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Bonded Future for E-Mail?

Interesting thoughts on the future of e-mail. See the link to Bonded Sender and the Economist article on this approach to putting a "price" on e-mail.

VentureBlog: The Future of Email

While people may debate the death of email, there is no question that many email servers are already overloaded with spam. Current spam solutions are beginning to address the problem, but so far they all suffer from the arms race issue - as fast as we come up with new ways to fight spam, spammers are finding new ways to deliver it to us.

One solution is to charge people to participate in the system. Anybody who pays a fee is automatically on the whitelist. Several companies (such as the Bonded Sender program) are working to provide this solution to legitimate bulk emailers (e.g. travel specials from United Airlines, etc.). United Airlines pays a bond to the company, which they lose if they actually send any significant quantity unsolicited email. The company then provides this list to all of the anti-spam companies so they can properly distinguish bulk email from spam.

When the change comes, it will deliver the future of email to Microsoft.

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