Re: [ietf-smtp] EHLO domain validation requirement in RFC 5321

Keith Moore <> Mon, 28 September 2020 00:22 UTC

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From: Keith Moore <>
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Date: Sun, 27 Sep 2020 20:21:58 -0400
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Subject: Re: [ietf-smtp] EHLO domain validation requirement in RFC 5321
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On 9/27/20 8:13 PM, Sam Varshavchik wrote:

> Anyone around here been on Usenet in the late 1990s, and remember this 
> on-going flamewar, how spam filtering is detrimental, how everyone has 
> an entitled right to have their email delivered, yadda yadda yadda?
> That's what this reminds me of. I'm really getting a sense of deja vu 
> here.

I was around then.      But if you don't think that users care whether 
their email is delivered, you're not paying much attention to users.

Ordinary users simply don't trust email to work.   They'll use email 
only as a last resort, and if they really need to send email, will try 
random combination of sender and recipient addresses (because people 
often need multiple addresses to try to negotiate the mess).   It's that 

>>> they object to. They won't have any effect. People will continue to 
>>> use spam filtering methods that work for them, and not the ones that 
>>> some other third party approves of, in some way.
>> Irrelevant.   For the most part, "people" don't choose their spam 
>> filtering; they have it imposed on them and often have zero control 
>> over it except to try a different email address.
> That was another frequent theme on, circa 
> 1990s – how people are suffering victims of their administrators' 
> draconian spam filtering policies.
> Well, those arguments weren't exactly widely accepted back then, and I 
> don't think they're widely accepted now, either.

Just because people refuse to accept the truth doesn't mean it isn't true.

But this is a silly discussion.  I certainly acknowledge that spam 
filtering is hard, and that the state of the art is to use unreliable 
heuristics.   The point is, even if it's the best that we can currently 
do, it still doesn't work very well.   We do no credit to ourselves if 
we put our heads in the sand and mutter "it's not a problem!".