Domain Assurance Council — Interesting New Trade Body

The Domain Assurance Council (DAC) is a new trade body representing organizations that certify or accredit email sending organizations and customers of those organizations. Examples of such organizations include Habeas and Goodmail; their customers are typically ISPs and spam control technology vendors.

With sender authentication or authorization standards such as SPF and DKIM becoming more popular, there's a need for a standard way for a trusted authority to vouch for a domain name. DAC plans to help the industry create a standard way for organizations to "vouch" for a sending domain. They will do that by publishing reputation or accreditation data about a domain name in a standard form. The standard will be known as Vouch By Reference (VBR).

For example, a receiving mail system may be able to use SPF or DKIM to verify that an incoming message was sent by, but it currently has no standard way of deciding if it wants to receive email from that company. Using VBR, a receiving system would be able to look up the domain and decide if it wishes to receive the message.

Current members of the DAC are Goodmail, Habeas, Return Path, Trend Micro, and IronPort. DAC is run by John Levine and Paul Hoffman. Hoffman has plenty of experience running this sort of group, having previously run the Internet Mail Consortium among others.

... Richi Jennings

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