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Re: [Nmh-workers] Stanford disliking my emails -- update + question

From: Robert Elz
Subject: Re: [Nmh-workers] Stanford disliking my emails -- update + question
Date: Thu, 23 Apr 2015 09:25:46 +0700

    Date:        Wed, 22 Apr 2015 20:29:45 -0400
    From:        Ken Hornstein <address@hidden>
    Message-ID:  <address@hidden>

  | First, I do not agree with your statement that ISPs/e-mail suppliers
  | also provide FQDNs as part of their service.

I think you read that a little differently than I intended - I didn't mean to
imply that this would be free (just included in whatever else you get) though
it sometimes is (I suspect that's rare) - they're businesses, and will seek a
profit from whatever avenue they can, which is reasonable - most often there
will be some additional charge, but often (from the commercial pay for use
providers, as distinct from google etc. who raise revenue other ways) this
is a service they offer - why wouldn't they - it costs them almost nothing,
and they can charge for it.

  | Now, my edge router does have an IP address that has a FQDN (something
  | based on the IP address).

Yes, that's common, and I agree, those are useless for almost anything.

  | Secondly ... I will note that I believe no other MUA lets you explicitly
  | configure the hostname for the SMTP HELO/EHLO messages.

SMTP HELO (or EHLO) isn't the most important use, nor are Received headers,
though they're more relevant, the one that matters most is the Message-ID.
To be correct, that needs a valid FQDN.   Your message uses a pobox.com
domain there - that's fine, but for people sending via meshanisms that
don't add a message id, where we have nmh add one, or a locat MTA, then
a domain name really is a requirement.   And it's easy (you don't have to have
it set up to do anything useful - it doesn't need to be able to receive
e-mail, or generate IP addresses, oe anything like that.)

  | Thirdly ... I think it's ridiculous that Stanford's anti-spam rules
  | trawl through Received headers (which are defined as being free-form)

Actually, they're not, they have a fairly strict format (with lots of
options, true) - but that's not really the point.  The real issue is that
spammers tend to put in a chain of bogus Received headers in messages they
send in a rather lame attempt to hide the true origin of the message.

Detecting that series of bogus Received headers is one way to determine that
a message is probably spam - it is not at all a useless technique (your
"most windows users" MUAs don't tend to add Received headers at all - and
nor should they - nor does nmh, which it also shouldn't - but if you deliver 
via a local sendmail/postfix/exim/... which I personally believe is the
best way to config nmh, then it will (and should) and you need a domain name
for that.


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