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Re: [ietf-smtp] IETF Policy on dogfood consumption or avoidance - SMTP version

2019-12-27 06:13:48
Richard Clayton writes:

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Sam Varshavchik <mrsam(_at_)courier-mta(_dot_)com> writes

>The only technical solution that I think has a chance of eventually getting
>rid of spam is the one that conclusively proves or disproves whether the
>mail sender is known to the /individual addressee/. Spam, by definition,
>comes from an unknown source, and it will not be able to prove that it's a
>known source.

that's your definition ... the people who write the various statutes
have another one ...

Yes: it's "that which our donors do not send".

> That means it can be filtered out, at that point. That's the
>root of the problem: spam, by definition, comes from a completely unknown
>source to the sender. Focus the technical solution on /that/.

if you decide to focus on that then you will deal with a chunk of the
problem but not I think the chunk that anyone really has much problem

So, today people don't have much of a problem with spam from unknown sources to them?

     -- and in doing so you will disrupt a great many edge cases where
email from apparent strangers is in fact of considerable value to the

But that's a known source to the recipients: those apparent strangers didn't simply have their E-mail address pop into their heads. They got it from somewhere; the recipients' web site, or some other public forum. So, the source of their E-mail isn't really unknown, it's known where they got their E-mail from, in this case.

This is why I said early on: the technical solution here must involve not just SMTP.

.... and since it is clearly unwise to expect a technical fix to address
a social problem (that's my generality for the mix!) the social nature
of their approach is at least heading in the right sort of direction

That's where I will disagree. There may be some social aspects to spam, but it is mostly a technical problem. The technical problem is the open nature of SMTP. That will never change, and this technical problem is only solvable mostly by other technical means, that are rooted in something other than SMTP.

In any case, there's nothing that can anyone show that any social or legal approach to fighting spam will make any difference whatsoever. Again: look how effective the CAN SPAM Act of 2003 turned out to be. Any proposal, along the same lines, will need to explain why it will succeed, and the CAN SPAM Act didn't.

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