Posted Feb 04, 2005 in Spam.
Email is broken. There is no other way to describe it. We are now so hopelessly flooded with spam, email is beginning to lose its effectiveness as the killer app. But email is absolutely vital. I think it is more important than radio and television - perhaps at least as important as the telephone. It's up there with sliced bread. So what do we do about it?
There needs to be a completely new system, spearheaded by organizations such as the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), to replace the existing one. It should include features like these:
- Some sort of sender verification. Email is received only if the identity of the sender is verified.
- Iron-clad encryption of the message, and any attachments.
- A tax-exempt fee associated with unverified messages.
I would envisage that email addresses would be associated with some sort of virtual account. Sending an unverified email would incur a nominal fee, payable to the intended recipient. A percentage of that fee could be used to pay for some sort of administrative, nation-independent organization to oversee the system.
Maybe this is all unattainable, and wiser folk would be able to see many flaws in my proposed system. But something must be done. And soon.