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February 8, 2006

Yahoo Adds Detail to Email Spam Plan

On February 6th, I published an entry about a plan by Yahoo and AOL to charge some senders to have mail delivered to member's in-boxes.  Yahoo provided this comment:

I'd like to provide some clarification about Yahoo!'s plans for testing the Goodmail certified mail system. Unfortunately today, there is no guarantee 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
http://www.goodmailsystems.com/news/pressrelease102605.php
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
http://www.ietf.org/internet-drafts/draft-delany-domainkeys-base-03.txt
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.

Miles Libbey
Antispam Product Manager
Yahoo! Mail

February 8, 2006 | Permalink

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