Re: [Asrg] Adding a spam button to MUAs

Daniel Feenberg <> Mon, 08 February 2010 12:49 UTC

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Date: Mon, 8 Feb 2010 07:49:26 -0500 (EST)
From: Daniel Feenberg <>
To: Anti-Spam Research Group - IRTF <>
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Subject: Re: [Asrg] Adding a spam button to MUAs
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On Mon, 8 Feb 2010, Ian Eiloart wrote:

> --On 5 February 2010 10:52:51 -0500 Daniel Feenberg <> 
> wrote:
>> On Fri, 5 Feb 2010, John Levine wrote:
>> This is just a general argument against all role accounts, including
>> postmaster, abuse, webmaster, etc. It doesn't balance the costs and
>> benefits, just notes a possible cost as though that was sufficient to
>> dismiss it.
> No, the argument is nothing to do with the left hand side of the address, 
> it's to do with the right hand side of the address. "" isn't an 
> email domain, but it might be one day. "" is not an email 
> domain, and it never will be.
> In the case where the imap server host name does happen to be an email 
> domain, there's a potential name space conflict. ARF@... may well already be

"Cnflict, ARF@" is the left hand side of the address. If 
becomes an email address, then it would be a mistake to assign a user the 
username of "arf".

If a role account is assigned to then it 
is a problem if that address is already assigned to a user. It isn't a 
problem with no solution, though. Simply make sure that the RHS of the 
address is different from the already assigned address. This is almost 
always going to be the case for large providers, since machines for pop 
and imap service are distinct from email domain names. If they do not, it
is simple enough to arrange DNS to make that happen, without changing any 

Perhaps another character string would lessen the objection on this point. 
The role account could be "arf-submission", although the anti-English 
crowd will complain. There is room for creativity.

Note that when I say "pop_or_imap" it doesn't really have to be restricted 
to those protocols. The MUA can use the hostname for the system providing 
incoming mail, without caring what protocol is actually used, nor is there 
any need for the letters "pop" or "imap" to be requed to be in the name. 
The TO: address ued for the ARF is simply the role account on the system 
providing mail, that will use it to tune content or other spam filters.

Daniel Feenberg