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

Dave Cridland <> Mon, 14 April 2014 22:02 UTC

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Date: Mon, 14 Apr 2014 23:02:32 +0100
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Subject: Re: DMARC: perspectives from a listadmin of large open-source lists
From: Dave Cridland <>
To: "Murray S. Kucherawy" <>
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On 14 April 2014 22:27, Murray S. Kucherawy <> wrote:

> On Mon, Apr 14, 2014 at 2:08 PM, Dave Cridland <> wrote:
>> The DMARC folk came to the IETF to have a rubber stamp put on their work,
>> and pretty explicitly stated that no substantive changes were acceptable,
>> and that change control would de-facto remains with the DMARC consortium.
>> So nobody who wasn't already "in the club" was really invited.
> I understand that's how the move was interpreted.  We spent a lot of time
> arguing about how to word the charter so that changes were restricted only
> to what was necessary versus wholesale changes that caused serious and
> unjustified disruption to the installed base, etc. etc.  A lot of work has
> been derailed by cracking base specs wide open in the past (think 2821 and
> 2822, for example).  It was the same argument under which DKIM and XMPP
> were brought to the IETF, but in the case of DMARC case the two sides
> couldn't agree on exactly how to do it.
Actually, you specifically stated that it was different. DKIM had quite low
deployment, you said - and that in itself was DomainKeys rather than DKIM
per-se. DMARC had, you said, 60% of the mailboxes covered already. Changes
just weren't practical, you said - deployment was already a fact. In fact,
you rejected the phrases used in both DKIM and XMPP's charters, saying they
weren't suitable.

Scott Kitterman said it seemed like the DMARC people wanted just
wordsmithing; Dave Crocker said that was, indeed, what they wanted, but "at
least one AD" had pushed back.

I'm paraphrasing to some degree, but I'll dig out actual links to messages
if you really want.

There's little room for misinterpretation; you and Dave Crocker were, quite
characteristically, very clear and explicit; saying you "understand that's
how the move was interpreted" is a good political phrase, but it was
interpreted that way because you made it very clear that was how it was.

> One of the very specific items that was on the proposed charter was
> dealing with the question of how to integrate DMARC with mailing lists.
> This was called out very early on as an open issue, as were some other
> important ones:
Right, but the WG was expected to make it work with mailing lists without
changing it. Tough ask.

Sorry, but given the way in which IETF participants were asked to work on
DMARC, there is absolutely no way you could say that the "DMARC people came
to the IETF to [...] complete development" - it was more or less stated
that development was done and dusted - and the IETF didn't reject it on the
basis that no engineering work remained - the DMARC people rejected any
engineering work happening.

It doesn't actually matter whether you think the reasons behind this were
valid; the fact is that you're putting one heck of a slant on recent
history, and it's not borne out by what's in the archives.