Bill Gates’ view on solving the spam problem

This content is 20 years old. I don't routinely update old blog posts as they are only intended to represent a view at a particular point in time. Please be warned that the information here may be out of date.

I’ve just read an interesting executive e-mail from Bill Gates in which he discusses preserving and enhancing the benefits of e-mail, whilst curbing the epidemic of junk e-mail. Not surprisingly, this includes a plug for Microsoft’s Sender ID proposed standard.

Suffering from my fair share of domain spoofing, I think that Sender ID sounds a reasonable approach to take, although doubtlessly there will be those from the open source and Macintosh communities who will take offence at any technology (co-)developed by Microsoft (even as part of the Anti-Spam Technical Alliance, whose members include AOL, Yahoo, Earthlink, Comcast and BT).

One point of particular interest, was the comment around the possibility of charging for e-mail. I’ve read various articles which have suggested this (although I had guessed this was non-technical journalists failing to appreciate the idea of charging computing time to “qualify” e-mails and slow down spammers), but according to Microsoft:

    “We firmly believe that monetary charges would be inappropriate and contrary to the fundamental purpose of the Internet as an extremely efficient and inexpensive medium for communications.”

Gates also discusses third-party e-mail accreditation services.

It all makes interesting reading, and the full article is available on the Microsoft website.

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