Re: [dmarc-ietf] Fwd: I-D Action: draft-ietf-dmarc-psd-10.txt

Barry Leiba <barryleiba@computer.org> Mon, 22 February 2021 14:32 UTC

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From: Barry Leiba <barryleiba@computer.org>
Date: Mon, 22 Feb 2021 09:32:19 -0500
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To: "Murray S. Kucherawy" <superuser@gmail.com>
Cc: Dave Crocker <dcrocker@gmail.com>, IETF DMARC WG <dmarc@ietf.org>
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Subject: Re: [dmarc-ietf] Fwd: I-D Action: draft-ietf-dmarc-psd-10.txt
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>> > I'm at a loss to understand what's confusing.  I'm not convinced that "registrations" in the
>> > context of domain names is unclear to a reader familiar with this space.
>>
>> I am absolutely convinced that it is.  Think of people in M3AAWG, for
>> whom this is very relevant.  Many of them don't know much about
>> registries, registrars, and such, and in general, the average reader
>> won't understand the difference, from a "registration" standpoint,
>> between facebook.com (which is registered) and "www.facebook.com"
>> (which is not).  To the average reader, "facebook.com" is registered
>> under com, and "www.facebook.com" is registered under facebook.  And
>> the ones who don't think that will likely not understand why we can't
>> just talk about second-level domains and be done with it.
>
> Actually that's a community that I would expect to know exactly what all those terms mean and
> how they are all related.

There clearly are some in that community who do.  But there are many
there who don't.  This stuff is more esoteric than those of us who are
in the middle of it often realize.

> I think the use of "registered" seems to be the source of some of this confusion.

Yes, exactly.

> To work with the example you gave here, I agree that "facebook.com" is registered (under "com"), but
> disagree that "www.facebook.com" is registered at all;

Right, of course it's not.  I didn't say that it is: I said that
people who don't fully understand this stuff *think* it is, and that's
the part that the text isn't making clear.

> To my mind, "register" involves a specific transaction, sometimes involving money, with whoever gates
> access to make those delegations.

And that's what we need to explain better in the Introduction.

> How's this?:
>
>    DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and
>    Conformance) is a scalable mechanism by which a mail-originating
>    organization can express domain-level policies and preferences for
>    message validation, disposition, and reporting, that a mail-receiving
>    organization can use to improve mail handling.
>
>    Within the Domain Name System (DNS) on the public Internet, which is
>    organized as a tree, some nodes of that tree are reserved for use by
>    registrars, who delegate sub-trees to other operators on request.  DMARC currently
>    permits expression of policy only for such sub-trees.  There is a marked desire to
>    be able to express policy for the reserved nodes as well.  This document
>    describes an experimental extension to DMARC to add that capability.
>
> If we like that as a replacement Abstract, I'll carry on and propose a revision to the Introduction.

I don't think that really explains it properly either -- I think with
the above text, it's less confusing, but also not correct, or at least
not really indicative of what the document is proposing.

I don't have time today, but give me a couple of days to work on the
Abstract and the Introduction/Example, and I'll propose some specific
text that we can try out.

Barry