Spam Free Email, Guaranteed?

With help, TurboTas has been busily at work for more than a year on the MailSleuth system. I’m almost in a position now to be able to guarantee the spam-free’ness of an email feed with some caveats.

Guarantee is a pretty stong term to use in email cleaning circles, so better explain the rationale here.

It’s really important to understand that SPAM’s are becoming harder and harder to detect: Those email worms which mail address books out are a good example as to why: It’s only a matter of time before the spammers use this information as a whitelist bypass mechanism.

There are many other reasons, but the key point is that no combined technology seems able to get to above around 95% accuracy in email classification.

The essence of the MailSleuth system is that perhaps that we should not try too hard with the technology element.

It’s therefore the suggestion that the best way to sort this is to have a RealPerson having the final say.

At first, this seems kind of odd: ‘I don’t like people reading my email’ is the most likely first thought, followed closely by ‘That sounds like a really slow process’. Lets look at both of those points.

It’s right and propper that you don’t like the idea that someone can read your mail. Why do you assume that they don’t now though? Chances are that you’ve no idea where your mail has gone or who has potentially seen it. Think about this always when you send email!

The OperatorConsole that the Mailsleuth System uses anonymizes headers so as to make it far less obvious who the ultimate email recipient is. Some tokens are needed as there are customer specific config elements, but in general, the operator won’t know whose email they are checking.

On most occaisions, the operator will make their decision based on content outside the email body itself: Subject Line, Receipt Time, Other recipients, IP addresses of relay’s etc.

The second point is a tougher one. It’s true that having a positive release mechanism for every message is a pain in the butt. MailSleuth mitigates this somewhat by having a pretty well streamlined console which allows the operator to acheive pretty good throughput’s.

On the plus side, the delay gives the Virus vendors time to catch up: Although the MailSleuth system uses two serial Virus checkers, it’s not unusual for new outbreaks to occur before the anti-virus vendors have a chance to react. The inherent MailSleuth delay means that the final virus check can occur after the AV vendors release patches

Perhaps you are thinking that this sounds interesting? Tell Me! No dates or prices yet, but it’s likely to be something like £5 per month or 1p per email received (That’s pre-filtering so it’s still in your best interests to minimize the publicity of your email address!).

TurboTas has devised some interesting terms of service though, so think about what it is that you need email for.

There is a little info at the MailSleuth site, but by all means ask for more info.

But what about this guarantee? Oh, well it’s leikly that the guarantee will be backed up by cash credit or free months. Cash credit (perhaps £1) for those paying per email and month’s free for those paying by the month. Think about it, it’s quite compelling!

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