Email stamps could nix spam


A San Francisco-based think-tank believes the way to solve spam overload is to start charging to send email.

Just as one pays for a stamp to send snail mail through the post, Pacific Research Insititute (PRI) contends that the same should be done with spam. The outcome of such a plan? Problems of reduced productivity, depleted bandwidth and spam carrying malware could be eliminated.

In "Canning Spam: An Economic Solution to Unwanted E-mail," PRI states that the plan would require senders to pay to get their emails into users' inboxes. Not only would costs deter spammers, but filtering based on whether or note email had "e-stamps" issued by ISPs or a separate web site would reduce the number of false positives.

PRI suggests that the ideal solution would enable end users to set the cost of stamps for entering their email boxes.

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