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

Doug Barton <> Fri, 18 April 2014 04:28 UTC

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Date: Thu, 17 Apr 2014 21:28:43 -0700
From: Doug Barton <>
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Subject: Re: DMARC from the perspective of the listadmin of a bunch of SMALL community lists
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On 04/17/2014 07:41 AM, wrote:
> I also find it particularly revealing that one of the arguments being
> made here is along of the lines of, "Everything else has had to
> change, why are those stodgy old mailing list thingies somehow
> exempt?" Except that's not it at all - the approach was always
> essentially, "We're going to screw you, how about you do X or Y to
> mitigate the damage a little?" To which the answer, predictably, was
> less than enthusiastic.

Another way to look at this is that the IETF, which ostensibly is 
interested in "input from operators," received pretty clear "input" from 
the operators of the largest mail systems on the planet, and 
collectively stuck their fingers in their ears and sang "la la la la la, 
I can't hear you" because it didn't like what was being said.

The message was pretty clearly, "We think DMARC is valuable enough to us 
that we plan to deploy it even though it has the unfortunate side effect 
of causing problems for mailing lists." Rather than throwing up our 
hands and telling the DMARC folks that we refuse to work with them 
unless their solution solves the problem of our anachronistic use case 
that that constitutes only a tiny percentage of their overall traffic; a 
more rational approach would have been to recognize that the tail is not 
going to wag the dog here and start working with mailing list authors to 
solve the problem of how to live in a world that includes DMARC.

When people talk about how the IETF is out of touch with the operator 
community and increasingly irrelevant, this is exactly the kind of thing 
that they are talking about. We ignore this lesson at our peril.