A new company, Mailblocks, aims to spend spam. Created by Phil Goldman, one of the founders of WebTV, it uses a challenge-response mechanism to create a whitelist of senders.
Werbach: “Goldman wants to do to Web-based email what Google did to search. Mailblocks focuses on core functionality and performance, rather than blasting users with ads. The price, $9.95 per year, is reasonable for what Mailblocks delivers.”
NYTimes: “The Mailblocks antispam service is based on a so-called challenge-response mechanism to block bulk mail sent automatically to e-mail accounts. When a customer receives a new message from an unknown correspondent, the system will intercept the message and automatically return to the sender a digital image of a seven-digit number and a form to fill out. Once a human being views that number and types it into the form – demonstrating that he or she is a person and not an automated mass-mailing machine – the system will forward the e-mail to the intended recipient.”