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Information Week, and a bunch of others, are carrying an article that references a renewed FTC (Federal Trade Commission) effort to get consumer carriers worldwide to stop allowing SMTP traffic outbound to anything other than their own mail relay servers. In short, that would mean if you had a Verizon DSL home account and Verizon opted to participate (or was forced by future legislative policy to participate) you could no longer send SMTP mail via your own server -- it would have to go out through your "firstname.lastname@example.org".
The move is designed to cut off so called "spam zombie" machines, which are home PC's often connected to high speed links, which have been infected with various malware that allows remote spam or virus senders to utilize that link for outbound propagation of their slime. According to the article, "35 government partners from more than 20 countries" are already cooperating.
I think It is likely that consumer oriented providers will jump on this bandwagon quickly. It lets them wrap themselves in the antispam flag while at the same time reducing the number of home based servers chewing up their network bandwidth. The move also is good for the ISP's branding effort as it means more users sending emails with that ISP's branded domain in the return address.
If you're a small shop and still haven't cut over to a commercial contract for your bandwidth yet, the sound you're hearing is the other shoe falling. Personally, as I've been paying for commercial grade service at considerable expense for years -- because I am in fact doing commercial work on it -- I have little sympathy and fully support this initiative. I have made no secret of this over the years, and I'm sure that ticks some of you off who may have to spend some money. Hey, are you running a business or not?
Of course I should point out that this will also lead to an increase in the popularity of virtual network providers. You'll pay then "x" dollars a month to be the other end of a secure encrypted tunnel between you and their network, and they'll put you on their network. I'd like to think, however, that these sophisticated users will be less likely to be spam zombies however.
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