Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2004/154

Controlling Spam by Secure Internet Content Selection

Amir Herzberg

Abstract: Unsolicited and undesirable e-mail (spam) is a growing problem for Internet users and service providers. We present the Secure Internet Content Selection (SICS) protocol, an efficient cryptographic mechanism for spam-control, based on allocation of responsibility (liability). With SICS, e-mail is sent with a content label, and a cryptographic protocol ensures labels are authentic and penalizes falsely labeled e-mail (spam). The protocol supports trusted senders (penalized by loss of trust) and unknown senders (penalized financially). The recipient can determine the compensation amount for falsely labeled e-mail (spam)). SICS is practical, with negligible overhead, gradual adoption path, and use of existing relationships; it is also flexible and appropriate for most scenarios, including deployment by end users and/or ISPs and support for privacy and legitimate, properly labeled commercial e-mail. SICS improves on other crypto-based proposals for spam controls, and complements non-cryptographic spam controls

Category / Keywords: applications / electronic commerce and payment

Date: received 4 Jul 2004, last revised 19 Jul 2004

Contact author: herzbea at cs biu ac il

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Version: 20040719:122658 (All versions of this report)

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