Author: Severin Walker (M3AAWG Chairman)
At each of our annual February General Meetings, M3AAWG honors Mary Litynski, whose relentless work ethic solidified the early success of General Meetings and guided our organization to help create a safer online ecosystem for all. This award recognizes a member of our community who exhibits Litynski’s spirit by facilitating industry collaboration and whose lifetime achievements have been instrumental in driving anti-abuse initiatives forward.
This year, we’re honored to award Alex Bobotek, M3AAWG’s Technical-Mobile Committee Co-Chair and AT&T’s Lead of Mobile Messaging Anti-Abuse Architecture and Strategy, the annual Mary Litynski Award.
Alex has spent the better part of two decades within the M3AAWG community striving to make a rapidly evolving worldwide mobile messaging ecosystem safer for all. A leader in mobile spam prevention, Alex has helped drive multiple initiatives around awareness, best practices, solutions, and standards, and his contributions are behind the addition of M3AAWG’s third “M” and continued expansion into mobile messaging and mobile networks.
Please join us in celebrating Alex’s contributions.
We also sat down with Alex to learn more about his work within M3AAWG, what being selected as this year’s Mary Litynski Award recipient means to him, and what he’s excited about in the months to come.
Could you please tell us a little bit about your career and background outside of M3AAWG and how you came to join the M3AAWG ecosystem?
I have an MSEE from the University of Washington, a BSEE from George Mason University and 38 years of experience in computer and systems engineering. The last 23 of those years have been at AT&T specializing in mobile data and applications.
I’m currently AT&T Labs' Lead of Messaging Anti-Abuse Architecture and Strategy and am or have been active in mobile industry standards and collaboration forums such as M3AAWG, WAP Forum, Open Mobile Alliance, CTIA, USTelecom, and GSMA.
I first heard about M3AAWG in early 2005. After attending the March San Diego meeting, I knew I had found and was eager to become a part of the most knowledgeable and effective messaging anti-abuse community. I couldn’t believe how much I had learned in that one week and was excited to put this knowledge to use right away at AT&T.
What do you enjoy most about your role within M3AAWG?
I’m passionate about my role as the Technical-Mobile Committee Co-Chair and shaping our priorities, but M3AAWG is so much more than just the structured conferences and sessions.
M3AAWG is an ardent community where anti-abuse knowledge is shared and where independent expertise is combined into creative ideas for policies, protocols, processes, and systems for all to use in the fight against abuse. Furthermore, it’s where the alliances that are necessary to put these ideas into practice are formed.
Within M3AAWG, members can immediately see how and where they can make a difference. It’s being involved in these tangible successes that are most satisfying.
What does receiving this award mean to you?
It’s a great honor. I’ve spent the last few weeks reflecting on our work over the years and the initiatives that I’ve been involved with, and to be recognized for this work and industry action is especially meaningful.
It’s important that I acknowledge that these aren’t independent actions that take place in a vacuum. Collaboration with the many industry partners I’ve met through M3AAWG, the energy that’s fostered within the M3AAWG community, and the support from many leaders within M3AAWG and AT&T are the ignition and propellant for this award.
What’s next for you and your work with M3AAWG?
There are two initiatives that come to mind right away. First, we’re looking to improve the mobile messaging end-user abuse reporting systems to facilitate more, more timely, and more accurate reports. We’re also working to help share threat information like phishing attack and victim data more broadly, with the appropriate protection of end-user privacy.