February 6, 2006
The Problem With Email
It's spam, of course, but the latest solution is not exactly a winner depending on who you are and what you do. AOL and Yahoo have announced a certified email service where senders will pay to send mail to members. They're partnering with Goodmail Systems who will create a filter that will separate commercial mail into tiers. Those who pay will go straight to the inbox while those who don't risk their messages being delivered late, or to a bulk email box, or with links and pictures removed. The fee would be between $2 and $3 per 1000 emails.
The companies are saying this would protect their members against spam, but others look at this as a crass attempt to open up another revenue stream. The companies involved, of course, deny this. There are no reports on the mechanics of the system from a consumer perspective.
February 6, 2006 | Permalink
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I'd like to provide some clarification about Yahoo!'s plans for testing the Goodmail certified mail system. Unfortunately today, there is no guarentee that email won't be delivered late, or to a bulk email box -- today, the spammers (pretty convincingly) pretend to be real users sending mail, resulting in filtering false positives. In our antispam team, we're certainly always working to develop more accurate filters -- delivering those messages that you want and value in your inbox, while delivering those that you think as spam to the bulk mail box.
Anyways, our initial testing will be focused on "transactional" email messages such as bank statements and receipts, as stated in this
release. These types of messages are heavily targeted in phishing attacks -- if we can highlight the real ones, users gain additional phishing protection.
Our delivery policies for non "certified mail" messages will not change.
So this won't curb spam. We'll just be able to do a better job in providing a safer environment.
We're also working on that first problem in general. Goodmail's reputation and accreditation service, is a complement to email authentication. As you may be aware, we are major proponent of email authentication, having invented DomainKeys
which mathmatically proves a sender's domain is valid or forged (the spec is now making its way through the IETF as DKIM). As Internet email gains this ability to distinguish between the real and forged, a safer, all email can see a safer and more reliable experience.
Antispam Product Manager
Posted by: Miles Libbey | Feb 7, 2006 9:38:01 PM