Online marketers push for self regulation before it's too late

Nobody likes spam (except maybe the members of the Monty Python troupe), but a group of online marketers, calling themselves the Email Service Provider Coalition (an initiative of the Network Advertising Initiative) has announced plans to create a system to register, rate and authenticate advertising on the 'net.

With growing pressure from officials and legislatures world wide, it is no surprise that the organization is now feeling the need to provide an answer to the "SPAM question" before it has one imposed upon it.

The proposal involves a registry of bulk email senders to be used as a "white list", and is not dissimilar to something that I suggested to a major spam filtering company over a year and change ago now, but I digress.

However, the big question is how this will really change spam. Without true origination verification, it is almost impossible to get a real sense of who is sending what from where.

In response to this part of the problem, members meeting at ISPCON this year tossed about a proposal from The ePrivacy Group to use their proprietary trusted email system to provide trusted email services.

There have been many versions of these proposals in the past, but as long as email is (relatively) free to the sender and as long as there are benefits to hiding your identity, and as long as we value a certain level of anonymity in our net, spam will continue.