Throw away the Internet and start over?
jm at jmason.org
Wed Apr 23 00:02:41 PDT 2003
Jeff Bone said:
> On Monday, Apr 21, 2003, at 23:59 US/Central, Mr. FoRK wrote:
> > If you have an email-like application that is immune to spam, just
> > build it
> > & in a couple years (or months) the network effect will swing your way.
> BTW, just to be clear: I'm not endorsing this idea. I think it's
> worth some consideration / exploration.
> Think about this: a significant amount of all mail messages are being
> read today through Web-based interfaces e.g. Hotmail, Yahoo, and
> others. These things already impose (different) resource models on top
> of the venerable mailbox. How tough would it be to abstract /
> standardize this, close the "sending" loop and gain substantial
> functionality in the process? Not too tough, IMHO.
Yeah, but the problem of spam would not be fixed by such a beast. That's
the issue that's driving this idea of replacing SMTP, and unless a new
protocol can actually solve that issue, it won't have made any difference,
apart from a lot of upgrade pain.
Consider that windows pop-up messaging spam is on the increase; that's
spammers bringing spam to another protocol (presumably because filters are
causing them too much pain in SMTPland these days ;)
In SMTP, the sender is not authenticated. In SMTP-over-HTTP, there'll
still be spam, unless the sender is authed. And who does the authing
across the entire internet? Verisign? ;)
That's the problem.
On the other side, consider a protocol where spamming is hard: IM (at
least in the AIM/MSN case. Note that ICQ was vulnerable to spam, and is
no longer used as a result as far as I can see.)
IM avoids spam, by moving to a model of "you can't IM me unless I add your
name to a whitelist first". You can do that now, in SMTP, but it doesn't
fit some of SMTP's best use cases -- like this list. SMTP has some
tricky use cases, where spam can come in...
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