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Email filtering is the processing of email to organize it according to specified criteria. The term can apply to the intervention of human intelligence, but most often refers to the automatic processing of messages at an SMTP server, possibly applying anti-spam techniques. Filtering can be applied to incoming emails as well as to outgoing ones.
Depending on the calling environment, email filtering software can reject an item at the initial SMTP connection stage or pass it through unchanged for delivery to the user's mailbox. It is also possible to redirect the message for delivery elsewhere, quarantine it for further checking, modify it or 'tag' it in any other way.