Technical Considerations for Spam Control Mechanisms

Document Type Expired Internet-Draft (individual)
Author Dave Crocker 
Last updated 2003-07-01
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This Internet-Draft is no longer active. A copy of the expired Internet-Draft can be found at


Internet mail has operated as an open and unfettered channel between originator and recipient. This invites some abuses, called spam, such as burdening recipients with unwanted commercial email. Spam has become an extremely serious problem, is getting much worse and is proving difficult (or impossible) to eliminate. The most practical goal is to bring spam under control; it will require an on-going, adaptive effort, with stochastic rather than complete results. This note discusses available points of control in the Internet mail architecture, considerations in using any of those points, and opportunities for creating Internet standards to aid in spam control efforts. It offers guidance about likely trade-offs, benefits and limitations.


Dave Crocker (

(Note: The e-mail addresses provided for the authors of this Internet-Draft may no longer be valid.)