Making mass emailers identifiable is the first step toward curing the epidemic of spam, said Vint Cerf, one of the architects of the internet.

Cerf, who co-created the TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) of the internet and now works as chief corporate strategist for MCI, delivered opening remarks at the first inaugural Email Technology Conference.

The chief topic of debate at the conference was spam. Cerf said that standardising methods for authenticating email senders would ultimately lead to successful filtering – technologies that many companies that attended the conference are developing.

“Getting to critical mass with those sorts of mechanisms will be really interesting,” Cerf said to an audience of technology executives attending the two-day conference.

“Starting from that angle will be more productive than anything,” he added. Previously, Cerf had jokingly suggested that the industry hold public floggings of spammers as a deterrent.

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