In 2003, we noto­ri­ously pub­lished a report pre­dict­ing spam would be solved in 2004. It wasn’t entirely a dumb pre­dic­tion; we had been told by “informed peo­ple” that Microsoft, Yahoo and AOL would coop­er­ate build­ing shared rep­u­ta­tion sys­tems, the begin­ning of other indus­try coop­er­a­tion against the scourge of spam. Well that didn’t hap­pen (in fact hasn’t really hap­pened until more or less now with new ven­tures like Agari). At RSA there has been lots of talk in the keynotes about the impor­tance of indus­try and industry/government coop­er­a­tion. Will it really hap­pen this time? I’ll let you make the bet hav­ing been burned in the past. In the case of spam, what hap­pened was explained to me many years ago by Scott Chasen: “it’s like the drug busi­ness; you can’t make money with vac­cines.” All the spon­sors at RSA make a lot of money help­ing secure their cus­tomers IT. It would be won­der­ful to believe that this time they will put effort into the com­mon good, just like it would have been 9 years ago with spam.