SHRED

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Spam Harassment Reduction via Economic Disincentives (SHRED) is a proposed sender-at-risk E-mail stamp mechanism for reducing the E-mail spamming problem by indirectly increasing the cost of E-mail sending to the senders of unwanted E-mail. It aims to avoid the defects in earlier sender-at-risk mechanisms.

The main aim of SHRED is to provide economic incentives for legitimate ISPs to clean up the botnet problem within their networks, by making it cheaper to do so than to continue to pay excess postage charges for delivered spam messages, whilst not requiring SHRED to be mandated or universally adopted to be effective, or for SMTP to be re-engineered.

SHRED differs from other E-mail postage stamp systems in that SHRED stamps only represent a potential financial liability to the E-mail sender, rather than an unconditional cost, and only incur a replacement cost if cancelled by an E-mail recipient who considers an E-mail to be unwanted.

SHRED is thus effectively an electronic reputation system, where reputation—in the form of being able to affix stamps to E-mail—is lost through complaints, and has to be bought back with money, thus imposing a financial cost on the loss of reputation. The presence or absence of a stamp then can be used by E-mail receivers, together with other sources of information such as blacklists, whitelists, and content analysis, to make judgments as to whether E-mail should be relayed or delivered.

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