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Re: Email Subaddressing

1997-07-30 18:41:28

On Wed, 30 Jul 1997 17:04:52 -0700 (PDT) Chris Newman 
<Chris(_dot_)Newman(_at_)innosoft(_dot_)com> wrote:

I want to be able to subscribe to list foo as
<chris(_dot_)newman+foo(_at_)innosoft(_dot_)com> and have it delivered to me. 
 In order for
this to work, I need user agents which let me type the "+foo" in the from


I think you are right, and that it is probably worth giving 
up the availability "+" for anything else to get where we 
need to be. But, logically speaking, most of your argument 
evaporates if either of two courses is taken:

(1) We went through a long and difficult period in which we 
eventually convinced most of those who develop list 
management software that it was rational to permit people 
to set a "list target" address that was different from the 
"from:" header field address.   One could adopt a model in 
which, logically, there were three addresses

   List distro    (defaults to from, but can be changed)
   List posting   (defaults to from --not list distro-- but 
                    can be changed)

(2) We go where, because of spam and spoofing issues, I 
think we are headed anyway, which is not accepting material 
for posting to a list unless a digital signature can be 
verified.  Then the "subscribe" operation somehow has to 
register a public key (or pointer to one).  But then "right 
to post" is a key identifier/ signature verification issue, 
not a matter of matching return address strings; the latter 
becomes largely superfluous.

If this logic is correct, can you make the case that it is 
worth a possibly-significant risk to the infrastructure 
(yes, there really are addresses -- especially in mappings 
to and from strange gateways to LAN mail systems -- in 
which "+" is a delimiter character, but not for 
subaddressing, and several of them may appear in a 
local-part) for what may be a short-term gain?


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