Sender ID Rises From the Dead, Spooky Patent and All
Opinion: PRA: Trick or treat? It sure looked like all the bridges had been burned, but if the big cheeses in the industry get behind it, Sender ID may be the only realistic game in town.Its only a little over a month since the collapse of the MARID working group and the apparent death of the Sender ID specification on which it had focused. But now, from the secret workings of Microsoft and Meng Wong (playing here the role of Victor von Frankenstein), a stitched-up version of the spec has emerged, good enough to make AOL happy. It attaches the ancient (circa 2003) SPF Version 1 syntax to the new Microsoft PRA capabilities using the classic SPF DNS records. Like a dagger through the head of open sourcedom, this new proposal has many recoiling in horror and calling for Mengs head. He has done the unthinkable, to bring Microsoft back into the process.
To recount a couple essential facts, large parts of the MARID community went ape a few months ago when Microsoft announced that it had made intellectual property claims on parts of the proposed Sender ID specification. It turned out that the relevant area was in the determination of the "purportedly responsible address," or PRA, and the patent application is actually, arguably, a lot more aggressive than that.