Meng Wong describes a framework called Aspen under which spam is addressed by authentication, accreditation and reputation. Accreditation, according to Wong, “lets third parties vouch for senders with whom they have a prior relationship.” Reputation is more of a ratings system for senders and accreditors.

This is part of a next generation email architecture:

“Over the last few months, a small group of email innovators have been working on developing a prototype for a next-generation email architecture. That architecture is based on the concepts of authentication, reputation, and accreditation developed at the Aspen Institute in Dec 2003 and embodied by standards like SPF, Sender ID, and DomainKeys. On Nov 16 that group will meet face to face for the first time. They plan to demonstrate their prototypes and test interoperability between them. These prototypes are an important step toward a spamproof email system. INBOX Event participants will be invited to a special demonstration in the afternoon. That demonstration will show the prototypes working together and invite discussion and feedback from the audience.” Get ready. Building on email authentication and digital signatures, reputation and accreditation systems are poised to enter the spotlight.