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Re: Proposed EU Directive on Electronic Commerce

  • From: Richard Kettlewell < >
  • Date: Fri, 15 Jan 99 17:14:19 +0000 (GMT)

Ragnar Lonn writes:
> On Fri, 15 Jan 1999, Carl Moberg wrote:
>> This would be the worst case of overloading I've ever heard
>> of, and yes, the "Subject:" should definitely be considered
>> an integral part of the content and should therefore should
>> not be used for any form of tagging, even if it's transparent
>> to the end user.
> Yeah well the only reason it came up was that the proposed EC directive
> someone quoted stated, if I remember it correctly, that the user had to
> be able to see before downloading the email whether it was UCE or not.
> To accomplis this with POP3, unless I'm mistaken, you can't use a
> "X-UCE:" header or the user won't know it's UCE until s/he's downloaded
> it.

A POP client could use `TOP' to check the headers for undesirable
characteristics and delete such messages without downloading them.
The user still pays to transfer the header, but doesn't pay to
download the whole message and doesn't see the spam clogging up their

The ISP still pays for the whole message, though.

Looking ahead a bit ... an SMTP receiver could after having received
the headers from the sender check for evil headers and issue a 5xx
response immediately.  This doesn't immediately buy you anything
... unless the sender is modified to spot 5xx responses before it's
finished sending, and truncate the message in that situation, to save

I'm sure this wouldn't be allowed under the RFCs as they are currently
written, and I'm uncertain how much bandwidth you'd save with it in
practice.  But it's an idea.


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