Spam Control Considered Harmful

Scott Hazen Mueller zorch at
Tue Oct 28 18:14:56 UTC 1997

>I am worried about the tools we are developing and deploying to control spam. 

Fundamentally, we are no smarter than anyone else.  Competent engineers are
not uniformly "good", heck we can't even all agree on what constitutes "good".
Creating the tools ourselves does not create the demand for those tools - if
some party (a totalitarian government of whatever stripe, for example) wants
them badly enough, they will create them, or dangle enough money in front of
someone who can to entice them to do so.

That said, I feel that the only technological solution to the spam problem is
a large-scale re-structuring of Internet mail to provide for secure
authentication and cost sharing for received e-mail.  The scale and cost of
such a deployment makes something like that a political and social problem,

Other technological solutions are holding actions only.

Scott Hazen Mueller              zorch at          +1 415 281 6550 x269
      Vice President Engineering, Whole Earth Networks (Hooked and The Well)

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