Yahoo releases internet standard draft for using DNS as public key server

Victor.Duchovni at Victor.Duchovni at
Fri May 28 15:20:52 EDT 2004

On Fri, 28 May 2004, Ed Gerck wrote:

> The main problem with this approach is revealed in a mind slip by Yahoo
> themselves at :
>   For consumers, such as Yahoo! Mail users or a grandmother accessing email
>   through a small mid-western ISP, industry support for sender authentication
>   technologies will mean that they can start trusting email again
> It's "industry support". We know what it means: multiple, conflicting
> approaches, slow, fragmented adoption --> will not work.

And indeed some will view the various sender authentication proposals as
misguided solutions for the wrong problems, while others will be simply
disinclined to spend money to upgrade their working "just fine" MTAs so
these will by no means be universally adopted.

The spammers will increase the cost of receiving a clean mail stream, but
if that increase is not too high and the filter accuracy is high enough,
email will continue to work just fine.

The bargain basement email providers may be disinclined to pay more to
provide a commodity service where the competition often offers the service
at no cost. There may in the future be a larger market for premium email
services, with a second market for low to zero cost mailboxes subjected to
a kinder, gentler spam stream (likely from the email provider).

How soon will the spammers get into the business of hosting free mailboxes
for people who actually buy spamvertized products. Much easier to send the
spam to their own users, let them indicate their preferences, set up
forwarded notifications, ...

What things brings us to is that a major part of the problem are of course
the people who buy the spamvertized products. So long as there is a new
sucker born every minute, there will also be someone ready to take
advantage of same.

Can spam be solved through end-user education? "Do not buy spammed
products" campaign signs right next to the public health signs against
smoking? "How to not be this minute's sucker" education in schools? :-)

Is spam really that important a societal ill, if the spammers had better
parenting, schooling and better career prospects would they still spam or
litter the sidewalk? Are human societies free of spam and more serious
ills possible or even desirable (what is the cost of eliminating the

We get too carried away with spam, as threats to our way of life there are
far more serious problems...


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