Thursday, February 14, 2013
From February 18-22, I'll be in San Francisco to attend the 27th General Meeting of the Messaging Anti-Abuse Working Group (MAAWG). On Tuesday, I'm moderating a session where we'll discuss the pros and cons of email address validation. On the panel we'll have two different email address validation service providers, as well as a number of ISP/anti-abuse-focused folks. It should be a good opportunity to learn about how this kind of process works in general, examine the methodology risks, and look for the potential value to ESPs and their clients.
I asked for the opportunity to bring this session together to give ISPs, mailbox providers, and blacklists a chance to hear about email address validation in a bit more detail than was possible in the past.
With the significant uptick in Spamhaus issues in recent months, a lot of clients have been exploring the use of email address validation services. At the same time, ISPs and some anti-spam folks don't quite understand why people would want to employ this kind of service—and aren't sure whether it's a good thing or a bad thing to consider. Assumptions abound on both sides—some service providers seem to think that it's a way to totally avoid Spamhaus spamtraps (it's not) and some mailbox providers seem to think that anybody who uses this kind of service must be a dirty spammer (they're not).
My hope is that we can get everybody in the room together to begin to understand each other a little bit better.
If you're a MAAWG member, I hope to see you in San Francisco next week. And if you're not a MAAWG member, perhaps you'll consider joining? We find it very valuable to us here at ExactTarget. The focus is on anti-spam and anti-abuse, and it's a valuable forum to be able to collaboratively work together to understand threats to the email ecosystem. It gives us an opportunity to get to know and interact with various ISPs and anti-spam groups, and learn about the broader challenges faced by mailbox providers and service providers.