Re: ADV: (was Re: [Asrg] Article - New anti-spam proposal in the House of Representative)

Vernon Schryver <vjs@calcite.rhyolite.com> Mon, 26 May 2003 14:42 UTC

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From: Vernon Schryver <vjs@calcite.rhyolite.com>
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To: asrg@ietf.org
Subject: Re: ADV: (was Re: [Asrg] Article - New anti-spam proposal in the House of Representative)
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Date: Mon, 26 May 2003 08:39:39 -0600

> From: Kee Hinckley <nazgul@somewhere.com>

> ...
> >The point of ADV is it would let me block all commercial mail from 
> >entities not in my whitelist.
> >
> >Which would be just fine by me.
>
> This assumes that there is a reasonable whitelist system out there 
> that doesn't block mail from N-different addresses at your favorite 
> vendor, but does block mail from forged addresses (say 
> support@microsoft.com?) at the same vendor.  And it needs an easy 
> protocol for clicking on a link on a web site and whitelisting that 
> site.  And it needs to be understandable and usable by the general 
> public.  (And even then it doesn't do much good for those of us who 
> regularly get mail from people we don't know.)
>
> I've said before.  If everyone is going to be depending on 
> whitelists--someone should start figuring out how a mailing list 
> and/or web site communicate with the whitelist software on your 
> machine.  (E.g. 
> whitelist:domain=amazon.com,localpart=bounce-[username]-[domainname]... 
> or whatever).
> ..


I'm not a fan of ADV tags particularly on "commercial mail" (if I send a
purely ASCII message to somewhere.com offering to buy or sell something,
must I tag it with "ADV" and include an opt-out URL?), but your criticisms
are based on notions that don't make sense to me:

  - that mail from people you don't know and that you want would be
   marked with "ADV".  Would you really want unexpected and so
   unsolicited advertising?

  - that mail senders need to communicate with your whitelist software.
   Why?  If envelope and headers are not forged, then when you decided
   you want blue pills that grow loans from deals4u2buy.org you can
   whitelist mail from deals4u2buy.org by pointing and clicking purely
   on your own system.  At worst you can start watching your logs of
   rejected mail and click on a caught sample to whitelist it.

  - that Deals4u2buy.org will use N-different addresses.  On the
   contrary, they'll good reasons to tell you their sender domain name
   and to keep it constant.

  - on the other hand, if the envelope or headers are forged, then
   the "ADV" tag will also be missing, because a large minority and
   probably a substantial majority of all users will decide (or have
   already decided) they want nothing tagged with "ADV" except perhaps
   a few white-listed exceptions.

  - Why can't people understand ADV tags and whitelisting?  I don't recall
   encountering anyone who couldn't but who could handle email.  Proof
   that people can understand this stuff is in the fact that so many
   of less sharp among us who have been elected to legislatures are
   so enthused about their laws requiring ADV tags.

  - we already have standardized mechanisms for identifying mailing lists.
   RFC 2919 is on the standards track.


Vernon Schryver    vjs@rhyolite.com
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