[Mailman-Users] slightly OT: on not becoming a spam source

Larry Stone lstone19 at stonejongleux.com
Fri May 30 17:40:40 CEST 2008

On Fri, 30 May 2008, David Newman wrote:

> > When you then get the AOL TOS e-mail, you can figure out who the list
> > recipient was as while AOL redacts the AOL recipient, they don't touch the
> > Return-Path.
> I wish this were true, but it appears AOL gets to the Return-Path too:
> Return-Path: <redacted-bounces+redacted=aol.com at somedomain.com>

Hmmm. I had one as recently as 5/15 and Return-Path was not touched nor
some of the other places the address appears. It is frustrating that AOL
wants to stop the unwanted e-mail but tries to make it difficult to figure
out who is complaining.

Date: Thu, 15 May 2008 20:02:11 EDT
From: scomp at aol.net
To: undisclosed_recipients at aol.com
Subject: Client TOS Notification

Return-Path: <listname-bounces+AOLUSER=aol.com at stonejongleux.com>
Received: from rly-yc03.mail.aol.com (rly-yc03.mail.aol.com
[]) by air-yc04.mail.aol.com (v121.4) with ESMTP id
MAILINYC44-1c4478a76c82e5; Sun, 13 Jan 2008 15:38:43 -0500
Received: from albion.stonejongleux.com (albion.stonejongleux.com
[]) by rly-yc03.mail.aol.com (v121.4) with ESMTP id
MAILRELAYINYC32-1c4478a76c82e5; Sun, 13 Jan 2008 15:38:33 -0500
Received: from albion.stonejongleux.com (localhost [])
	by albion.stonejongleux.com (Postfix) with ESMTP id 34DAC2A5C24F
	for <AOLUSER at aol.com>; Sun, 13 Jan 2008 14:38:32 -0600 (CST)
X-Original-To: listname at stonejongleux.com
Delivered-To: listname at stonejongleux.com
Received: from [] (unknown [])
	by albion.stonejongleux.com (Postfix) with ESMTP id 5E2312A5C1F1
	for <listname at stonejongleux.com>;
	Sun, 13 Jan 2008 14:38:27 -0600 (CST)
Sender: listname-bounces+AOLUSER=aol.com at stonejongleux.com
Errors-To: listname-bounces+AOLUSER=aol.com at stonejongleux.com
X-AOL-SCOLL-AUTHENTICATION: listenair ; SPF_helo : n
X-AOL-SCOLL-AUTHENTICATION: listenair ; SPF_822_from : +
X-Mailer: Unknown (No Version)

> So neither Return-ID nor Message-ID identifies who's complaining.
> But...this might be something. The next message header contains an ESMTP
> ID that corresponds with exactly one AOL user in maillog:
> Received: from rly-mh07.mx.aol.com (rly-mh07.mail.aol.com
> []) by air-mh02.mail.aol.com (v121.4) with ESMTP id
> MAILINMH024-be4483f8d3acf; Fri, 30 May 2008 01:14:45 -0400
> Received: from mail.somedomain.com (mail.somedomain.com
> [666.666.666.666]) by rly-mh07.mx.aol.com (v121.5) with ESMTP id
> MAILRELAYINMH074-be4483f8d3acf; Fri, 30 May 2008 01:14:35 -0400
> Received: from localhost (localhost [])
> 	by mail.somedomain.com (Postfix) with ESMTP id B55685B31C0
> 	for <redacted>; Thu, 29 May 2008 22:14:34 -0000 (UTC)
> root at mail:log# grep -i B55685B31C0 /var/log/maillog
> May 29 22:14:34 mail postfix/smtpd[25785]: B55685B31C0:
> client=localhost[]
> May 29 22:14:34 mail postfix/cleanup[21262]: B55685B31C0:
> message-id=<C464D8CB.705B%listposter at someotherdomain.net>
> May 29 22:14:34 mail postfix/qmgr[23040]: B55685B31C0:
> from=<members-bounces+aoluser=aol.com at somedomain.com>, size=13344,
> nrcpt=1 (queue active)
> Given the above, is "aoluser at aol.com" the subscriber that's complaining?
> Or is it just a coincidence that that AOL user got listed first?

I think so. With personalization on, Mailman is generating a separate
e-mail for each user which passes through Postfix as separate messages
with a unique ID in Postfix. Without personalization, Mailman could pass
as few as one message to the MTA and let the MTA split it into all the
destinations. With personalization, the message for each user comes to the
MTA as a separate message. One of the tradeoffs of personalization is the
increased workload for Mailman and the MTA.

-- Larry Stone
   lstone19 at stonejongleux.com

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