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Re: Proposed EU Directive on Electronic Commerce

  • To: Dave Wilson < >
  • From: Ragnar Lonn < >
  • Date: Mon, 18 Jan 1999 18:37:45 +0100 (MET)
  • Cc: Piet Beertema < >

On Fri, 15 Jan 1999, Dave Wilson wrote:

> Meanwhile: we need to decide among ourselves how we want a spam message to be
> brought to our attention. I'm open to a combo X-UCE: Yes *plus* Subject:
> [UCE] ...?

Well, if the present POP/IMAP protocols allow users to look at
headers without downloading the entire message, there might be no
need to mangle the Subject: header. As I wrote earlier, I just
suggested it as a last resort because I didn't know if the POP protocol
let you retrieve any headers but a select few (From:, Subject: and
whatnot) and also because most mail clients today let you see those
headers before downloading a message. However, if a specific X-UCE header
would be required by law in UCE messages, I guess most mailers would
quickly adapt to recognize and check for it. So, if there is a support in
the protocols for downloading headers in general I'd suggest to leave
the Subject: header alone, I think.

Anyhow, someone else (Piet?) wrote about the possible need to label
UCE more specifically than just "Yes" or "No". I can imagine that the
people who do decide they want some UCE may not want *all* UCE in
the world, which is what they might get if they state to their ISP
that they want UCE at all. Maybe a good idea would be to force all UCE to
use the mandatory "X-UCE: Yes" but at the same time suggest them to
use another non-mandatory header to more specifically say what kind of UCE
they're sending - e.g. "X-UCE-Type:" or "X-UCE-Keywords:" like this:

X-UCE: Yes       <----- required
X-UCE-Keywords: sex,xxx,porn,x-rated         <------ optional

Come to our new porn-site


X-UCE: Yes       <----- required
X-UCE-Keywords: cars,automobiles,used cars         <------ optional

Come to our new online car store where you can buy cars and accessories

The question is how reliable such a header would be - i.e. how many
would insert any keyword they can think of just to get people to look
at the message, no matter what's in it?

Maybe limiting the number of keywords would help that, of course. If
all software only cared about the first 5 keyword strings, there would
be little reason for 'unserious' spammers to lie about the content of
their messages as they would othen nly get viewed by people less likely to
be interested in their advertising.


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