Whitelist/verification spam filters

Erik Max Francis max at alcyone.com
Wed Aug 28 21:22:33 CEST 2002

Mark McEahern wrote:

> I hadn't thought of that.  To be pedantic, though, how is this a false
> positive and not just a general failure of the email system?

I agree.  What if the original email never got to you due to some mail
server failure along the way?  Would that count as a false positive? 
(Of course not.)

It's true that a whitelist system does increase the chances that mail
will get lost because it increases the number of emails that go back and
forth by a factor of three on the first transaction, but factoring in
email losses seems somewhat pointless -- I would hope we're assuming
that such failures (where there is no accounting for the failure) are
rare enough to be negligible.  Furthermore, how could you possibly
account for such failures in estimates of false positive counts? 
Neither sender nor recipient would have any idea (in isolation) that the
failure occured; the sender didn't get a reply and the recipient never
got a response to their confirmation, the same thing that happens with
countless number of spams.

 Erik Max Francis / max at alcyone.com / http://www.alcyone.com/max/
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