Slamming the Spammers
July 9, 2003
Software executive Philip Raymond has obtained a provisional patent on a device to assist computer users to combat "spam" -- unwanted sales and other e-mail messages. It works like this:
- E-mail senders are required to post a cash bond of five cents into a bank account for every piece of e-mail they send.
- If a recipient judges the mail to be illegitimate, the sender loses the nickel -- with four cents going to the recipient's Internet service provider and a penny going to Vanquish, the anti-spam service, as a processing fee.
- If the recipient okays the message, the sender is cleared from then on.
The beauty of the plan is that users themselves decide whether they want to accept messages -- and spam senders pay a price for flooding the system with junk messages.
Vanquish expects to have 35 million clients by the end of the year and expects internet service providers to pay 20 to 45 cents per customer per month.
Source: Matthew Swibel, "Pay Up!" Forbes, July 7, 22003.
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