Re: [EAI] [IETF] Content Issues [ was: Internationalized Email Internet Draft]

John C Klensin <> Sat, 15 October 2016 00:21 UTC

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Date: Fri, 14 Oct 2016 20:21:23 -0400
From: John C Klensin <>
To: Franck Martin <>,
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Cc: Harish Chowdhary <>,
Subject: Re: [EAI] [IETF] Content Issues [ was: Internationalized Email Internet Draft]
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--On Friday, October 14, 2016 09:53 -0700 Franck Martin
<> wrote:

> I tried to subscribe to this list using my email address
> 弗兰克@互联网.公司 but mailman replied:
> Your subscription is not allowed because the email address you
> gave is insecure.


First and most important, the IETF mail servers, or at least, do not advertise SMTPUTF8 as a capability.  So,
given the issues discussed in RFC 6783 and elsewhere, it would
be really stupid for the IETF version of mailman to accept a
non-ASCII address.   

One can debate whether, under the "eat our own dogfood"
principle or something else, the IETF mail servers should be
SMTPUTF8-capable and advertising that extension.  I encourage
anyone who feels strongly that the servers should support
SMTPUTF8 at this time to take it up with the IESG and/or IAOC,
or, perhaps even better, to try some extended rants during the
Seoul plenary, perhaps delivering those rants in multiple
languages that  none of the IESG, IAOC, or IAB understand.  That
would help to make the point about how full SMTPUTF8 support
within IETF discussion lists would facilitate communication and

Seriously, at least in the near term, I'd oppose letting anyone
post to an IETF list from a non-ASCII address.  This has been
discussed before in other contexts, but it is important that we,
as a standards body, be able to identify who is posting to our
lists and trying to influence outcomes.  The IETF possibly
doesn't go far enough in that direction -- again, a topic that
has been discussed before.  At least as long as we do our
business in English and don't have authoritative translations to
and from any other accepted languages of just about everything
available, we should stick to addresses that everyone who
participates here (in English) can read.

I'm belaboring this point only because the special issues
involving mailing lists, especially mailing lists whose
membership/recipients may involve people from more than one
language group, are yet another issue that has to be considered
carefully on the way to a world that is fully SMTPUTF8-enabled.