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North American Network Operators Group

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Re: How do you stop outgoing spam?

  • From: Iljitsch van Beijnum
  • Date: Tue Sep 10 16:46:04 2002

On Tue, 10 Sep 2002 wrote:

> We don't even have to throw out SMTP - there's STARTTLS, AUTH, PGP, and
> so on.  The problem is that we don't know how to do a PKI that will
> scale (note that the current SSL certificate scheme isn't sufficient, as
> it usually does a really poor job of handling CRLs - and the *lack* of
> ability to distribute a CRL (which is essentially a blacklist) is the crux
> of the problem.

So let everyone have their own. If you want to send me email, create a
certificate for yourself. Then before you can actually tranfser messages,
your system asks permission to do so, my system sends back a challenge to
yours so I'm sure you haven't faked your reply address and your
certificate is whitelisted. If you spam me, I can blacklist your
certificate, your email address or your domain. If I handle mail for many
users, I can apply some heuristics: new certificates/domains only get to
send a small number of messages per hour initially or something similar.

> It's not as easy as it looks.

Granted, but it's also not so hard we can't improve on a 20 year old
protocol. As (nearly) always, the problem is backward compatibility. That
makes it next to impossible to get something useful off the ground.

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