Friday, April 09, 2004

The end of the open, end-to-end Internet?

From the Washington Post:

"What we're trying to create is a zone on the Internet where mail flows -- where the airlines and Amazons and eBays can send mail and it will arrive cleanly," said John Reid, a spokesman for Spamhaus, a Britain-based nonprofit company trying to reduce the amount of spam online.

A dot-mail domain is a kind of "white list," techie parlance for a compilation of Internet addresses that ISPs and system administrators know is trustworthy. Companies with dot-mail addresses would have to ask e-mail recipients not only for their permission to send them material, but also a confirmation generated by the recipient.

I am not enthusiastic about this approach. It could evolve into a spam railroad for large corporations. As I suggested in my article, Unsolicited Commercial E-mail Blues we need to persuade credit card issuers to stop offering merchant accounts to spammers.

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