What is MAPS?
MAPS - which the observant might notice is SPAM spelt backwards - works on a simple principal that is commonly used with Instant Messenger (IM) clients such as AOL's Instant Messenger or Microsoft's Messenger. That is that with most IM clients you need to get the permission of the person you want to message before you can send them an instant message. MAPS considers all email spam and returns it to the sender unless the email is from somebody on your white list.
Now white lists are not new but maintaining a white list is a bother. So MAPS automates the maintaining of the that white list by putting the responsibility of maintaining it on the people who wish to email you. MAPS also seeks to make it easy for real people, not spammers, to request permission to email you. Here's how it works....
Email that is delivered to you is passed through a filter (maps filter) which processes your email like so:
- Extract senders email address - no sender address (and no envelope address)? Discard the email
- Check to see if the sender is on your null list - if so discard the email
- Check to see if the sender is on your black list - if so return a message telling the sender that s/he is blocked from emailing you.
- Check to see if the sender is on your white list - if so deliver the mail
- Otherwise send the sender a message with a link for them to quickly register. Also, save their email so it can be delivered when they register
As you can see this algorithm will greatly reduce your spam. Also, it's easy for real people to register. Spammers typically do not read any email returning to them so they never register!