Spam filtering continues to vie for the post of "Job #1" in IT shops worldwide. Recently, U.S. FTC commissioners hosted a two-day summit to grapple with e-mail authentication, once seemingly poised as a potent solution for the spam problem. First attempts to make email more traceable came up against some friction in Internet circles.
While filtering of spam is a daily job – authentication shows promise as a longer term remedy. Viewers suggest that spammers will keep spamming, unless they can be held accountable. Yet, the nature of the Internet to date has been to embrace anonymity.
In a keynote introducing the FTC summit, Jon Leibowitz, Federal Trade Commissioner, pointed to progress of several authentication system proposals, including both IP-based and signature based approaches. Said Leibowitz, "Any authentication system should protect the privacy, anonymity and free expression of noncommercial email users." As well, he maintained, new systems should be backward compatible.
Just prior to the summit, a group of vendors urged a phased intro incorporating multiple approaches and technologies. Led by Cisco and others, the truste.org group focused on the value of IP-based solutions rendered using the Sender ID Framework (SIDF). This is a combination of SPF (Sender Policy Framework) and the Microsoft Caller ID for E-mail draft proposals, and it has recently been altered based on input from the IETF MARID working group and others.
Notes/Domino developers and admins can keep an eye of these doings, but they must do the daily work of Bayesian [and other] filtering as well. Extensions in Lotus Domino 6 seek to better enable the front-line worker in the anti-spam battle. Lotus Notes/Domino features, just now in beta, are expected to ease the filtering burden too.