Sender ID’s sketchy beginnings

The Washington Post produced this story about Meng Wong, the inventor of Sender ID which is well worth a read, particularly for those of you watching the anti-spam goings on over at Microsoft.

Meng Wong originally aligned his technology with Microsoft upon their promise that the it would remain royalty free. It wasn’t long before Microsoft was filing patents. New anti-spam standards still haven’t been agreed on, and everyone has their hand out.

And inboxes everywhere keep filling up with junk.


Meanwhile, here is a decent explanation of why Sender ID is not going to stop spam. In summary, Sender ID is an authentication technology – meaning it can check an email address against the originating server’s IP address to see if an email header has been manipulated. Unfortunately, any server (and associated domain) not reporting its information in this way could still be used by spammers. In other words, Sender ID COULD be used to stop spam, but only if every single email server on the planet used it. Hence, Microsoft’s attempt at cramming down everyone’s throat by making it mandatory in Hotmail. Now only Hotmail users won’t get any spam (or any legitimate mail either).

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