Boring Spammers to Stop Spam?


New technological methods of retarding spamming efforts are currently being implemented by a Canadian ISP. The system works by retarding the communications between incoming mail servers and incoming messages. While most mail servers accept messages almost instantaneously, the technology, dubbed “Traffic Control,” artificially extends the time between the time the incoming mail message seeks to be delivered, and the time the incoming mail server will actually accept the message.


A real world analogy, for example, might be witnessed on the dating scene. A young woman who insists on being courted and coddled before even a first kiss will prove to be too much trouble for those who have only transient interests in her. Traffic Control subscribes to this theory in your inbox. Those who really “love” you, i.e. legitimate senders, will make longer and more persistent attempts to reach you. Those who do not, including most bulk-mailers, will not.


While the technology is temporarily promising, it suffers from the same concerns that most other spam-fighting technology faces: it can be technologically rebuffed by those who would seek to do so. Spammers may initially look for greener pastures to avoid this method. However, if this practice is widely adopted it will lead to slower communications between legitimate users, which include those who use appropriate permission based e-mail marketing. Furthermore, the adoption of this technique will eventually lead to, simply stated, more patient spammers.


Bottom Line: While technological advances may lead to short-term benefits, the long term solution to the problems of spam depend on shutting down major operators, or a macro-level technological change adopted by every mail server in the world. Until those solutions come to fruition, most anti-spam processes will be temporary bandages to the problem.

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