Kling on Spam - More on E2E-T2B
[Posted to Random Bytes on March 16, 2003 10:28 PM| Links to this post ]
Arnold Kling responded to my earlier bit about E2E-T2B with a question about my reference to filtering at points within the network and states that doing so would require a migration from SMTP to CMTP. He also asks what the cost and consequences of doing so would be.

Well, the cost and consequences are completely predicated on actually moving to CMTP. And nothing I said has anything to do with developing new protocols. Spam filtering, at least in the sense that I was thinking about it (is there any other?) is an application level solution. No matter where you put it on the network, its application level - just like a mail server is an application level solution. In fact, SMTP proxies make the network location of these tools largely irrelevant.

There are anti-spam measures that work at a protocol level. Certain ISPs (the smart ones) force their users to use specific SMTP servers. This means that customers of these ISPs are forced to use that SMTP server and only that SMTP server - which means that relaying is impossible from these networks. As long as these ISPs also place limits on how much mail their customers can send and how often they send it, no more spam gets sent from these networks.

Which leads me to my own spam solution. It has nothing to do with CMTP (whatever that is), has nothing to do with charging fees for sending or receiving and has nothing to do with enhanced filtering anywhere on the network.

Providers must be made legally responsible for the actions of users on their networks - or they must take this responsibility. Imagine what would happen if every single ISP and network provider in the United States said tomorrow that SPAM was no longer acceptable on their networks and took affirmative actions such as those that I describe to ensure that none gets sent from their networks? I predict it would go away in less than one year - globally.

Now what are the chances of that happening?

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Agreed - everyone needs to remember that it will take a myriad of treatments to render the problem "solved". There are no magic bullets, but that doesn't mean that advances aren't forthcoming.


Posted by: Ross Rader on March 29, 2003 06:30 PM

I don't know... I'm finding that challenge/response is doing wonders for my inbox. It even makes going through the un-responded junk box fun, wading through thousands of spams that don't get into my inbox, and noticing trends.

But I've not had a single spam in my inbox in almost a month now.

I'm not afraid to post my email address anymore, which is saying a lot, I think.


Posted by: Christopher Ambler on April 14, 2003 01:39 PM

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