[Mailman-Users] Users worried about spammers getting their email address

Heath Raftery hraftery at myrealbox.com
Wed Aug 27 01:51:49 CEST 2003

Hi list,

I know this has been discussed in various forms in the past, but I 
wanted to bring it up again with a few fresh angles.

I have a user who is on a campaign to remove his email address from any 
web site. He was worried the lists I run have his address available to 
spammers. After I let him know that you have to be a member of the list 
to see the email address, and that any appearance of his address in the 
(open) archives would be name at domain and mailto:the list, he was 
somewhat relieved.

However, I did point out that the archives are still downloadable in raw 
mbox format, complete with email addresses. In the archives of this list 
I found suggestions about changing your web server's settings to send an 
'unreachable' page for any requests for txt/mbox/etc files. Any other 
suggestions, perhaps which are local to Mailman and don't require 
modifying the web server?

This particular user goes on to write:
> I suspect that before long they  will parse not just @ but also
> resolve 'at' with any combination of  spaces either side.  I may be
> excessively pessimistic but the ingenuity  of our fellow man is
> significant. These days I only feel comfortable  with discussion
> lists where the person's email address is not disclosed  in any
> fashion, not even the 'user at domain' method. One common technique
> is to get the user to nominate a 'list name' or alias ie frodo or
> flash544. Both their email address and real name is concealed even
> from other listmembers behind this alias and cannot be discovered
> (unless someone hacks the database behind the list server cgi). The
> only way to email a colleague on the list is to click on a special
> link with their alias name on it. Zero disclosure. Using this
> technique, anyone on the list can email anyone else using their 'list
> name', threads can be followed etc, and any public archive of the
> list (which is helpful for people outside the list) can't disclose a
> person's email (and usually won't disclose their name) unless they
> want it disclosed.

A good example of this that comes to my mind, is the way eBay handles 
communication between bidder and seller. Any ideas about the possibility 
of something like this in Mailman?


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