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Re: Branden's mail policies

On Sun, Jun 19, 2005 at 10:31:28AM +0100, Simon Huggins wrote:
> I originally sent this mail to:
> 	To: leader@debian.org
> 	Cc: bdale@debian.org, vorlon@debian.org, jeroen@debian.org,
> 		enrico@debian.org, andreas@debian.org, mako@debian.org
> i.e. Leader and Project SCUD
> I've not had any form of reply though

I apologize for that.  I stopped updating my "backlash" page[1] after
receiving a few private messages questioning the practice in my capacity as
DPL.  I agreed with those people, and queued your mail for a reply, but
have not responded quickly enough.

> and feel this is a problem the project needs to address if the leader is
> going to continue to send mail from a blacklisted host and not care about
> doing so.

I don't feel that this is an accurate characterization of my attitude, then
or now.  I've always cared -- my method for coping with being blacklisted
when sending mail as leader@debian.org is what has changed.

> If you are mailing on behalf of yourself, then I don't think anyone
> cares how you mail people but if you are mailing on behalf of
> leader@debian.org then perhaps you could consider using one of the
> Debian machines instead of a known blacklisted IP on a widely
> blacklisted range.

I agree.  More precisely, if I find myself blacklisted when sending mail "ex
cathedra", I fall back to a host that is not blacklisted.

> Your ISP has added your range to the DUL as I'm sure you as an
> intelligent technical person know so I am slightly amazed that you don't
> see any need to either contact your ISP to get a different IP, change
> ISP, use a different host to send your mail, or if you trust your
> current ISP so much then use their smarthost.

I explained my rationale at length at the page in question[1] -- I
understand that you may not share my assessment of DUL blacklisting as
discriminatory (in the negative sense) and unethical (in its disregard for
collateral damage), but that does not mean that I have not considered the
consequences of my decisions.

> Whilst I realise you won't change when mailing as yourself, as part of
> your duties as our leader I believe you really should make every effort
> to get your message acrosss.  I'd urge the other members of Project Scud
> to encourage Branden to use a Debian machine with an IP that isn't
> listed in the DUL to send mail if he won't consider any other
> approaches.

No one within Project Scud has been as stridently insistent as you and a
couple of other people have been, and they haven't had to be -- I believe
Matthew Garrett was the first person to counsel me to not apply my
"naming and shaming" policy in my official capacity as DPL (and he did so
quite politely).  After a couple more messages, I could tell which way the
wind was blowing and stopped updating the page[1] altogether, though I
reserve the right to resume doing so for mails I send outside my capacity
as DPL.

> You can see on your "blacklist backlash" that JaNET, the UK's academic
> network is listed as respecting the DUL.  Blacklisting via the DUL is a
> positive measure when coupled with virus scanning smarthosts as it
> reduces the number of virus mails spread by clients like Outlook.

I'm going to leave the evaluation of anti-spam tactics to others to
discussion, which they can do (and have done) exhaustively.  It's really a
separate discussion (indeed, it appears to be one of our institutionally
preferred topics with which to hijack a thread in this project :) ), so I
beseech those who'd like to talk about that to change the Subject: line of
their responses in this thread.

> I'm happy for this mail to see a wider audience.  If you can indicate in
> any reply whether you are or not that would be useful.

I did underestimate the passion with which people have invested themselves
in this subject.  Thanks for giving it a hearing.

Again, for those who are reading in a hurry:

  As of 10 May 2005, when I find myself blacklisted when sending mail as
  leader@debian.org, I fall back to a host that is not blacklisted.

[1] http://deadbeast.net/~branden/homepage/mailblock.html

G. Branden Robinson
Debian Project Leader

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