J.D. Falk Memorial Award Presented to FBI Special Agent Tom Grasso

Posted by George Bilbrey on

I wanted to share with you all that yesterday was the award ceremony for the J.D. Falk Memorial Award. As many of you know, J.D. was a Return Path colleague who we lost to cancer last November. At the end of the year Matt Blumberg (CEO and Chairman of Return Path) announced that we were working with the folks at M3AAWG to fund an award that would honor someone in the community who was making a big impact on cyber security and the safety of the internet. Yesterday M3AAWG presented that award to Tom Grasso

Here's information from the original submission to give you a sense of what Tom did to earn this award:

Tom Grasso, FBI

Tom spearheaded the DNS Changer working group. This group ensured that hundreds of thousands of internet users around the world were not kicked offline when the FBI implemented "Operation Ghost Click".  He created a working group out of nothing, got huge companies to spend lots of time and resources notifying customers of infections, and got competitors and corporate "enemies" to work together to protect users of the Internet. Without this work, several hundred thousand internet users would have gone offline at once without any prior warning. Their work ensured that most people were able to get cleaned up prior to the shutdown, and that the world knew it was coming.

Tom's presentation yesterday was really wonderful. He spent most of his allotted time talking about everyone else who contributed to the project, then described the project itself. It was a really wonderful, very humble and humbling speech. 

It was a wonderful tribute to J.D. and the many others who are continuing his work to make the internet safer for all.

M3AAWG Press Release

FBI Podcast on DNS Changer with Tom Grasso


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About George Bilbrey

George Bilbrey is the founder of the industry’s first deliverability service provider, Assurance Systems, which merged with Return Path in 2003. He is a recognized expert on the subjects of email reputation and deliverability and is active in many industry organizations, including the Messaging Anti-Abuse Working Group (MAAWG) and the Online Trust Alliance (OTA). In his role as president of Return Path George is the driving force behind the ongoing innovation of our products and services. Prior to Return Path, George served as Director of Product Management at Worldprints.com and as a partner in the telecommunications group at Mercer Management Consulting. He holds a B.A. in economics from Duke University, and an MBA from the Kenan-Flagler School of Business, University of North Carolina.

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