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Experts question Microsoft's Caller ID patents

Just a week after Microsoft Corp.'s Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates unveiled his company's plan for securing e-mail communications, leading e-mail authorities, legal experts and at least one Internet service provider (ISP) are expressing concerns about the e-mail sender authentication plan, known as Caller ID.

Some experts agreed that the technology is promising. However, Microsoft's claim that it owns patents around Caller ID and its decision to license the technology to third parties, rather than submit it to an Internet standards body, have riled e-mail experts and domain owners, some of whom said they worry about a power grab by the Redmond, Washington, company and are wary of signing on to the new system.

Caller ID allows Internet domain owners to publish the IP (Internet Protocol) address of their outgoing e-mail servers in an XML (Extensible Markup Language) format e-mail "policy" in the DNS (Domain Name System) record for their domain. E-mail servers can query the DNS record and match the source IP address of incoming e-mail messages to the address of the approved sending servers, Microsoft said. The goal is to reduce spam for end-users.

News source: InfoWorld

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