TMDA Re: [Gllug] New worm doing the rounds?

Bruce Richardson itsbruce at
Tue Feb 17 16:02:58 UTC 2004

On Tue, Feb 17, 2004 at 02:59:06PM +0000, Doug wrote:
> pretty certain they'll not muck it up.  There are just so many corner
> cases that have to be dealt with, as well as the basic issues of freedom
> that others have mentioned.

Which basic freedoms are those, then?  Firstly, there are no civil
rights on the net, there are only unresolved legal issues and technical
loopholes.  Almost everybody who has an internet connection is paying
for the privilege, which is no basis for any kind of citizenship.

Secondly, systems like SPF don't change any of those notional rights.
You don't have any inalienable right to send me mail and have me accept
it, any more than you can stop me emptying the contents of my letterbox
into the bin.  If I want to accept your mail then SPF won't stop me and
if I want to reject it then I can do that now.  All SPF does in this
case is allow me to use a more rational basis for reaching my decision
than the current mixture of rbl lists and voodoo that most organisations
are reduced to.

More importantly, if there are rights on the Internet, then you
absolutely should not have the right to send mail that pretends to come
from my domain.  Why is it reasonable for me to be assigned rights to
domain X, so that I get to say how that part of the Internet namespace
is organised, *and* to say where mail for that domain should be
delivered but not for me to use the same system to state my preferences
for how mail from that domain should be sent?

Omigod!  Look!  It turns out that I can use DNS to control where mail
for domain X is sent!  How fascist!  Or, more rationally, what a
ludicrous argument.  MX records only indicate the official repositories
for mail for my domains: it doesn't prevent you from diverting any mail
that goes through your system to my domain into any route you like
(though it might be a highly questionable act).  In the same way, SPF
records would only indicate the official sources of mail from my
domains.  It does not have to have any impact at all on what you do with
any mail you receive that claims to come from my domains.

So please explain to me whose freedoms would be curtailed?


A problem shared brings the consolation that someone else is now
feeling as miserable as you.
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