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[REBOL] Re: MS, non-MS, and "email" as we know it

From: pwoodward::cncdsl::com at: 12-Jul-2003 9:22

Ken - I see several problems with the "Accept mail from known contacts only" approach. It's easy enough to implement in just about every version of Outlook and Outlook Express since Office 97. Just create a filter that moves all emails to your deleted folder if the senders email address is _not_ in a list. However this still ignores web sites that use email verification, or send sales reciepts. There's just about no way to know what email address those messages will be coming from. So, with MS's default approach coming up in Outlook2003, this may create some problems. It's similar to the "Response required to send" approach being used by ISPs like Earthlink. For instance if you were an Earthlink subscriber, when my email to you hits their email server, that automatically triggers an email back to me, containing a clickable URL. I _must_ click the link in order for the email to end up in your in-box. However, what if I am a machine? I'm the US-Airways web server, sending you the reciept and itinerary for the tickets you just bought. I will hardly be clicking the URL - and you'll get no verification that your purchase was successful. I think things like the "known contacts only" approach will work fine for intra-office email. There's usually a known list of employees to draw upon (a directory like LDAP or Active Server). But it starts to run into problems with inter-office approaches (Lotus Notes allowed for cross certification of user directories, and it was still a PITA), and email that might come from other, legitimate sources - friends and family for instance. The "response required" approach would work fine if every legitimate email sent was from a human being; but that's just not the case when dealing with e-commerce sites. And don't expect Amazon to make their outbound email reciept address "known" when it could be used for abusive purposes. Just my two cents - "known only" and "response required" are OK ideas, but they do have flaws, and won't solve the Spam problem w/o introducing new ones. - Porter