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Re: Fwd: Please confirm your message

on Sun, Dec 01, 2002 at 07:19:47PM +0100, Gerrit Pape (pape@smarden.org) wrote:
> On Sun, Dec 01, 2002 at 02:35:28PM +0100, Russell Coker wrote:
> > The people who run such stupid filters misunderstand the way the
> > Internet works.
> Maybe you should do a short research on the user of this mail handling
> program before saying such.
> > If you have to send an extra confirmation message every time you send
> > an email to someone you haven't communicated with before then it will
> > increase the number of messages required by at least 50%.  That is an
> > unreasonable burden to place on other people.
> I wrote the software primarily for ezmlm mailing lists, please rethink
> your statement with this precondition.

Here's my problem with such tricks:

    They take the personal (and best addressed as a personally-managed)
    problem of whitelist generation and offload it to a class of people
    who neither particularly care, nor are skilled at, executing it.

As is clear here, the tactic is spectacularly ill-suited to mass
communications, mailing lists in particular.  If I'm posting mail to a
list, WTF should I care what Joe Bumpkiss, or Gerrit Pape, wants to do
with my email?  If s/he signed up for the list, the presumption is that
s/he wants to receive the mail.

Ordinarially[1] I use a set of procmail recipies which filter mail on a
number of criteria.  These include heursitics to detect list mail,
spamassassin, and a set of white and black lists.  With my mailer, it's
trivial to select a message, or a list of messages, and add the sender
to either my white or black list.  Takes a fraction of a second.
Only happens once (and generally only for mail directed to me -- list
mail doesn't need this hoop).[2]

Best of all, my system never reveals itself to the sender at all.  Which
is as it should be.

I roundfile any "prove yourself" requests I receive, and blacklist the



1.  System failures mean I'm on a fallback mail system w/o my procmail
    support.  Two days of filtering by hand...  I'm going to dig through
    backups to get 'em back in place RSN.

2.  The system is based on the Debian spamfilter package, Lars
    Wizenius's procmal recipies.  Spamassassin support is simply added
    as another rule.  I've added a small script to add an address to a
    b/w list.

Karsten M. Self <kmself@ix.netcom.com>        http://kmself.home.netcom.com/
 What Part of "Gestalt" don't you understand?
   Geek for hire:  http://kmself.home.netcom.com/resume.html

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