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Re: [ietf-smtp] why you shouldn't even try to canonicalize local parts

2016-03-15 18:42:01
Sorry about belaboring a point.  Popping out a level, what defines an
identity? even when we send mail to someone?  Is it a mailbox or rather an
authenticated user?

My impression is that if you ask that question to three people, you'll get at least three answers, maybe more. Maybe it's a mailbox, maybe it's a person, maybe it's something else. I expect that the address "postmaster(_at_)google(_dot_)com" goes to and from an identifiable group of people whose composition changes over time. The useful definitions seem to be along the lines of "the same person or thing that sent/received mail last time" or "a name string vouched for by a mutually acceptable authority."

pedantic to many reading this, but doesn't RFC7542 specify a notion of a
Network Access Identity which has a notion of canonicalization for email

No. NAIs deliberately look sort of like e-mail addresses but they are not e-mail addresses. They're login tokens and serve a very different purpose than e-amil addresses do.

I realize that a lot of places use e-mail addresses as login tokens, but login tokens are stil different from addresses. Every web site that wants an e-mail address from me to use as a login identifier gets a different address. Mail sent to those addresses is delivered to the same mail sorting script, but I deliberately make the login tokens different.

John Levine, johnl(_at_)taugh(_dot_)com, Taughannock Networks, Trumansburg NY
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