The future of E-mail

As time goes by, more and more spammers seem to find our e-mail address. We change it and, surprise surprise, they find it again.
Although there are several dozens of anti-spam products, filters and firewalls, the regular person does not know how to get them, use them, much less configure them.
And the ones that do know, are afraid to lose important e-mails along with the porn.

Why is there Spam?

Because it can.
In the early days, when e-mail was designed, the idea was to have the email delivered directly to the users inbox, unix style. Thus, user@server , meaning user in the server. Nowadays that lost its meaning with hotmailish companies, ISP’s and the like offering e-mail accounts on their servers. E-mail was a sacred tool, not to be wasted (not even feasible) by sending unsolicited e-mail adverts. The e-mail users were a small closed community. No one thought about the possibility of pornographic, enlarge-your-penis while getting-slim-fast diet hormone pills spam messages.
If they had thought about it, they would have designed e-mail in a different way.

The future?

Lets face it. E-mail is just a medium for recieving text and sending messages. Thats the original idea and thats what we have today.
(attachments are actually converted to text messages, usually base64 which is actually a waste of space because
it uses much more space than it would usally need. HTML and all those fancy things are but text. Same with images
and all that)


The e-mail idea would remain the same. Although some things would change.
These are my ideas:

1- Real Time: E-mail should really be real time. Instant Mail? Thats sounds nice. I-Mail !
That pop3 getting and waiting and blabla is bulshit. Future e-mail should be more like instant messaging than actual e-mail. E-mail will be the Snail Mail of the future. If the person is not available, then leave a message. And let the sender know that. (ICQ anyone?)

2- Binary files: Sending Word Documents? 2Mb? Think 2.5Mb because thats what a 2Mb file will take after converting to base64. And why oh why don’t you Zip it? Include realtime Zlib compression please. Seamlessly.

3- Decent Authentication and Authorization Systems: This is the most important measure to kill Spam. I would envise two
distinct measures to create and I-Mail system fool-proof:
User Authorization: A User would ask another User to be added to his trusted User List. Only after that would the user
recieve those messages. Ok, so the spammers could spam this. But its better than nothing and we haven’t seen much of
that in Instant Messaging Systems.
User Authentication: The sending system would have to be authenticated to send an I-Mail. No more spammers using
other people servers without authorization.

4- Encryption: All I-Mails would be encrypted. Using the Public/Private Key authentication system, the sender would send
an I-Mail to X, Y and Z. Only X, Y and Z could read it. Obviously those could take the content of the file and resend it to
other people. The idea is that no one BUT the people who the users send it to will be able to open it. Seamlessly.

Those would be the most important changes.


I would see a system like this beeing developed by the military or by big corporations and them started
to be used by regular users. From 10 to 20 years everyone would be using this instead of E-Mail. Less
if it comes with backwards compatability with E-mail.