Victor Duchovni wrote:
> My claim is that, while indeed it is easier to set the initial
> barriers higher when you design with greater hindsight, and some of
> the tractable, but not widely deployed email security measures will
> be there in IM systems from the start, never the less IM systems if
> they are to encroach on the ubiquity of email for ad-hoc
> communications between strangers (it is far easier to address
> strangers via email today) will encounter exactly the same intrinsic
> issues, and that technical measures will have equally partial
> efficacy.

Total perfect and complete solutions will never be possible, but
stopping the most flagrant and inconvenient abuses is perfectly
feasible, and not even remarkably difficult.  These days you see
little spam on most Usenet groups, and one of the primary uses of
Usenet is ad hoc communication between strangers.

SSL works fine, PKI has serious problems. Usenet for the most part
works fine, Jabber works fine, email has serious problems

The federated structure of jabber, where random people connect to any
one of a very large number of privileged servers is similar to the
Usenet structure - and the Usenet structure works because for your
server to retain your privileges, you need to control spam.

> I am willing to speculate that people will continue to unfairly
> tarnish the competence of the email RFC writers, without regard to
> the intrinsic properties of the medium.

It is not so much that they were incompetent, but that they were
writing for a more trusting and trustworthy world.  Today, we have to
do things differently.

         James A. Donald

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