North American Network Operators Group

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Re: Internet Email Services Association ( wasRE: Why do so few mailproviders support Port 587?)

  • From: Michael.Dillon
  • Date: Fri Feb 25 17:10:59 2005

> You might want to check out - at least stateside,

I'm uncomfortable with two aspects of this group.
First is it's anti-abuse stance. I would prefer to
see a group that was focussed on services, i.e.
providing the best email service possible to end-users.
The second thing is the secrecy surrounding this 
group. It seems that they see themselves as some
sort of private police force and I believe that 
is 180 degrees in the opposite direction from where
we should be going. If there is too much crime in
the streets, should we have citizen militias
out there carrying guns? This seems to be the 
approach that MAAWG is taking.

Quite frankly, there is too much emotion involved
in the email issue. Too many people who irrationally
hate spam and are willing to take extreme 
measures as a result. I do not believe that there
is a spam problem at all. We merely have a creaky
old email architecture built tacked together out
of sticks and glue. From a distance, it looks
impressive, but it suffers from many weaknesses
which vandals, and now criminals, can exploit.
I know that if we fix the internet email services
architecture, then the bad guys will just miraculously
disappear. It's like tearing down a drafty, leaky old 
building and putting up an airtight, insulated building
on the same site. 

I once knew a guy who built a massive greenhouse out
of 1" by 2" strips of scrap would from a sawmill. It 
was sticker wood for those from the Northwest. You
could only get maybe 3 feet of useful length before
there was a knot or it was warped too badly. He nailed
these together to make 2 x 6 's and bigger beams. He
build walls, 4 feet high all around, 40 feet wide and
200 feet long. Then he pieced together arches to hold
the polyethylene sheeting. Inside he built raised beds
of wood and two stories of lattice shelving above them.
The beds were 3 feet wide arranged in aisled on either
side of a central aisle. He did all this with a saw,
thousands of nails, and these thin strips of wood.
It worked for a few months, and grew some great early
strawberries. He had it filled with tomato and melon
vines just beginning to bloom when it started to tilt.

Fact is, this structure had too many weaknesses. Insect
pests crawled in through the cracks. Warm air escaped
through the cracks. Moisture condensed in the cracks
causing mold and rot to begin, and the wood to swell
and warp in interesting ways. There were too many
weaknesses, too many points at which it could be 
attacked by the elements. So, only 5 months after he
began to build it in early March, I helped him set
fire to the dangerous structure on a rainy July morning.
It was the safest and cheapest way to dismantle the
building which, let's face it, had no scrap value.
The local fire department agreed that it was best
done before the summer heat parched the landscape.
And that was that.

The Internet's current email architecture isn't 
quite as bad as the greenhouse. There are many
bits that can be salvaged, but the salvage work
requires coordinated effort and I do not see any
organization in the world that is capable of
stepping up to such a challenge outside of the
ITU and the various national governments. Either
we create an organization dedicated to providing
a superior email service to end users, or we will
all be implementing ITU email standards to comply
with new legislation.

--Michael Dillon