Re: DMARC from the perspective of the listadmin of a bunch of SMALL community lists

Miles Fidelman <mfidelman@meetinghouse.net> Thu, 24 April 2014 23:41 UTC

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Date: Thu, 24 Apr 2014 19:24:32 -0400
From: Miles Fidelman <mfidelman@meetinghouse.net>
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Subject: Re: DMARC from the perspective of the listadmin of a bunch of SMALL community lists
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Doug Barton wrote:
> On 04/24/2014 02:35 PM, Martin Rex wrote:
>> Doug Barton wrote:
>>>
>>> What won't help is sitting on the sidelines and whinging that the 
>>> "DMARC
>>> cabal" "doesn't get it" and has to listen to us about how it should
>>> conduct their business. Because not only do they clearly not have to do
>>> that, they are not doing it.
>>
>> But that is exactly what happens here, they obviously don't get it at 
>> all.
>
> ... and yet the DMARC rollout continues. My point being that 
> complaining about it has been ineffective so far, and is likely to 
> continue to be ineffective.
>
>> In case you didn't know or realize, what DMARC specifies for p=reject
>> is actually a real felony crime in Germany (no kidding!),
>
> I can't comment intelligently on that point. However I would assume 
> that the high-powered attorneys at the large multi-national 
> corporations (Yahoo! and AOL) who have already deployed it don't think 
> you're right. OTOH if you are right, it will make an interesting side 
> show. :)
>
>> It also should stop since it is technically wrong.
>
> That's your opinion, and the opinion of a non-trivial number of people 
> on this list. But again, even if you're right, the thing is being 
> deployed anyway. So fixing the mailing list software is the right 
> thing to do regardless.
>
>> It is the tail trying to wag the dog
>
> You have "the tail" and "the dog" reversed. Mailing list traffic is a 
> tiny fraction of what the big providers carry. IT is the tail.
>
Is that really true, after you eliminate all of the spam, and the ads 
that fall just this side of "legitimate?"

Given that spam is now, what, 80+ percent of net traffic (some sources 
claim >90%), I wonder what the real breakdown is between:
- personal email
- work email
- notifications from social media sites
- "real" commercial traffic (bills, statements, order confirmations)
- list traffic (including work/company/university lists, user support, 
project-specific, affinity groups, churches, one's kids' schools, etc.)

And then I wonder how that differs for:
- personal mailboxes
- work mailboxes
- separate mailboxes set up to insulate one's personal mailbox from 
things other than personal and work traffic

In that later regard, I see an awful lot of people who set up mailboxes 
on free services, specifically for list-related traffic.

Speaking personally for a moment, and I'm certainly atypical, what I see is:
- personal account (been around a long time, highly visible, aggregates 
a lot of older accounts, a lot of admin traffic is routed to it as well)
--- 5000 messages a day
--- 4500, automatically filtered to /dev/null (spam, admin traffic I 
really don't want to look at, some old lists)
--- of the remaining traffic:
------ 200 or so - spam that gets past loose spam traps, deleted by eyeball
------ 225 or so - admin and list traffic (more these days, given the 
DMARC and IANAxfr discussions)
------ 25 - a mix of personal, notifications, various other stuff

- AOL and Yahoo accounts - rarely used - whenever I check, ALL spam
- work account: mostly 1-1 and some professional newsletters (1-way lists)

I'd be really interested in profiles of typical user accounts from big 
providers who claim that most of what they handle isn't list traffic.

Miles Fidelman