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The Email Service Provider Coalition Unveils Project Lumos Technical Architecture for Eradicating Spam

Details of Proposed Registry in New White Paper; Calls for Secure Sender Identity and Reputation Service for All High-Volume Senders

Washington, D.C., September 29, 2003 – The Email Service Provider Coalition (ESPC), formed by the Network Advertising Initiative (NAI) to address the growing problem of spam, today announced technical specifications and requirements necessary for the development of a robust system designed to eradicate spam by attacking the root of the problem—a lack of secure identity and accountability in email.

This unique registry approach, named Project Lumos, provides Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and others with a means of securely identifying and authenticating email senders. By calling for full and secure disclosure of sender identity, Project Lumos allows ISPs to monitor and track the quality of mail senders, thereby ensuring that these senders are held accountable for their sending practices and the content of their messages. Aware that spam causes ISPs to incur enormous financial costs and wasted time, the ESPC has designed Project Lumos so that it can be implemented in less than twelve months with existing technologies and a commitment by the leading email senders and service providers.

The fight against spam has been highly challenging, in large part because most unsolicited commercial email is untraceable. Project Lumos addresses this problem by requiring mail senders to authenticate their identity, holding senders accountable for all their email practices and differentiating legitimate senders from illegitimate ones. Through Project Lumos, senders are verified with secure certification and are issued electronic credentials and records. This enables ISPs to closely monitor the senders’ mail and “score” the sender based upon their performance, effectively quantifying their “reputation”. Because each sender is easily identifiable, ISPs have the ability to respond directly to senders not adhering to the ISPs’ spam regulations, and users can easily report unwanted mail and confidently opt-out of email correspondence.

“Spam is one of the most costly and time-consuming challenges to plague ISPs and recipients. Identifying legitimate mail senders and enforcing best practices is the most effective way to curb spam,” said Trevor Hughes, executive director of the Email Service Provider Coalition. “Project Lumos is an architecture that works for everyone, including ISPs, users, and legitimate mailers that do not want their emails accidentally deleted or incorrectly identified as spam.”

 

About Topica, Inc.
Topica, Inc., San Francisco, CA., is the leading provider of Web-based marketing solutions. Founded in 1998, the company serves over 4,000 customers, including The National Geographic Society, International Data Group (IDG), IBM, Corp. and Hachette Publications. Firmly committed to permission-based email, Topica is a member of TrustE, the Email Services Provider Coalition of the NAI (National Advertising Initiative), and a member of the Internet Alliance. For more information on the company, please visit www.topica.com.