why IPv6 isn't ready for prime time, SMTP edition

Barry Shein bzs at world.std.com
Wed Mar 26 21:06:36 UTC 2014

On March 26, 2014 at 16:59 johnl at iecc.com (John Levine) wrote:
 > I wrote a white paper ten years ago explaining why e-postage is a
 > bad idea, and there is no way to make it work.  Nothing of any
 > importance has changed since then.
 > http://www.taugh.com/epostage.pdf

It's a fine white paper, I just read it again.

But it does tend to make the best the enemy of the good.

I remember during the metered bandwidth arguments many years ago
people asserting similarly that it was (practically) impossible to
implement, would just anger people, was full of holes (hey I can't
completely control my bandwidth usage, some outsider could run it
up!), etc.

Yet, here we are in a world of (mobile) bandwidth caps etc.

Big money has a way of focusing efforts.

I actually think we're just not quite there yet as horrid as spam is.
This is what I alluded to in my previous message.

The next leg will be when the line between "spam" as in questionable
content and commercial "ham" grows fuzzier and fuzzier.

There are for examplee about 1,000 Fortune 1,000 companies, many of
which can name any of us legitimate business contacts. And many of
them have dozens if not hundreds of sub-divisions (e.g., insurance
brokers) who also would qualify as not spam under commonly accepted
definitons (and CAN-SPAM.)

And they will be motivated by the same things which motivated
spammers: (nearly) Free access to our eyeballs, push technology.

My guess is the next generation solution won't be motivated by
end-users being overwhelmed though that will be cited.

It will be motivated by the opportunity to outcapitalize access to our
eyeballs as they realize no one is reading the thousands of pieces of
ham per day, let alone the spam.

This is independent of reputation and similar identity services as a
filter: They're all legitimate! Every one of the 5,000 messages you
got that day were perfectly legitimate, anyone you ever gave your
credit card to for example.

Anyhow, obviously I can go on and on, it's a complex subject.

But I think the solutions will be driven by the creation of economics
around the problem, just as they often are in real life.

And a lot of the leakage can be mitigated merely by big men with big
sticks once money is a factor, rather than magic algorithms (though
they will help of course.)

        -Barry Shein

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