[LINK] NYT/SMH: To beat spam, pay to send email
Richard.Chirgwin at informa.com.au
Thu Feb 5 11:41:52 EST 2004
> On Wed, Feb 04, 2004 at 11:43:33AM +1100, Dr. Bob Jansen wrote:
> > I'm still having difficulty understanding why we can't use plain
> > vanila digital signatures to at least provide a way for me
> to filter
> > all unwanted email, including spam.
> > I raised this some time ago on Link.
> > If I have my private key and I use that to sign all emails from me,
> > then if you want to read my emails, your email reader uses
> my public
> > key to accept the email. So, as no spammer will have my
> private key,
> > they can't forge my authenticity through the digital
> signature (if we
> > can believe the security of such keys as claimed by their
> the reason why is simple.
> most people will not sign their email.
> most people are not capable of signing their email.
> most people are not capable of even understanding why signing email
> is a good idea or how to use it to protect their mailbox.
Unable and unwilling, I'm with you. The "why" is explicable.
My view of this is, as my flip remark about MS patents yesterday would
illustrate, that we don't want "dig sig" to become a lever for "must use
this product". Which it would; if mandated upon a population that can't get
standalone products to work, the only "out" is as a "feature" - and MS
really does hold patents for this stuff.
And given the govt's cavalier attitude to computers (Oh look, there goes one
now!) and the unreliability of commercial "trust" companies, who do we
entrust with the role of signature management?
> > I agree that this would necessitate updating all email
> programs, but
> > as these are being updated continuously anyway, this would happen
> software is not the problem. most mail clients are capable
> of digital signing
> and key management now (either natively or via add-on
> products). the problem
> is that people don't use those features and, more
> importantly, that people
> aren't capable of using those features.
> i wish things were different, but the sad truth is that we
> live in a world full
> of not very smart people.
Only half full ... "half the world is below average intelligence".
But to take their side as well, it's pretty naff for the IT to go around
designing systems which only work if you have a B. Comp. Sci.
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