Dean Anderson wrote:
On Tue, 16 Mar 2004, Ed Gerck wrote:
What information theory says is that the probability of detecting
spam is less than 100%.
No, information theory doesn't say that at all.
Sure it says, and that's why a spam filter will never be 100%
effective. I guess we agreed on this before ;-) We also agreed
that spam filters are a user matter, not IETF matter.
Now, you may want to refer to that mythical element, the 'spam-free'
protocol, a protocol that an information theory model says cannot
be built. I guess we also agreed before that a 'spam-free' protocol
is impossible. The IETF should not attempt to develop it.
Thus, in asking for IETF technical solutions for spam, it is
obvious that I do not mean spam filters or 'spam-free' protocols.
We would all be very happy with a protocol that is almost
spam-free -- in fact, I believe we would be quite happy with 90%
at this time. Me thinks we don't need 100% ;-)
An IETF technical solution to reduce spam is doable. Your comment
on 'spam-free' is useful-free ;-)
No, it is quite useful: The IETF can do nothing to prevent spam.
;-) this mantra is becoming a spam.
What interests the IETF are technical spam solutions, for example,
that would prevent email that comes from unidentifiable or rogue
senders/MTAs to be ever received.
The only thing that can acheive this is to turn off the computer.
No, it's a matter of degree. Even if not all spam is preventable,
preventing email address spoofing (even to a degree) would have
a range of benefits. For example, I would no longer receive
those "undelivered" messages for email that I purportedly sent,
but actually never did. And people receiving email from me could
actually trust to some extent the outcome of their filters. And,
to be clear, I'm not talking about PKI.
The IETF can specify protocols with certain features, say PKI, but doing
so will not prevent spam, since the IETF (nor anyone else) cannot specify
a 'spam-free' protocol. This is a result of information theory.
Because it can't be perfect, it can't be done? No one needs perfection.
All we need is to have a degree of spam-freeness that is acceptable.
Sterilized milk is not bacteria-free, it just has a reduced count
of bacteria -- which count is low enough to guarantee its stated
Ed Gerck, who doesn't believe in rejecting every possible spam bit.