- The Washington Times - Monday, September 27, 2004

NEW YORK (AP) — A row over intellectual property claims from Microsoft Corp. has dealt a fatal blow to an ambitious effort by Internet engineers to create a technical standard for curbing junk e-mail known as spam.

The failure to reach consensus on the Microsoft-championed proposal known as Sender ID throws back to the free market a process that many consider urgent in view of the unabating onslaught of spam.

Sender ID’s effectiveness and compatibility with existing mail systems already were in question before members of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) got hung up on the patent battle, said Yakov Shafranovich, a leading activist against spam.

The task force, which works by consensus on Internet standards, dissolved a working group on Sender ID last week after deciding that agreement could not be achieved anytime soon.

Some experts say the decision could speed up work on a different spam-control technology that is being developed by Yahoo Inc., one seen as stronger but more difficult to implement.

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