Re: [Shutup] [ietf-smtp] Proposed Charter for the "SMTP Headers Unhealthy To User Privacy" WG (fwd)

Chris Lewis <ietf@mustelids.ca> Fri, 04 December 2015 17:51 UTC

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From: Chris Lewis <ietf@mustelids.ca>
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Subject: Re: [Shutup] [ietf-smtp] Proposed Charter for the "SMTP Headers Unhealthy To User Privacy" WG (fwd)
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On 12/04/2015 11:54 AM, Dave Crocker wrote:

> Extended tutorial material is well and good in the right context, but it
> is not typically considered appropriate for vetting a working group
> creation effort.  Worse, I believe the tutorial exercise has been going
> on for quite a few days now, which makes it costly, as well as wasteful.

Yes, you're quite right.

Backing up to the original mandate of this discussion:

I think it's fairly evident that the draft (and some of the discussions 
here are venturing into areas outside of the normal scope of IETF work 
(eg: social policy) and has insufficient practical experience to be 
adequately informed on how to accomplish the result, let alone the 
potential consequences from an operational/security/privacy perspective.

Work in this area can be immensely useful, but the candidate draft 
presumes too much and needs substantial re-work, probably to the point 
of starting over.  For example:

- Normative "MUST NOT" wording won't work in an IETF 
non-technical/non-interoperability policy-based supposedly optional choice.

- The draft has no understanding that the Received lines and other 
headers may well have exactly the same information in other than a 
Received "from clause".  IOW: the proposal doesn't come close to 
addressing the desired outcome.

- The draft makes no notice of the privacy, operational or security 
issues that can be impaired by the lack of such information.  IOW: the 
proposal may well do more harm than good even if only to privacy.

Before deciding what the draft should say, let alone before 
re-work/starting over, we need to have a proper discussion of the 
pros/cons of doing anything in this space, and if we do decide to do 
something in this space, identify what protocol details need to be 
addressed.