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Sender's Declaration of Identity

2005-05-15 18:23:07

I've written a draft that I hope will help resolve some of the inter-operability problems for different email authentication methods. Before submitting it, I would like to make sure I haven't missed something important.

The proposal is to add an ID command to the SMTP exchange, after EHLO, but before MAIL. My main concern is backward compatibility. Here are the relevant paragraphs:

   MAIL FROM: bob(_at_)sales(_dot_)my-company(_dot_)com


   The proposed syntax will require extension of SMTP standard [RFC-
   2821] and changes in current MTA software and practices.  See section
   7. IANA Considerations.

   MTA software will need to be enhanced and deployed at sites that
   provide email authentication.  To minimize upgrade efforts these
   changes should be bundled with the upgrade to enable authentication.

   Receivers that don't recognize the ID command should return a Reply
   Code 500 COMMAND UNRECOGNIZED.  Receivers that recognized the
   command, but chose to ignore it, should return 502 COMMAND
   UNIMPLEMENTED.  [RFC-2821] section 4.2.4.  Senders should ignore
   these errors, and proceed with the MAIL command.

   Backward compatibility may be an issue for receivers that do not wish
   to add authentication, but have been enforcing overly strict
   requirements on SMTP syntax, perhaps for the purpose of spam
   filtering.  Mail with an unrecognized command should not be rejected.

The complete draft is at: draft-macquigg-authent-declare

Comments will be appreciated.


************************************************************     *
* David MacQuigg, PhD     email: david_macquigg at     *  *
* IC Design Engineer            phone:  USA 520-721-4583      *  *  *
* Analog Design Methodologies                                 *  *  *
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