Friday, September 03, 2004

Caller ID : What's Next?

SPAMMING is considered one of the main activity that consumes a lot of bandwidth and also privacy issues, since people send mass emails to another person and it's filled with unwanted information, such as MLM (Multi Level Marketting), product promotion, etc. Many companies have tried several ways to reduce spam, but unfortunately, the spammer is getting smarter and they always create another way to reach their target.

Microsoft, represented by Bill Gates (Chairman and Chief Software Architect) announced a detailed vision and proposals on how technology can be used to help put an end to spam, including outlining the company's Coordinated Spam Reduction Initiative (CSRI) and technical specifications for the establishment of Caller ID for E-Mail.

He thinks that this technology will change the economic model for sending spam and put spammers out of business. Microsoft believes some relatively simple but systemwide changes to the e-mail infrastructure are needed to provide greater certainty about the origin of an e-mail message and to enable legitimate senders to more clearly distinguish themselves from spammers.

Meanwhile, The Apache Project has rejected the Sender ID proposal for e-mail user authentication, saying the terms of Microsoft's license for the underlying technology makes it incompatible with open source software. The decision illustrates how anti-spam efforts have become the latest battleground between the open source community and Microsoft. Microsoft's patents were an immediate problem for open source community.

In the contrary, many vendors have agreed to support this technology, such as Go Daddy, Symantec, VeriSign and America Online. Some people thinks that Called ID will eventually be history in short time.

If only Microsoft would change their license available under a license that is compatible with the GPL [GNU General Public License] or other open-source licenses, maybe the OpenSource projects will gladly accept this technology and work together to prevent SPAMMING became larger activity that can't be stopped. Many OpenSource projects have great skills about this technology. For example, Sendmail has released the first implementation of its Sender ID authentication specification for testing under the Sendmail Open Source License, a variation of the BSD (Berkeley Software Distribution) license. This module has been released as an open-source plug-in to the Sendmail MTA (Mail Transfer Agent). The Sendmail open-source mail filter, or "milter," is available from Sendmail.

What will Microsoft do with this situation? Will they change their license or will they agreed to work with OpenSource projects that have great community around the world to make this projects heads into goals? We will see in the next three months.