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

2015-12-11 14:35:26
Friday, Dec 11, 2015 1:24 PM Chris Lewis wrote:
By this measure, all the large free mail services are garbage because they 
simply cannot afford to provide the level of service you're implying - a 
single phone call puts them well into the negative income zone.

I have a gmail account.   It gets very little spam, gets the email that real 
people send me, and delivers email from me to them fairly reliably.   And it's 
"free".   The test of a good service is not how good the customer service is 
when you call them: it's whether you need to call them.   In practice, I do not.

This also implies that you're introducing an economic/knowledge bias into the 
equation and an element of elitism (those who can afford). This is a really 
bad idea when we're talking about personal safety/privacy of people who are 
likely to be at the lower end of the income spectrum is it not?

This argument seems like a non-sequitur to me.   It's certainly unfair that not 
everybody has the resources I do to bring to bear on this problem, but they do 
have very good options available to them, and TBH it's actually a royal PITA 
for me operating my non-gmail service.   I do it as a matter of principle, not 
because it's better.   If I were a little less annoyed about being spied on, I 
would just redirect to gmail, and it would be a hell of a lot less 
trouble and work really well.

This is not to say that gmail is a universal panacea which will always be 
great.   It could start sucking next week.   But the point is that if you are 
going to claim that I am somehow privileged, I don't think you actually have 
much of a case to make.

Furthermore, if my comment about the wide availability of privacy protection 
systems (eg: email anonymizers, tor etc) wasn't good enough, why is "just 
switch to a better provider" (_if_ you know it's the right choice and can 
afford it) acceptable?

If your email service is sucking, that's readily apparent.   You don't know 
that you need more privacy than you have until it's too late.

In the real world most providers make it hard to make contact with a human, 
and at best you get access to a level 1 support person who has a script and 
is completely lost if you diverge off it.  There is no substitute for a level 
3 or 4 or 5 who has a bit more personal interest in your success.

I don't see that changing any time soon, nor is it anything the IETF can do 
anything about.

I agree with everything here except the implication that if you can't talk to a 
person on the phone, the service sucks.   I would argue that if you are on the 
phone with a support person, that's the evidence that the service sucks.

A concierge-style email service that provides genuinely useful phone support 
really is going to be too expensive for regular folks.   What has brought the 
Internet to the masses is not the replication of what we all enjoyed as 
Internet users in 1995.   It's been the systematic removal of support costs 
from the system so that the price of service is low enough for regular folks to 
afford it.

Of course, we do occasionally hear horror stories who have been badly screwed 
by the inability to talk to a human, but that's actually good: those people (a) 
now understand why good email service is worth paying for and (b) are telling 
all their friends, or at least (c) are learning to be more careful about how 
they use the service (i.e., taking the support cost on themselves).

Sent from Whiteout Mail -

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