The most-likely-to-succeed approach of curtailing spam is to mix a cocktail: some combination of technical standard-setting, changes in cultural norms surrounding to whom one connects, market decisions, a back-drop of legal provisions to prevent and punish the worst wrong-doing, and a heavy dose of cross-border cooperation on all fronts.
AOL dealt a blow, apparently, to Microsoft’s effort to spread its technical solution, Sender ID, which would crack down on domain spoofing and, the story goes, fight phishing in the process. AOL’s rejection is not the first for this would-be standard. While the IETF are said to have found the Sender ID license acceptable, others in the open source movement found it less so.
In other spam news, the FTC today released its long-awaited take (as mandated by the CAN-SPAM Act of 2002) on the bounty hunter proposals championed at various times by Prof. Lessig and Cong. Lofgren. The report is here.