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Gates: Make Spammers Pay

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DAVOS, Switzerland -- Making spammers pay for sending unsolicited junk email is the best way to stop spam, Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates told a group of World Economic Forum participants last week.

Gates said Microsoft is working on several methods for stopping junk email, including a version of challenge-response software already in use and one that uses computation for senders of only a few messages at a time, according to the Washington Post.

The one Gates said has the most promise, though, would allow recipients to set a monetary risk level, from low to high, for receiving email from strangers. If an email comes from a trusted source, the sender would pay nothing. Spammers, however, would have to pay to send junk email to someone with a low risk level.