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Re: Proposed EU Directive on Electronic Commerce

  • To: Dave Wilson < >
  • From: Piet Beertema < >
  • Date: Fri, 15 Jan 1999 17:35:00 +0100

    Adding meaning to the Subject: line like this is a dangerous
    thing to do, and unnecessary when we have an X-Header: system
    which would do the job more cleanly.
We're in violent agreement on this point. But as I pointed
out in a previous reply, *users* are supposed to add the
"X-UCE" line, but many user mailers don't allow users to
add X-Header lines.
    If the only reason to filter on Subject lines is to allow end
    users to spam using their regular mail program, I would suggest
    that we should *discourage* users from using their Outlooks and
    Eudoras to send bulk mail.
You mean "discourage spammers". ;-)

    All the above said, the single most important issue is for a
    *common* standard to be reached. Having to implement N filters,
    where N is the number of countries or states that have set down
    laws to date, leaves us with all of the unreliability and none
    of the convenience.
The first and key issue is to outlaw spam worldwide.
The second issue is to devise a *working* technical
scheme whereby UCE *can* be sent, but in a controlled
fashion, i.e. capturable by a "standard" filter under
the control of individual end users.

    The directive that was quoted only seems to require EU states
    to pick a method of identification, not to actually agree on one.
Then it's just another typical EU directive...
    	I don't understand why you think that a user wouldn't be allowed to
    	instruct their ISP not to deliver messages matching a certain pattern
    	to them - why should the fact that it is legal to send a message
    	compel someone to receive it?
    This area is fraught with difficulties. Any legal approaches will
    have to be thought through *very* carefully for their real-life
Of course.
    It is possible that an ISP may be considered in violation of its
    own terms of service if it selectively fails to deliver mail to
    a recipient.
Not if the non-delivery is a result of instructions
given by the (intended) recipient.

    And yet, the directive that George posted only requires mail to be
    visible as spam when it reaches the *recipient*.
That's one of its weakest points then.

    The directive does not require laws to recognise the role of the
    ISP in filtering spam.
There's no need for that: if a customer instructs her
ISP to not deliver mail with certain characterics,
then the ISP acts as the representative/stand-in of
the customer and intended recipient in those cases
where mail is blocked that meets the criteria.
    I am inclined to believe, personally, that the directive is based
    upon reducing the nuisance to the user, but not the threat to the ISP.


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