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Re: Mail, not to be confused with spam...

2011-12-28 21:25:04

On 12/21/11 5:22 AM, Rich Kulawiec wrote:

 On Wed, Dec 07, 2011 at 03:47:00PM -0800, Douglas Otis wrote:
> Without a solid defense of actual sources, email will continue to
> be abused. On the other hand, social networks benefit from rapid
> removal of abusive accounts, since much of their ad revenue is
> based upon unique identifiers.

 Two points:

 a) Most "social networks" *are* the spammers. They've been proving
 this to my spamtraps for years. Many of them will prove it again
 this week. b) Social networks themselves are being overrun by
 fictional users, see:


This was not about how social networks treat email, but I agree with your point. Email lacks an authenticated identifier of the administrative domain transmitting messages. And no, DKIM does not fulfill this role. While social networks may be overrun by fictional users (which is great from an ad revenue standpoint), each user is still authenticated by the administrative domain. This authentication (lacking with email) provides users control over who is granted access to their inbox or content. A savvy user may also depend upon shared relationships.

 As the author observes:

 "This industry is millions of dollars per year already and [shows]
 roughly exponential growth," says Zhao. "I think we're still in the
 early stages of this phenomenon."

This also represents a generation no longer trusting email and often don't even have email-addresses. And yes, there are many security vulnerabilities with proprietary social networks, especially with respect to smartphone apps. There are also financial incentives for fixing problems affecting users when they become apparent. Google offers finer grain control over shared content, for example. Fix the email authentication issue, and email could play an integral role in a trusted social network.