China. The study also mentions that of the 229 countries found to have spamming hosts, India alone has almost 20 percent of the world's spamming IP addresses. Moura also found that of the list of 229 countries, the top 20 actually contribute to over 75 percent of all the spamming IP addresses.
To further point the finger at India, the country's own state-owned telecom, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. (BSNL) was found to be the biggest individual culprit when the study looked at spamming organisations. The Indian company has the highest number of sources of spam. The company was incorporated in 2000 and took over the business of providing telecom services and network management. According to the company website, BSNL is one of the largest and leading public sector units providing a rage of telecom services in India. Other well known Indian companies such as Airtel, Reliance Telecommunications, Tata Indicom and MTNL, are also on the top 20 list of spamming organizations worldwide.
However, Moura's research is not necessarily to point the finger at any country in particular. According to ZDNet, the PhD candidate's biggest concern is the effect of India's high growth potential of Internet penetration will have on the level of overall spam worldwide. According to the Internet and Mobile Association of India, the number of internet users will go up from it's December 2012 figure of 87.1 to 130.6 million by March 2014. In his study, Moura states the following:
"If India would have the same Internet penetration rate as the United States (a developed country comparable in size) while keeping its current ratio of malicious IP addresses, that would cause an increase of 200% in the total number of malicious spamming addresses observed currently for the whole world."
Although, these statistics may seem alarming, the question I ask myself is, “so now what?” The fact that the number of internet users in India will rise is inevitable. The question I think we need to ask is what can be done to ensure that as the number of users increase, what can be done to monitor the level of spamming and what preventative measures can be put into place. Maybe there are countries that India can look to as a benchmark that have strict anti-spamming laws in place that seem to be effective?
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