Over the past 12 months e-mail authentication has finally reached critical mass, with adoption rates in excess of 50 percent. Industry adoption of e-mail authentication sets the stage for ISPs to begin focusing on reputation, which will compel senders to follow best practices to avoid having their e-mail relegated to the junk folder.

2006 also saw its fair share of legal actions brought by Internet service providers and the FTC against senders for non-compliance with CAN-SPAM. This past year's high-profile litigation further discourages senders from engaging in abusive e-mail practices. Even inadvertent glitches (such as opt-outs falling into a junk mail filter) may lead to liability under CAN-SPAM, as evidenced by the lawsuit brought against Yesmail.

Finally, 2006 was a big year for protecting e-mail from unnecessary and dangerous legislation. A number of proposed state "do not e-mail" registries failed to make it into law. Their rejection validates the position of the FTC and industry groups who opposed the registries due to their data privacy risk and unwarranted impact on legitimate commerce.

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