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Re: [Nmh-workers] Stanford disliking my emails -- update + question

2015-04-22 21:35:02
Hmm ... I seem to have not received a mailing list posting:  I've
never seen the text that Ken quoted.

I'm pretty sure that Comcast would be willing to provide me with
my own FQDN (*.comcast.net, or possibly an "arbitrary" one) for a
fee.  Maybe even for free.  But I never looked into the option
since I've never needed one outside sending emails.  (That is a
very important need, granted, and maybe I should.)

Google may also do the same (though not "*.google.com"), but not
as part of GMail.

As for Ken's "Thirdly" note:  I can't disagree with you.  Sadly,
Stanford has invested heavily in using Proofpoint, and are not
likely to change until maybe the university president starts
missing email.  (Though, in that case, they'd probably just make
an exception for him.)

                                Bob

On Wed, 22 Apr 2015 20:29:45 -0400 Ken Hornstein <kenh(_at_)pobox(_dot_)com> 
sez:

There are usually two options - first, most ISPs (and
particularly e-mail suppliers) also supply FQDN's as part of
their service - often at no extra charge (since it costs them
nothing).  Of course that way your FQDN would be tied to the
provider, and change whenever you switch providers, but if all
you care about is having one for uses like HELO lines, etc, it
would be fine (you just need to remember to reconfigure when
required.)

While I understand that's the ideal solution ... I think as a
solution to THIS problem it's rather ridiculous.

First, I do not agree with your statement that ISPs/e-mail
suppliers also provide FQDNs as part of their service.  I do
not believe, for example, that Verizon (my current ISP) or
pobox.com (my current email forwarder) does this, and if they
do they certainly don't do it for free.  Okay, these are only
two data points.  Maybe everyone else does it.

Now, my edge router does have an IP address that has a FQDN
(something based on the IP address).  But AFAIK there isn't
really a reasonable way for someone behind a NAT to determine
what their external IP address is; I could hardcode it, but it
changes occasionally.

Secondly ... I will note that I believe no other MUA lets you
explicitly configure the hostname for the SMTP HELO/EHLO
messages.  Maybe there are a few that do ... but certainly none
of the common programs that the vast majority of people on
Windows use.  In my experience, those MUAs simply use an
unqualified name based on the hostname of the local box.  That
suggests to me that needing a FQDN to send mail is not a de
facto requirement, and having it be a requirement for nmh users
is an undue burden.  FWIW, at home my Received headers probably
show this email coming from the ".internal" domain, and AFAIK I
don't get spam bounces.

Thirdly ... I think it's ridiculous that Stanford's anti-spam
rules trawl through Received headers (which are defined as
being free-form) and look for suspicious hostnames when you've
already sent that email through your email provider and it has
a valid DKIM header; gmail has already certified that the email
came from an authenticated user, why does Stanford care what
your local hostname is?

--Ken

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