News: Another Spam Solution. No Really

By | July 28, 2003
 From the I’m Not Sure I Understand This Press Release Dept here’s another spam solution, just in case you thought there weren’t any more. Challenge/Response is a technique used to prevent spam by challenging folk who send an email to you to confirm they are human by responding. I.e: you send an email to me, my spam filter sends a challenge to you, you respond to that, your first email gets through. Easy enough. But Mailblocks, Inc. today reckon that with the new release of its Web-based
Challenge/Response 2.0 ($10 a year and up), they’ve come up with a major innovation: cutting out the challenge bit.
Now of course I could be getting this all wrong and Mailblocks, please put me right here), but the press release quotes Phil Goldman, Mailblocks’ CEO as saying, “We continue to innovate in all areas of our email service, but our most recent release concentrates on removing the greatest perceived barrier to widespread consumer adoption of Challenge/Response – the Challenge itself.” In this version, new senders to Mailblocks’ subscribers will only be challenged once, then, unless they go bad and start sending spam, they won’t be challenged again.
E, I thought that was how it worked anyway. I’m no great fan of Challenge/Response (why inconvenience people who are trying to contact you?), preferring good Bayesian filters, which, you’ll be delighted to know, are 99.25% accurate. I haven’t seen spam in weeks. I kinda miss it (kidding. Don’t spam me). Anyway, back to Mailblocks. Maybe what they’re saying is that if you get accepted by any Mailblocks customer, you’re automatically OK with all the other Mailblocks user. That’s not a bad idea. But how many folk out there are using Mailblocks? The other option seems to be to fill out Challenge to be universally approved to send to all Mailblocks’ customers by going to I can’t see folk queuing up to do that, to be honest.
Maybe I just love my free Bayesian Filters too much, but what’s the point of farming out spam filtering when you can do it yourself so much better for free, and not upset your friends by challenging them?

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