Vouch By Reference — Emerging Standard for Domain Reputation

As we mentioned yesterday, the Domain Assurance Council plans to help the industry create a standard way for organizations to "vouch" for a sending domain. The group 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 example.com, 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.

VBR could also allow smaller, more specialist organizations to vouch for organizations in their own vertical industry or niche (e.g., the pharmacological industry). The theory is that specialist authorities will know their industry better; if a sender goes bad, a specialist authority might discover this more quickly than a generalist.

VBR means that there should be no need for proprietary methods, such as Goodmail's. VBR will create a market for organizations that vouch for domains, allowing its members to compete with minimum "friction." VBR should also allow customers to switch providers -- i.e., there will be no lock-in to a proprietary provider such as Goodmail.

... Richi Jennings

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