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2007 Award Winners Announced 
Alt-N, Bank of America, Bell Canada, Microsoft, PayPal and TRUSTe Honored for Leadership in Online Safety

BOSTON - April 19, 2007 - The Authentication and Online Trust Alliance (AOTA) announced the winners of the first annual Online Safety Leadership Awards.  The winners, honored in an awards ceremony on the first night of the Authentication and Online Trust Summit, have all demonstrated a commitment to preserving and improving consumer trust in online channels.   

"We were overwhelmed by the volume of outstanding merits and accomplishments we received this year," said Craig Spiezle, executive director AOTA and director of online safety at Microsoft Corporation.  "Their contributions to online safety have had a deep impact on restoring consumer trust in email and other online channels as well as fast-tracking the widespread adoption of authentication and best practices.  We hope this annual awards program will serve as a yearly reminder to companies to ensure their online practices are up to par with their peers in the industry."

Upwards of 90 percent of today's spam and deceptive email is forged and spoofed.  Email authentication via the Sender ID Framework (SIDF) or DKIM is providing tangible business value to brands and users alike and was a baseline requirement for the Leadership Awards program. The honored companies have gone above and beyond by adopting innovative technologies to combat spam and other online exploits, educating both senders and receivers on best practices for online safety, working with government and law enforcement in bringing online criminals to justice and other exceptional initiatives in preserving online trust.  Their efforts are a strong call to action for other companies to strive toward their own online safety goals.   Nominations were received from a wide selection of Fortune 500 companies, technology providers, non-profits, industry associations, telecommunication providers and financial services.  The judging process involved due diligence and research into reputation and best practices and an intense scoring system.  Award categories spanned various sectors including an award for long-term commitment.  The categories and winners include:

  • Long term Commitment: Bank of America
Bell Canada & Microsoft
Bell Canada & Microsoft representatives receiving awards
  • Public Education: Bell Canada
  • Technology Innovation: Microsoft Corp
  • Early Adoption: Alt-N
  • Non-profit Leadership TRUSTe

Supporting Quotes from Award Winners:

We are honored that our commitment to rapidly transform online safety concepts into real-world products for the ArvelHathcock - Alt-N
small-to-medium business community has been recognized by AOTA," said Arvel Hathcock, founder and CEO of Alt-N Technologies. "We will continue to expand our promotion of online safety features to the MDaemon email server user community by deploying additional safety functionality such as backscatter protection and email certification in 2007."

Eric Johnson - Bank of America"We are pleased to be recognized for our hard work and diligent effort in protecting our customers," states Erik Johnson, Senior Vice President and manager of Secure E-mail Services at Bank of America. "We feel it's important to constantly keep raising the bar to provide secure services to our customers and business partners, and work with law enforcement and businesses outside our organization to help drive higher security standards across the industry."

"Being named a first-time winner of an Online Safety Leadership Award is a great honor for Sympatico and we're grateful to the AOTA for recognizing our strong commitment to making the Internet as safe as possible for Canadians," said Brad Fisher, Vice President, Consumer Internet Services, Bell Canada. "We take Internet security and the protection of Canadians extremely seriously and it is very gratifying to be singled out as an industry leader."

"At PayPal, our top priority is to ensure our customers stay safe when shopping online. To do this, we must combat phishing and identity theft through collaboration with the industry, law enforcement, and consumers alike," said Michael Barrett, Chief Information Security Officer at PayPal.  "As one of the world's largest online payment services, we are honored to be recognized as a leader in helping to preserve consumer trust online."

"We are pleased to receive recognition in the AOTA Leadership Awards for our commitment in technology innovation and industry collaboration," said Ryan Hamlin, general manager of the Safety Technology and Strategy Group at Microsoft. "The business value and consumer protection being realized from Sender ID and the Microsoft Phishing Filter is helping to protect hundreds of millions of users and businesses from these threats, helping to enhance online safety, trust and confidence for the entire ecosystem.  AOTA is bringing businesses, the industry and government Fran Maier - TRUSTetogether and its work is to be commended."

"TRUSTe's accomplishments in promoting online trust and individual privacy are the direct result of the commitment of our 2,400 privacy seal sealholders," said Fran Maier executive director and President of TRUSTe.  "Adopting authentication technologies and meeting standards for self-regulation play an important role in ensuring the Internet remains a trusted platform for innovation and engagement."

The AOTA Leadership Awards were judged by a panel of experts in online safety, including Paul Judge of SecureComputing, Jim Campbell of ESPC, Laura Mather of MarkMonitor, Fran Maier of TRUSTe, Lana McGilvray of Datran Media, Pat Peterson of IronPort Systems and the AOTA staff.    

AOTA Program Details>    More Summit Photos>

About the Authentication and Online Trust Alliance (AOTA)
Founded in October 2004, the mission of AOTA is to enhance online trust and confidence, by facilitating best practices and the deployment of Internet authentication and reputation standards and solutions. With the onslaught of phishing and forged email, this collaboration is critical to help ensure the reliability and deliverability of email, reinforce online trust and confidence, and to protect the brands and domains of businesses worldwide.  

AOTA's steering committee members include Acxiom Digital, Datran Media, the Direct Marketing Association, Epsilon, IronPort Systems, MarkMonitor, Microsoft Corporation, RSA, the Security Division of EMC, Secure Computing Corporation and Symantec Corporation.  For more information, visit www.aotalliance.org/

Media Contact:
Kathleen Formidoni blast! PR for the AOTA
(919) 833-9975 x11
kathleen@blastpr.com

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