Using email addresses

D'Arcy J.M. Cain darcy at
Sat Jan 16 15:59:19 CET 2010

On Fri, 15 Jan 2010 23:04:57 -0800
Stephen Hansen <apt.shansen at> wrote:
> It may or may not be in violation of the RFCs, but the modern reality of the
> internet makes certain "rules" of the RFC's meaningless.

They aren't meaningless.  They also aren't "rules", a term that I did
not use.  The Internet is an anarchy that works on voluntary
cooperation.  The RFCs are simply a codification of best practices.  If
someone doesn't want to be part of the community they should simply
leave.  It's not like anyone is forcing them to participate.

> Spam is a major issue for some people; and some people do not want their
> email address to be trivially harvested, and usenet exposes that address

So non-trivial harvesting is OK?  If you are on the Net you will be
found.  If this is a real problem for you (generic "you", not Stephen)
then get a throwaway account and hide behind it.

Spam is an issue but it is pretty easy to deal with on the personal
level.  Between RBLs, Spamassassin and Bayesian filtering I hardly ever
see a spam these days.

> very easy. You will frequently see people mutate their address, sometimes
> they'll do so in such a way that if you look at it you'll know that if you
> remove parts you will get a real address-- these people allow for personal

Slightly better than using but these people aren't hiding
very well.  Spammers probably get most of those already.  All they do
is make it inconvenient for legitimate correspondents.

> direct communication. Others don't really want to receive any email at all
> based on their newsgroup posting, and want all of your messages to go to the
> group instead-- they generally provide an email address which is utterly
> meaningless.

Or worse as is the case with

> It may or may not violate certain RFC's, but there's nothing rude about it.
> Its people trying to engage a community and yet hold some measure of control
> over how they engage that community. They have every right, IMHO, regardless
> of what an RFC may say.

That's right.  And I have every right to filter out those people who
don't want to be part of the community that I want to be part of.

> People who may use an address simply don't want to be contacted
> individually and directly. Why is that rude? They post to a public forum,

They asked a question and directed answers to someone who was not
involved in the conversation.  How is that not rude.  It caused an
email to be sent to a domain that was not involved in the
conversation, required them to process the message, send back a
response (because they do follow the RFCs) require my system to
process the bounce and finally for me to deal with the message
telling me that the address I thought that I was sending to doesn't
exist.  Convenient for the person asking the question, inconvenient
for everyone else.  

> and they simply want to communicate solely in that public forum. They have

Then they should use a forum, not Usenet or a mailing list.

> no moral obligation to provide a means for personal or direct communication,
> in my mind at least. To me, demanding a real address from people in the
> usenet medium which has nothing even vaguely like privacy protection is

I won't even get into my opinions on gatewaying between Usenet groups
and mailing lists.  :-)

> rude. If someone chooses to provide it, great. If not, just as fine. One is
> obligated only to share with us what they wish, and all power to them in
> whatever capacity they wish to share.

And I have no obligation to share with anyone who doesn't want to
follow the RFCs.  That's why I blacklisted  My choice.

That's the last on this subject from me here since it is off topic.  If
you want to discuss privately you better have a real address.

D'Arcy J.M. Cain <darcy at>         |  Democracy is three wolves                |  and a sheep voting on
+1 416 425 1212     (DoD#0082)    (eNTP)   |  what's for dinner.

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