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Re: displaying email adresses

Santiago Vila <sanvila@unex.es> wrote:
> On Tue, 11 Dec 2007, Don Armstrong wrote:
> > If humans can read it, spammers can too.
> That's inaccurate. You are missing rule #3: Spammers are stupid.

Where did you find that rule?  It seems to be a unjustified assumption.
Assumption is the mother of all "screw-ups".

Sadly, spammers are not so stupid any more.  For example, read how
spammers use porn to defeat eyetests at

I've also read reports of people who sit in cybercafes harvesting
addresses onto USB sticks with copy-paste and search+replace tools.
There's always someone willing to do that sort of work if it pays well
enough for them.

> Spammers will only read what they can read by mechanical means.
> We would just have to make it difficult for them to obtain email
> addresses *so easily*, without making it really difficult for a
> human being. Procedures for that already exist.

Depends on one's values of "so easily" and "really difficult".
I don't think such procedures exist and I think we shouldn't bow
to spammers in this way.

> Currently, we are giving them tons of email addresses for free. Does
> the BTS ask the user if he wants his email address to be published?

If tools like reportbug still don't warn people that their report,
including any addresses, will be public, then that's a bug in the tool
that should be fixed IMO.  Please report it.

If anyone emails the BTS directly, then they should have seen
the subsite http://www.debian.org/Bugs/ including:-

  "Each message received at or sent by the bug processing system is
  logged and made available in a number of ways.
  The primary access method is to use the web pages."

If anyone wants to make it clearer that messages are public, patch the page.

My Opinion Only: see http://people.debian.org/~mjr/
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