I was formerly on the side of MAPS. I thought it was a sensible way to force bad ISPs to secure their email servers. Now, I'm not so sure, and here's why.
MAPS is an infrastructure feature. ISPs install it for the benefit of their subscribers. It seems good to offer this, as it's against spam, right? It also seems like a customer would choose another ISP if they didn't like their inbox being filtered. Choice is good, right?
However, I am a part of a small company (~10 people). We're already shelling out a considerable number for our broadband connections and other ISPish fees. Our ISP joined the MAPS setup a few months ago, and didn't notify us. Even if they had, we probably would have thought it a good thing.
Until we heard via telephone and mouth-to-mouth channels, that some prospective investors and venture capitalists were unable to send our executives email messages. See, venture capitalists are inordinately wealthy, yet they still use mainstream simplistic ISPs for their business, as that's not their major interest. So, when a VC's ISP gets blackholed, we don't get their mail. When we don't get their mail, we look bad. When we look bad, we endanger our payroll.
The "solutions" listed by our ISP and by MAPS is to tell the legitimate senders to complain to their ISP. Yeah, that's a realistic solution. "Sorry, Mr. Investor, your ISP is a POS, can you gripe to them for us?" And how about those other investors or potential clients who have tried to contact us, that we haven't heard about, because their email to us bounced?
Fortunately for us, our ISP was able to disable MAPS for our domain name. [No, don't take that as an invitation to spam us.] People who don't go to the trouble of having a registered domain name are probably not so lucky.
MAPS may sound good, but it's unrealistic to expect the pawns to do the lions' share of the workarounds. As an infrastructure feature, it needs to be completely off the radar from the point of view of individual emailers, and yet it's not. When your legitimate mails are being blocked, it can be disastrous to a small company.
[ e d @ h a l l e y . c c ]