Fedora List content, guidelines and antispam

Paul Howarth paul at city-fan.org
Thu May 26 07:24:59 UTC 2005


On Wed, 2005-05-25 at 16:48 -0500, Gustavo Seabra wrote:
> On 5/25/05, Paul Howarth <paul at city-fan.org> wrote:
> > On Wed, 2005-05-25 at 09:39 +0800, John Summerfied wrote:
> > > I've been perusing my mail logs and I see mail, some from fedora-list,
> > > being declined for these reasons:
> > > 1. Encoded bodies
> > > 2. Non-roman character sets
> > > 3. being called Peter Whalley
> > >
> > > 1. As most experienced list members prefer plain text, I don't
> > > understand the need for base64-encoding of bodies. The only purpose it
> > > serves that I know about is to attempt to subvert mail filters. I figure
> > > if you don't want me to filter on content, I don't want your email.
> > 
> > Fair enough. Base64 encoded plain text goes straight to the bitbucket on
> > my system too, except for mailing list messages, which are all
> > whitelisted.
> > 
> > > 2. Non-roman character sets implies the mail's not written in English or
> > > any of the other European languages. If anyone writes to me it better be
> > > in English because my French hasn't seen much practice since I completed
> > > school 40 years ago, and I know no other languages, and English is in
> > > any event the standard language for this list. Bouncing mail using
> > > non-roman character sets means I get to not see lots of Chinese,
> > > Japanese and Korean spam.
> > 
> > It also means you'll get not to see lots of mail in English from people
> > whose first language is something that needs a different encoding hence
> > their normal mail setting is for other character sets. They don't change
> > character sets to send messages in English because it's a hassle to do
> > so and there's no need, since the characters needed to communicate in
> > English are also present in their default character set.
> > 
> > > 3. I think we discussed this enough some time ago. The filter dropped
> > > quite a deal of email.
> > 
> > I never saw a Peter Whalley bounce because my mailserver rejects
> > uol.com.br mails on the basis of that domain having no working
> > postmaster address.
> > 
> > > I'd like the folk who're compiling the guidelines to add the first two
> > > points, and ask the list admin to enforce it. Along with any other good
> > > ideas these suggestions trigger.
> > 
> > I'd hope that the guidelines are well peer-reviewed so that problematic
> > suggestions such as (2) can be weeded out before they're cast in stone.
> > Whatever anti-spam measures Red Hat have in place for this list already
> > seem to work *very well*, given the almost entire lack of spam on this
> > list (the "computer for sale" message earlier today was one of the very
> > very few that got through, and that wasn't a classic mail-to-all-and-
> > sundry spam either), and I don't see any urgent need to change that.
> 
> Paul,
> 
> The guidelines are "peer-reviewed", or whatever comes closer to this:
> suggestions only get there after discussed here, and *if* there is
> some sort of consensus about it.
> 
> Point (1) has been seconded by you, I assume. Point (2) had two
> negative answers so far. Let's wait to see how this develops...

I believe (1) should be harmless for an English language list such as
fedora-list, although there might be a case where a far-eastern poster
with a substantial .sig containing "big" characters could trigger base64
encoding of a predominantly English language message. As has been noted
before, I think there's so little spam on this list that the need for
extra measures is just not there.

Paul.
-- 
Paul Howarth <paul at city-fan.org>




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