London Company Launches New Content Filtering Technology

Jeff Berg
LONDON – As the Federal Trade Commission considering offering a $100,000 reward to people that turn in spammers, a new London-based company specializing in network-level content filtering launched today, debuting new technology aimed at stopping adult content, malware and spam from reaching users.

StreamShield Networks, a subsidiary of United Kingdom-based IT consultants Detica Limited, unveiled its new Content Security Gateway, a hardware product marketed toward service providers and mobile operators that uses the StreamScan search engine to intercept and scan 250,000 web page requests and 5,000 emails every second.

“Just as water is cleaned by utility companies and is ready for use straight out of the pipe, so our mission is to make the Internet safe, clean and ready for use straight out of the broadband pipe,” said Simon Gawne, founder and CEO of StreamShield.

Attacking the idea of content filtering at a provider level is a quickly evolving technology, according to Frost and Sullivan analyst Jose Lopez.

“I believe the migration of content security into service providers’ and operators’ networks, so that protection is provided as a managed service to businesses and consumers, is a trend which will fuel the evolution of the market,” Lopez said. "The barrier to this happening so far has been the availability of technology to do this in real-time, at very high speeds."

StreamShield also unveiled a managed Internet-based subscription service called StreamShield Protector, designed to integrate content scanning into both email and web browsing applications.

The company’s launch follows a survey conducted by MORI that suggests a majority of Internet users look to their service providers to black spam, viruses and obscene websites and that 45 percent of users would be willing pay an extra $3.50 each year for a provider-based filtering service.

Twenty-nine percent of those surveyed said the would be willing to pay an extra $9 a year for the service.

StreamShield’s debut also coincides with the release of an FTC report that says six-figure incentives might be the only way to convince people to reveal the identities of co-workers and friends that they know are involved in the spreading of unsolicited spam. The FTC did not reveal whether they supported the reward system or not.