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Fwd: regarding the minutes for the filtering meeting...

1997-01-11 18:06:55
(Since the archive at
seems so empty....)

Here is a copy of the minutes of the mail filtering ("anti-spam") BOF
at the 37th IETF meeting in San Jose, Thu 12 Dec 1996.

Discussions are also reported to be happening on spam-list(_at_)psc(_dot_)edu
(a majordomo list).


Neal McBurnett <nealmcb(_at_)bell-labs(_dot_)com>  503-331-5795  Portland/Denver
Bell Labs Innovations for Lucent Technologies
        Formerly AT&T's systems and technology business      (with PGP key)

Date: Fri, 20 Dec 1996 17:53:36 -0500
To: "Jack De Winter" <jack(_at_)wildbear(_dot_)on(_dot_)ca>, 
        snowhare(_at_)netimages(_dot_)com, steve(_at_)esys(_dot_)ca, 
        yarong(_at_)microsoft(_dot_)com, rapier(_at_)psc(_dot_)edu, 
        srw+filtering(_at_)cmu(_dot_)edu, chris(_at_)innosoft(_dot_)com, 
        lyndon(_at_)esys(_dot_)ca, wall(_at_)cmu(_dot_)edu, 
jgm(_at_)cmu(_dot_)edu, neald(_at_)glyph(_dot_)com,
        ned(_at_)innosoft(_dot_)com, dan(_at_)innosoft(_dot_)com, 
        jwnz(_at_)qualcomm(_dot_)com, nealmcb(_at_)bell-labs(_dot_)com
From: "Jack De Winter" <jack(_at_)wildbear(_dot_)on(_dot_)ca>
Subject: regarding the minutes for the filtering meeting...

have been swamped with work, and I apologize for the tardiness.
If I spelled any names wrong, perhaps some of you should have
printed them neater on the sign in sheet. ;-)


Chaired: Chris Rapier
Minutes: Jack De Winter

Jack De Winter <jack(_at_)wildbear(_dot_)on(_dot_)ca>
Kirpal Khalsa <kirpal_khalsa(_at_)ccmail(_dot_)com>
Benjamin Franz <snowhare(_at_)netimages(_dot_)com>
Steve Hole <steve(_at_)esys(_dot_)ca>
David Morris <dwm(_at_)xpasc(_dot_)com>
Yaron Y. Goland <yarong(_at_)microsoft(_dot_)com>
Chris Rapier <rapier(_at_)psc(_dot_)edu>
Rob Earheart <earhart(_at_)cmu(_dot_)edu>
Sam Weiler <srw+filtering(_at_)cmu(_dot_)edu>
Chris Neumann <chris(_at_)innosoft(_dot_)com>
Randy Gellens <randy(_at_)qualcomm(_dot_)com>
Lyndon Nerenberg <lyndon(_at_)esys(_dot_)ca>
Matt Wall <wall(_at_)cmu(_dot_)edu>
John Meyers <jgm(_at_)cmu(_dot_)edu>
Neal A Dillman <neald(_at_)glyph(_dot_)com>
Ned Freed <ned(_at_)innosoft(_dot_)com>
Dan N. <dan(_at_)innosoft(_dot_)com>
Peter Taylor <peter(_dot_)taylor(_at_)ncl(_dot_)ac(_dot_)uk>
John Noremburg <jwnz(_at_)qualcomm(_dot_)com>
Neal McBurnett <nealmcb(_at_)bell-labs(_dot_)com>

[Editor's notes:
- this meeting started out as a discussion group about anti spamming
- these are my written recollections of the meeting

Chris Rapier
- need standardized filtering language
- [himself] is a sys admin with some programming
- [he] would like to see consensus on what to do and how to do it

Matt Wall
- evolved from Seattle IMAP conference filtering BOF
- recognized the need in infrastructure, standardized on client and server
- want to develop filters at the delivery/transport/MTA levels
- Seattle BOF did not want to consider client side filtering
- ACAP and LDAP are avenues of access, need filtering language

Ned Freed
- AOL is actively pursuing this, might want to talk to them
- complex relations can ensue depending on filtering goals
- systemwide rules may be illegal, need user input to make legal

David Morris
- should be distributed on behalf of the client

Kirpal Khelsa
- may be a delivery agent function at delivery time

Steve Hole
- operations like CC should be included for sorting
- distribute the work so that a delivery agent could be included
- shifting from proprietary to internet standards may prompt
  the need for proprietary rules
- John Meyers presented a language in Seattle, SafeTcl and ActiveMail
  also options
- examples exist today, must represent to client easily

Rob Earhart
- everyone has different goals and requirements
- filters could be URLs
- would put the focus on gateways and contain lots of options

Jack De Winter
- [we] need to decide the goals we want to pursue

Matt Hole
- need a good list of requirements for usage

Chris Rapier
- do we want to do this at some level? [consensus was yes]
- do we want to do this under the IETF? [consensus was yes]
- keep it open, simple, extensible
- move bulk of discussion to a IMC list on the subject

[Chris Rapier and Ned Freed volunteered and were accepted as
 tentative chairs for the group]

Ned Freed
- domain of information to filter needs to be decided: all, header,
- facilities of the language
- actions that can be taken by that language as a result

John Meyers [explaining about filtering language] 
- if/then statements
- looks at envelopes, headers, the size of the body
- some pattern matching using REGEX or GLOB
- actions are: file message, forward message, toss message,
  reply with file to message, place message in mailbox

Randy Gellens
- when is the filtering applied?

Ned Freed
- depends on the type of information to be acted upon and the
  desired scope
- [example was given about not being able to check headers if a
   filter was installed at the MTA level, checking the SMTP replies]

Benjamin Franz
- need one filter for MTAs and one for receipt of the message

John Meyers
- [said it was] trivially extensible

Randy Gellens
- IMAP's annotate may be useful

John Meyers
- could have an action of annotation in the filter, possible extension

David Morris
- manager may want to use this for filtering clients
- list needs to be refined all of the time
- make sure to provide easy input to filtering rules

Sam Weiler
- may want information on something that passed the filter

Ned Freed
- stats require a turing complete language

Sam Weiler
- may want complex actions such as [PGP] signature verification

Chris Neumann
- want extensibility requirement, and get it right in the base and
  then worry about extensions later

Randy Gellens
- may have opposition on server side about being turing complete

Ned Freed
- [concurred as] may want to run on systems with little extra resources

Steve Hole
- want language, but need to make it easy to display

Matt Wall
- base mechanism be very safe

Rob Earhart
- may/not want turing complete language

Chirs Rapier
- may have good reasons for requirements, but want a single, simple

Chirs Neumann
- need MIME types and labels for storage

Ned Freed
- keep the venue and audience in mind
- may want the user to have the ability to use another language

Chris Neumann
- needs forward, vacation, discard, file into

Lyndon Nerenberg
- reject is a compound application [reply with and discard]
- multiple instances of reply should be allowed

Chris Rapier
- need reject as a separate option, sends DSN type reject message

Yaron Goland
- easy to share rules
- able to use admin rules; but not to share with anyone on the planet

Chris Neumann
- some kind of include mechanism

Jack De Winter
- may want some manner of promoting from one store to another store
- case of user wanting to submit a rule for inclusion on a company wide

Randy Gellens
- useful as it is; may get too complex and harm concept
- work on a simple version, then expand

John Neremberg
- explicit sharing may be too much

David Morris
- get all of the requirements, and then pare down

Chris Rappier
- would like some way to identify messages

Yaron Goland
- can make it harder to spam, but not impossible
- want to identify who a given message is from

Randy Gellens
- may want to use SUBMIT protocol to limit input to the system itself

Ned Freed
- [seem to be] only attacking spam through filters. other tools?

Lyndon Nerenberg
- what do we show to filters? envelope, headers, body?

Rob Earhart
- IMAP is flexible and can support this

David Morris
- need to analyze the problem more thoroughly

Chris Neumann
- more ways to keep it down at the SMTP level

Ned Freed
- examples that are out of scope: mail to news and vice-versa
- if gateways had a lag to allow for cancel messages to catch
  up with them, would help
- should be exclusively about mail for now

Chirs Rapier
- IETF may be against a spamming BOF/WG
- focus on mail based filtering languages

Lyndon Neremberg
- if make so it applies to RFC822, can apply to others later

Matt Hole
- not main requirement

David Morris
- holding an article for some time is a filter

Yaron Goland
- access control is an issue

Ned Freed/John Meyers
- storage mechanism is out of scope

Chris Neumann
- two camps: anti-spam and mail
- both are good as it will generate good filtering

Jack De Winter
- need to consider that we may need multiple filters at multiple stages

Chris Neumann
- need to extract from the language the envelope rules

Jack De Winter - Wildbear Consulting, Inc.
(519) 576-3873

Author of SLMail(95/NT) ( and other great products.

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