The whitelisting begins. I haven't communicated with firstname.lastname@example.org in quite some time. Yesterday I sent him (and a number of others) a message that likely would have interested him. Here's the reply:
Date: Wed, 4 Dec 2002 15:39:58 -0800
X-Priority: 3 (Normal)
X-ChoiceMail-Registration-Request: ChoiceMail registration request
Hello, you recently sent a message to me at email@example.com.
My mailbox is protected from junk mail by ChoiceMail - a
permission-based email system that requires senders to be granted
permission to contact the recipient. Please click on the link below
to verify your identity.
[Click here to request approval]
When your browser opens, fill in your name and a short reason for
wanting to send e-mail to me. If your reason is acceptable, your
first email and all subsequent e-mails from you will be delivered to
There is no need to send your original mail again.
Please visit DigiPortal Software's web site at
http://www.digiportal.com to find out how ChoiceMail can help prevent
your in-box overflowing with junk e-mail!
Please note that if you don't register within 4 day(s), all the
messages you sent will be automatically deleted.
The email thread that provoked this message will soon dissolve. Including firstname.lastname@example.org might have been useful, but the moment has passed. If I urgently need to contact email@example.com, I may have to grit my teeth and register to do so. But no ad-hoc communication is going to make it over that activation threshold.
From the DigiPortal homepage:
ChoiceMail is a spam-blocking system based on the premise that all incoming email is assumed to be spam until senders have obtained permission (called registering) to send you email.
Works like a champ, too. "In my tests, it cut my spam to zero," the site quotes Wall Street Journal columnist Walt Mossberg as saying. Well, sure. Who in their right mind would register to talk to you without a compelling reason?
This is another assault on the Internet's end-to-end architecture. It also illustrates the endgame of personalization -- a scenario aptly described somewhere as "the daily me": my news, my weather, my buddies.
If we rule out spontaneous association then we will not have defeated the spammers. They will have defeated us.
Former URL: http://weblog.infoworld.com/udell/2002/12/05.html#a531