Sent: Thursday, January 16, 2003 8:20 AM
At a minimum, there needs to be some dialogue between the ops
community and the email community to resolve this.
How should we proceed?
The email community has already specified a solution to this
problem. All you have to do is use it. I'm really not sure
what else needs to be said.
The problem is that until the *ops* community changes its approach, the
poor end user is stuck. As Dave points out, most ISPs now seem to block
port 25 (except to their own servers), presumably as an "anti-spam"
measure. In reality, I think, they don't actually care about spam, but
want to make sure that one of their assigned IP addresses doesn't appear
in spam and thus end up in a RBL. If you're only using a provider as
dial-up Internet access you don't have a mail account with the provider
and thus can't use their SMTP server; if they block port 25 you can't
use any other server. You're stuck.
Registering SMTPS again would only provide short-term relief (providers
would soon block it as well) at the cost of creating standards
confusion. The SMTP submission port faces the same problem - the moment
spammers start using it, the providers will block it. I think the
problem really comes from brain-dead maintenance and use of RBLs - no
ISP wants one of their assigned IPs appearing as the originating address
of spam, so they'll always block any mail submission mechanism that
isn't to one of their own servers.
How we fix this is a really good question...