Bill Gates' ludicrous ideas to "block spam"
Has anyone heard any details about Gates' new ideas on how to "block"
spam? The Money section of Thursday's USA Today had an article about two
rediculous ideas Gates came up with to fight spam. These ideas, IMHO,
show he has no clue how the Internet mail system really works.
First, he wants to create a "challenge response" scheme before the
recipient can accept the message. Mail from unrecognized senders would
be bounced back by the client software with "a computational puzzle"
attached that would force the sending computer to take another several
seconds of CPU time before bouncing the message back again to the
recipient's ISP's mail server for retrieval. This is what I fear:
1. Spammer sends junk email from bogus origin to client's ISP's server
2. ISP's incoming SMTP server routes message to client's mailbox
3. Recipient's mail client downloads incoming message for analysis
4. Recipient's client does not recognize sender and sends 'challenge'
5. Recipient's ISP's server cannot deliver 'challenge' to bogus sender
6. Recipient's ISP's server attempts bounce notice for 'challenge'
7. Recipient's mail client downloads and rejects bounce notice sender
8. Endless loop of challenge and bounce messages or vast double bounces
I think Gates' second idea is more of a joke. He wants to require mail
senders to "offer cash" to the recipient. The recipient would get the
cash if they chose to open a message from an unknown sender. Potential
customers would have to pay to send an inquiry to a company asking about
an item the customer wishes to purchase. Spammers can easily say, "Sure,
I'll offer you fifty dollars to read my message. Just try to collect it
from me." For this to be effective, the Internet mail system would have
to be "prepaid" for each recipient per email when relaying messages from
mail server to mail server. The sender would have to pay an upfront fee
to be permitted to send mail. The sender's ISP would have to deduct this
fee from the sender's account and be prepaid with every ISP through whom
their clients correspond so that the receiving ISP's servers could debit
the sending ISP's accounts. There would also have to be tracking methods
to see when credits are owned for unopened messages.