Internet and e-mail policy and practice
including Notes on Internet E-mail


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12 Nov 2014

Does spam filtering require insecure mail? Email
A
press release from the EFF complains that some Internet service providers are preventing their users from sending mail over a private encrypted channel, which is bad. While a few ISPs do that, the story is more complex.

See more ...


posted at: 23:57 :: permanent link to this entry :: 0 comments
Trackback link is http://jl.ly/Email/tlsfilter.trackback

31 Oct 2014

Different kinds of spam Email

Someone was asking who has the largest set of spamtraps; I opined that nobody knows, since the people will the biggest ones don't discuss the details. Also, it's not a very useful metric. There are spammers who only send to specific large ISPS, so, say, Google would know all about them, and other people wouldn't see them at all.

Also, different kinds of spamtraps get different kinds of spam. I have three general kinds:

  • Addresses that were never valid, typically invented by broken scrapeware that grabbed message IDs or mangled addresses from web sites
  • Abandoned addresses and domains, that may have been valid a decade or more ago, but only get spam now
  • A depressingly large number of addresses given to well-known companies who then leaked them to spammers.

I also get a fair amount to real addresses that aren't spamtraps, but that are caught by filters or by hand.

I haven't analyzed the spam profiles in detail but they're clearly different. For example, one ESP doesn't appear on most people's spam radar, but they send me a great deal of spam (relative to my overall modest volume.) That appears to be because they have a lot of poor quality lists with repurposed addresses, from senders booted from more selective ESPs, and they're constantly hitting role addresses that aren't spamtraps, but should never be on anyone's lists.


posted at: 00:03 :: permanent link to this entry :: 0 comments
Trackback link is http://jl.ly/Email/spamflavor.trackback

11 Oct 2014

Now there's a business opportunity ICANN

I see that Afilias has reserved SLAVE.BLACK as a premium domain, presumably to be auctioned to the highest bidder. I'm trying to figure out what the business model is.

(Some names, including a lot of offensive words, are permanently reserved by ICANN, but this isn't one of them.)

Domain Name:SLAVE.BLACK
Domain ID: D53146846-LRMS
Creation Date: 2014-07-17T15:32:41Z
Updated Date: 2014-09-15T20:32:11Z
Registry Expiry Date: 2015-07-17T15:32:41Z
Sponsoring Registrar:Afilias (R720-LRMS)
Sponsoring Registrar IANA ID: 9999
WHOIS Server:
Referral URL:
Domain Status: inactive
Registrant ID:BLACK-Premium
Registrant Name:Afilias Limited
Registrant Organization:Afilias Limited
Registrant Street: 2 La Touche House
Registrant Street: IFSC
Registrant City:Dublin
Registrant State/Province:n/a
Registrant Postal Code:n/a
Registrant Country:IE
Registrant Phone:+1.2157065700
Registrant Phone Ext:
Registrant Fax: +1.2157065701
Registrant Fax Ext:
Registrant Email:support@afilias.info

posted at: 13:45 :: permanent link to this entry :: 1 comments
Trackback link is http://jl.ly/ICANN/blkopp.trackback

08 Oct 2014

How can we do spam filtering on mail we can't read? Email
For reasons that should be obvious, a lot of people are thinking about ways to make e-mail more secure, and harder to spy on. The most likely scenario is an improved version of PGP or S/MIME, two existing encrypted mail systems, that let people publish their encryption key, which correspondents use to encrypt mail so that only the recipient can read it. While this is a significant improvement in privacy, it has the problem that spam filters at the ISP can't read the mail either.

See more ...


posted at: 23:36 :: permanent link to this entry :: 0 comments
Trackback link is http://jl.ly/Email/cryptospam.trackback

10 Sep 2014

The replacement for WHOIS is surprisingly close ICANN
About a year ago I
blogged about the IETF WEIRDS working group which was working on a more modern replacement for the hoary WHOIS service. At the time I said it was making surprising progress. Perhaps less surprisingly, the progress has been quite slow, but WEIRDS seems to be close to finishing its work.

See more ...


posted at: 14:20 :: permanent link to this entry :: 0 comments
Trackback link is http://jl.ly/ICANN/weirds14.trackback

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