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Re: making mail traceable (was Re: Received header Considered Pathetic)

2004-01-17 09:44:25

The "Received" header is woefully inadequate for spam tracing

I'm not quite ready to abandon it, primarily for practical reasons:
+ it's already widely implemented
+ it's already used for spam tracking

Any alternative will require substantial time to pick up enough momentum
to be useful.

that's true of any new information that might be provided regardless of whether it uses a new header field or if the new information somehow gets stuffed into the received field. the point is, the existing information is unreliable and inadequate.

What I'm after is a means of automating tracing for abuse complaints.

me too. but I don't see how we can do that without providing non-repudiation. otherwise it becomes easy to DoS somebody by forging mail as if it were from them and generating lots of complaints about it.

nor do I think it's sufficient to get ISPs to terminate spammers. what we need is a way to find out if a message is spam (or if the sender is a spammer) after the message is sent, but before it is delivered or read.

And no, I certainly don't want a Big Brother mechanism. I expect ISPs to behave responsibly and in the community interest (and for the most part, they do -- they aren't any happier about having their resources wasted by spammers than anybody

it's pretty hard to behave in the community interest when Big Brother is twisting your arm.

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