In the ongoing battle against spam and phishing scams, individuals, businesses and organizations often find their legitimate emails caught in increasingly aggressive spam filters. Now, four of the largest internet service providers in the U.S. - Verizon, Comcast, Cox Communications, and Warner Cable - have signed on to a new service called CertifiedEmail from Goodmail Systems meaning they will accept its seal of approval as proof e-mails are legitimate.

The service, aimed primarily at e-commerce sites and other large e-mail senders, will allow a company to pay a quarter of a penny per message to bypass spam filters and reach customer's inboxes directly; recipients will see a blue seal verifying that the message is legitimate. The start-up will share earnings with ISPs that accept its seal.

"The problem of phishing and fraud erodes trust in email," said Verizon director of consumer broadband services Peter Castleton. "A certification service, such as CertifiedEmail, enables us to help restore that trust and makes it easier for consumers to identify legitimate email messages."
The service is actually not a spam protector at all, but rather a way for companies to be white-listed as not spammers by paying money, however if widely adopted, it may help email recipients identify phishing scam attempts. Goodmail Systems will, of course, allow companies to send certified emails only after checking them to make certain they are legitimate and then monitors mailings for abuses.