How to Stop Junk E-Mail: Charge for the Stamp

Ian G iang at
Wed Feb 16 07:29:21 PST 2005

Peter Gutmann wrote:

>Barry Shein <bzs at> writes:
>>Eventually email will just collapse (as it's doing) and the RBOCs et al will
>>inherit it and we'll all be paying 15c per message like their SMS services.
>And the spammers will be using everyone else's PC's to send out their spam, so
>the spam problem will still be as bad as ever but now Joe Sixpack will be
>paying to send it.
>Hmmm, and maybe *that* will finally motivate software companies, end users,
>ISPs, etc etc, to fix up software, systems, and usage habits to prevent this.

My view - as controversial as ever - is that the problem
is unfixable, and mail will eventually fade away.  That
which will take its place is p2p / IM / chat / SMS based.
In that world, it is still reasonable to build ones own IM
system for the needs of ones own community, and not
to have to worry about standards.  Which means one can
build in the defences that are needed, when they are

Chat is already higher volume (I read somewhere) in
raw quantity of messages sent than email.

A fate for email is that as spam grows to take over more
of the share of the shrinking pie, but consumes more of
the bandwidth, the ISPs will start to charge people for
email, and not for IM.  Those left paying for it are going
to discover it is cheaper to ditch it and let the spammers
fight over the shreds.  That's just one plausible future,


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