May 16th, 2004


on spam

So let's say we want to strike at the heart of spam - the companies spamming in the first place. One serious problem with this is figuring out who really intended to benefit - if spam has massive economic penalties, you might find companies spamming each other's services just to hit each other with fines. You can't trust the spammers or the companies to be honest - if a company denies it asked for spam to be sent out, but the spammer says they did, who do we trust?

Here's a solution. Tell spammers that, if they get a cryptographically signed contract from the company, they won't be fined as badly. Of course the company will be fined far worse, but if the spammer is caught without said contract, the entire burden falls in the spammer's lap.

Of course then the only problems in front of us are (1) keeping the keys private, and (2) that minor problem that the entire world isn't under the same government. But I'll leave those issues to the reader.