Methods and apparatus for controlling the transmission and receipt of email messages

  • US 7,380,126 B2
  • Filed: 05/31/2002
  • Issued: 05/27/2008
  • Est. Priority Date: 06/01/2001
  • Status: Active Grant
First Claim
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1. The method for identifying unwanted email messages comprising, in combination, the steps of:

  • at an email transmitting location,forming metadata containing a unique identification of the sender of a given email message and an indication of the number of different recipients to whom an equivalent of said given email message is addressed, said metadata further manifesting a legally binding promise by said sender that the transmission of said given email message conforms to one or more rules of good conduct which prohibit the transmission of unwanted and unsolicited email, andencrypting said given email message and said metadata using a private key value known only to the sender to form a digital signature that is transmitted alone with said given message to said receiving location, andat a receiving location,decrypting said digital signature to validate said message and metadata using a public key value provided by said sender, andpresenting said given email message to its intended recipient in a manner that distinguishes said given email from other email messages based on said metadata.

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