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Article: 438
From: Anthony Howe
Date: 2005-03-31 17:13:18 -0500
Subject: Re: Disclaimer Milter

Removal...........: milters-request@milter.info?subject=remove
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Christian 'CBE' Benner wrote:
> Which makes your very good work unusable in germany where
> it is also forbidden to change everything in a mail.
> (Which is described in TKG law)

Well then the law outlaws email in general then since every mail server 
the message crosses during transit will modify the message headers by 
adding a Received: header and the final destination also adds a 
Return-Path: header, which by your outline of the law would make mail 
servers, RFC 2821 and 2822 illegal.

My filtering software typically comes with 3 choices: discard, reject, 
or tag (default). My software never modifies the body of a message. But 
I do add mail headers when tagging (X-Scanned-By:, X-Milter-Name-Report, 
X-Milter-Name-Status:) and may modify the Subject: with a [SPAM] prefix 
(though that can be disabled).

Now if the law at least recognises that the SMTP protocol and mail 
message format require the adding of "trace headers", sort of like a 
post-mark on a letter, then the adding of additional trace headers by my 
milters is not wrong and is at least honest in that it a form of 
disclosure and tracking. All you need do is disable the subject tagging 
  so as to never modify the original elements of the headers or message 
as received from up stream.

> We have some "funny" laws here in germany.
> You must act against spm but you can't supress
> a message with SPAM. It must be passed trough.

Now how are you to act against spam if you can't suppress it or modify 
the message in some way to identify it to the end user? Thats like 
saying you can have electricity, but your are not allowed to turn on the 
lights. Or an even better analogy would be: you are given running water, 
but you're not allowed to turn off the faucet.

> But I hope with next session of politicians 
> working on TKG and 823 paragraphs they'll change
> it to allow rejecting such messages.

Just submit every politician's email address to every newsgroup you can 
find and sooner or later they should see WHY they want to reject such 
tripe as spam.

> It is also funny on virus mails.
> You must pass it trough. The only way for an ISP
> is to let all customers sign a letter which describes
> that the customer wishes not to receive such mails and
> he is allowing you to block/reject.

Sounds like a lot of unnecessary jumping through hoops to provide a 
service that is becoming more and more necessary.

I bet though that they will allow the filtering of P2P software to block 
copyrighted material. That would be just a wonderful contradiction: you 
can filter and block things of value from being traded like people's 
intellectual property, but you cannot filter things of zero value.

>>This might be the basis for a new milter:
>>	milter-block-disclaimers
>>Either reject/discard mail that add disclaimers (I'm reading 
>>that STupid 
>>disclaimer site and it makes an interesting point about whether a 
>>business puts disclaimers in all their paper mail), or simiply filter 
>>them out. They are so annoying that have zero legal worth.

If I wrote this milter, I wouldn't modify the body of the message, 
mostly because its too much work for little benefit. Tagging the message 
with headers and a subject prefix like [STUPID DISCLAIMER] or some such 
would be sufficent. Personally I'd reject the mail, but at least with 
the tagging, the end user client software can chuck it out if they want.

Anyways, such a milter would be more to prove a point rather than have 
any practical use (though I'm sure someone would use it without 
understanding the point being made). Sort of like Opera's BORK browser 
(which I wish they'd actually add as a switchable feature to Opera 8, 
because it was pretty funny to read some of the things it translated).

Hmm. milter-bork any body?

Anthony C Howe                                 +33 6 11 89 73 78
http://www.snert.com/       ICQ:
7116561         AIM: Sir Wumpus

"held in my arms / his sun washed face / eyes closed" - Anthony

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