Writing in The Register, Kelly Martin of SecurityFocus proclaims that e-mail is broken and cannot be fixed. The article states, "...email is a terrible mess. It's dangerous, insecure, unreliable, mostly unwanted, and out-of-control. It's the starting point for a myriad of criminal activity, banking scams, virus outbreaks, identity theft, extortion, stock promotion scams, and of course, the giant iceberg of spam."
Martin also states, "All the work spent fixing email is like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic."
Martin proposes replacing today's twenty-five-year-old e-mail system with a new protocol based on modern, secure standards with each sender easily identified. The new system should be based on the latest encoding mechanisms, a reliable hashing algorithm, fast compression, strong encryption, and signatures. In short, each recipient could decide whose email he or she wishes to receive. The forging of e-mail addresses would be almost impossible.
I am not sure I agree with everything written in the article, but it does make some thought-provoking points. There is no genealogy information in the article, but you still might want to read The Time Has Come to Ditch Email at http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/06/01/ditch_email/print.html.