Graham's spam filter
cbbrowne at acm.org
Mon Aug 26 17:05:33 CEST 2002
Quoth "Edward K. Ream" <edream at tds.net>:
> I am an enthusiastic user of ChoiceMail,
> http://www.digiportal.com/choicemail.html It has _completely_ eliminated all
> spam to me, using a very clever trick. Anyone wanting to contact me who is
> not already on a "whitelist" gets sent a return email asking them to fill
> out a short form at the ChoiceMail site. Most spammers never even receive
> this email because they use invalid return addresses. If someone fills out
> the form I get to approve it or reject it. If no reply is received within a
> specified time period, the sender is added to a blacklist. Anyone who gets
> an email from me is automatically on the whitelist. It's easy to add all
> names in an address book to the whitelist, and it's easy to add an entire
> domain to the white or black lists. There are many other options, and that
> is the gist of it. It works great.
> There is no way for spammers to circumvent ChoiceMail because ChoiceMail
> never examines the contents of messages. The only drawback is that
> first-time correspondents must fill out a very simple form.
> We can all probably think of several reasons why this wouldn't work for
> newsgroups. I'd be more interested in hearing about ways some similar
> scheme might work.
Unfortunately, this scheme will lead to automated systems that _could_
have legitimate reason to need to contact you getting blocked.
For instance, I used to have a "Discover" credit card. They had a
fairly useful feature where they would send me an email a few days
before the bill was due as a reminder, with a URL in the email to make
it easy to head over to their web site.
This wasn't world-shakingly useful, but it was indeed a handy feature.
A handy feature that ChoiceMail would, unfortunately, block.
I'm sure there are workarounds. My _preference_ is for the spam to
get thrown into a Spam folder, so that I can periodically take a look
and see if there were any jewels thrown in with the swine.
(concatenate 'string "aa454" "@freenet.carleton.ca")
Rules of the Evil Overlord #53. "If the beautiful princess that I
capture says "I'll never marry you! Never, do you hear me, NEVER!!!",
I will say "Oh well" and kill her." <http://www.eviloverlord.com/>
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