Re: DMARC: perspectives from a listadmin of large open-source lists

Miles Fidelman <> Mon, 14 April 2014 18:47 UTC

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Date: Mon, 14 Apr 2014 14:46:59 -0400
From: Miles Fidelman <>
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Subject: Re: DMARC: perspectives from a listadmin of large open-source lists
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Murray S. Kucherawy wrote:
> On Mon, Apr 14, 2014 at 8:09 AM, Miles Fidelman 
> < <>> wrote:
>     Is it perhaps also incumbent on the folks promulgating DMARC (and
>     its predecessors, and its sure-to-be successors) to work
>     cooperatively with mailing list developers, rather than taking the
>     position "nope, we break mailing lists, not our problem?"
> The DMARC proponents did engage mailman.   Version 2.1.16 includes 
> support for a setting that makes the operation of the list 
> DMARC-friendly, though likely in a way some people will find 
> unpalatable.  Either way, it was not done entirely in a vacuum.
>     I'm kind of coming to the conclusion that what we need to be
>     looking at is defining an SMTP extension that addresses BOTH sets
>     of concerns - and doing so in a cooperative manner that engages
>     not just the community behind DKIM and DMARC, but also the
>     developers and operators of mailman, sympa, majordomo, listserv -
>     and ideally the sendmail, postfix, exim, qmail community.
>     Dare I suggest that this calls for an IETF working group?
> I mentioned in another thread that the DMARC people did come to the 
> IETF to ask for a working group to complete development of the work on 
> the standards track.  This request was denied on the grounds that 
> DMARC was essentially already done, and thus the IETF had nothing 
> engineering-wise to contribute.  There were also too few people that 
> were not already DMARC proponents that would commit to working on it

Thanks for the history Murray.

Does this, perhaps, illuminate a flaw or failing in the way IETFs 
effects its role as the Internet's official standards body?  The more so 
that it's not stepping in after the fact to help clear up this mess?

I do wonder if there's a related case study in the way that RSS evolved 
into Atom - a case where outside work, and conflicts within it, ended up 
being worked under the IETF aegis?  (Sort of  shame that Atom has not 
become more popular.)


In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice.
In practice, there is.   .... Yogi Berra