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Re: Proposed EU Directive on Electronic Commerce

  • From: Gunnar Lindberg < >
  • Date: Tue, 19 Jan 1999 12:34:01 +0100 (MET)

To avoid the situation Piet is pointing at - mail disappear silently
because some MTA misinterpreted the headers - I would like to suggest:

    o	Place the classification in the (E)SMTP dialogue.
	"SPAM From:" is kind of nice terminology :-), but I think it
	needs to carry other parameters, like "SPAM Type: sex, money".
    o	Specify clearly that the response code MUST be 4xx or 5xx and
	that it MUST NOT be 2xx combined with "silently discard"
	(RFC 2119 terminolgy, not accident caps lock).

This way, mistakes will still allow legitimate mail be returned to
sender and if non-auth Relay is off at most sites we'll leave it to
the spam-friendly hosts to return (take care of) the junk.

In earlier versions of "draft-lindberg-anti-spam-mta-08.txt" some of
this was suggested, but the SMTP MTA people actually turned it down,
whether it was NIH or really bad idea I don't know.

    Gunnar Lindberg

    Then there could always be an RFC 822 "X-UCE:" header with the
    same content as was in the ESMTP dialogue, just for the people
    who accepte to get everything in their mailbox and want to sort
    it into /dev/null later.

>From owner-anti-spam-wg@localhost  Tue Jan 19 11:01:53 1999
>Message-Id: <UTC199901191001.LAA06474.piet@localhost>
>To: "Clive D.W. Feather" clive@localhost
>Subject: Re: Proposed EU Directive on Electronic Commerce 
>Date: Tue, 19 Jan 1999 11:01:09 +0100
>From: Piet Beertema <Piet.Beertema@localhost

>    	    a lack of keywords means "unclassified", and a lack of the
>    	    header means "not UCE".
>    	That's a dangerous approach, especially with MickeySoft
>    	practices: there's a fair chance that, once X-UCE exists,
>    	their mailers will add it by default, leaving it up to
>    	the user to fill in the details (in the best case leaving
>    	the user a choice of categories).
>    Why is that a bad thing ?
>It would - or at least could - harm *lots* of users.
>    If MickeySoft can't manage to design an email program
>    that conforms to a very simple standard, why the hell
>    should we complicate the standard ?
>Adding an X-UCE header line by default would not be
>a violation of the standard, yet hit a lot of users.
>And very hard indeed, as their mail would vanish
>rather than be bounced. Sure enough, you could blame
>the software maker, but if it's that trivial, why
>not devise a standard right from the start that can
>cope with this sort of (potential) problems? It's
>by no means a matter of "complication".

>    	Therefore a lack of keywords should denote "no UCE", and the
>	default could be "any" or some such; this approach however
>	could be dangerous for innocent users and novices, who will
>	see their serious messages discarded as spam.
>    See ?
>Yes... *not* see, which is even worse for them.
>    I suggest a *very* simple standard: an "X-UCE" header means
>    "this is UCE".
>A default of "X-UCE: no" is just as simple, but is
>potentially far less harmful than "the presence of

>    Actually, even better would be to make it "This-is-UCE"
>That would or could make it impossible to introduce

>	Piet

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