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Re: [ietf-smtp] [Shutup] Proposed Charter for the "SMTP Headers Unhealthy To User Privacy" WG (fwd)

2015-12-01 12:46:59
Tuesday, Dec 1, 2015 12:57 PM Ned Freed wrote:
I think it might be helpful if someone would name or describe a largish
site or service provider that uses Recived, and describe how in useful
detail. "A spam/virus filter company that handles mail for about x million
mailboxes does ...", that kind of thing.

First, people have already been referred to SpamAssassin, which most 
does perform various checks on Received: fields. The code is out there; all
you need to do is look.

Looking at the code isn't all that interesting, but given that it's available, 
what _would_ be interesting would be to try Spamassassin with and without, 
e.g., the Received: header field from the initial submit, on the same corpus of 
mail, and see how the effectiveness of the filtering changes.

Second, good luck on getting anyone to comment on the details of their own
secret sauce, or for that matter getting anyone who has learned such details
through business relationships. All such information is pretty much guaranteed
to be covered by confidentiality or nondisclosure agreements.

This is probably true, but the effect of it is that we should not consider 
assertions people make that they can't justify.  It's actually not that useful 
to know what specific heuristics people are using.   What would be more 
interesting would be to do A/B testing as I suggest above, using their 
proprietary solution.   It seems to me that that could in principle happen 
without disclosing the information that these organizations don't want to 
disclose.   If they don't care enough to make such information available, it's 
likely that it's because they don't see the issue as being sufficiently 
important, which is to say they don't think Received: headers make enough 
difference to be worth arguing about.

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