A division of Banyan Systems will soon make it possible for Net users to keep their email addresses unlisted.
Coordinate.com, Banyan's Internet division, will next Tuesday introduce Switchboard, a service that will let 100 million individuals and businesses find each other without requiring participants to publicize their email adresses.
"Switchboard is aimed at users on the Net who want control of their online identity," said John Paul, senior vice president of Masachusetts-based Coordinate.com. "Instead of finding sites on the Net, you can find people."
Unlike a traditional phone book, Switchboard's "knock-knock" feature will let others send you message without knowing your email address. Instead, Switchboard routes the message and lets you decide whether or not to reply with your email address.
"Switchboard will send you a message, and if you want to respond you can. If you don't want to you don't have to and your address will never be revealed," said Paul.