For those of us that feel strongly that email should be a rel iable transport medium.

Schmitt, Andy C - CIDD-2 acschmitt at BPA.GOV
Tue Feb 10 18:39:09 GMT 2004

I think the original problem was that, polite or not, getting 3000 messages within a half-hour just because a spammer spoofed an email address just doesn't make someone's day. It's happened to some of my clients a few times, and it's _not_ fun.  The clueless use of bouncing, on any mail gateway, by some admins has made it a real monster, and I think Julian has done the right thing in deciding to eliminate it.

I see a lot of people using "mail receipts", which are client-based, that send back a receipt when they read the message.  Someone on this list suggested phone calls to verify, which I use sometimes (since receipts seem kind of annoying to me). Or just allow mail to get through (setting spam to deliver) and tell clients to set up a rule (Outlook and Eudora, IIRC, both do this) that will dump messages labelled spam into the appropriate folder; then they can decide what they want to keep.  All I know is, if you are in a position where you are filtering mail in such a way that clients will never see blocked messages, which I am, you can't have your cake and eat it too.  Do you want to err on the side of eliminating spam, yielding some false negatives, or err on the side of ensuring mail delivery, yielding some false positives?  There are many ways to handle this problem, but flooding the Internet with thousands of replies to spam is one of the least efficient.

Andy Schmitt
BPA Unix Team

-----Original Message-----
From: Admin Team [mailto:sysadmins at ENHTECH.COM]
Sent: Tuesday, February 10, 2004 10:10 AM
Subject: Re: For those of us that feel strongly that email should be a
reliable transport medium.

At 12:13 PM 2/10/2004, you wrote:
>I appreciate your point, and I am aware of your position. But bouncing spam
>is not the correct answer to it, there are many other superior solutions to
>the problem, that don't cause grief to everyone else on the net.

Julian, as opposed to "bouncing" a message, can we implement something to
notify a sender politely that
they *may* have sent an email to someone that did not get delivered and
*IF* they do not know this person
to disregard the message. I am very concerned that the bounce feature is
removed. For those providers not wishing
to guarantee some type of service to their clients, Tell your Backpone
providers to also renig on the SLA you have with them.
The reason we notify senders is not to be mean but as a responsibility to
the clients we handle mail for. They intrust us with their mail.
If for any reason a message cannot be delivered to someone, then the sender
needs to know about this.  I am asking you to please have this option
available for those who need it. Otherwise this breaks more than you are
trying to fix. Email is an important form of communication in this day and
age and ANY provider who tells their clients they cannot "guarantee"
delivery of email to their inbox is
simply irresponsible. Again,if you are willing to take this approach,
please relieve your backbone providers of all SLA's they provide you.
Allow them to tell you that they do not "guarantee" delivery of any
datagram to your servers and see how quickly you look for another provider.

Errol Neal

More information about the MailScanner mailing list