Another Whack at Spam: Tim Bray lays out an interesting and viable solution for dealing with spam.
This (imaginary) company has a simple business model. It operates a really big password-protected SMTP relay. It sends email from anybody to anybody for 1 cent ($0.01) each. You open an account with them, drop in say $10 and you’ve bought the rights to send 1,000 emails. Or you could set up a monthly billing with your credit card, or whatever. You can’t send more than 100 emails in a day without an (email) exchange to verify that everything’s all right.
Every email that it sends it signs digitally. Then, you set up your email client to send all email that hasn’t been signed by SMTP4All or one of its competitors (there couldn’t be more than a couple of hundred) to the junk folder. Then you tell your friends to go and sign up with one of these guys if they want you to get their mail.”
Let me go on record saying that I would pay for it, should this plan ever come to pass.