Skip to main content

Bulk Unsolicited Mail

Document Charter Bulk Unsolicited Mail WG (spam)
Title Bulk Unsolicited Mail
Last updated 2000-06-05
State Approved
WG State Concluded
IESG Responsible AD (None)
Charter edit AD (None)
Send notices to (None)


Bulk unsolicited email (so-called "spam") is widely
believed to be a problem in today's Internet, especially
when the distribution methods used conceal the origins of
the sender and exploit the computer and network resources
of otherwise-uninvolved third parties. Many, perhaps most,
of the issues associated with spam are political and legal,
e.g., whether or not it should be permitted, how it is
precisely defined, and whether the use of third-party
facilities is appropriate or constitues theft of service.
Those political and legal issues cannot be effectively
addressed by IETF and will not be discussed in this BOF.

However, for the user who would prefer to not receive such
traffic, or the MTA operator who would prefer to not relay
or expand it, some technical measures may be feasible.
This BOF will review the possible technical mechanisms,
including the potential for protocol changes that would
better control unsolicited or unauthorized mailings, and
determine whether a working group on the subject should be
recommended to the IESG.

Since, where this topic is concerned, ideas are many and time
is short, anyone wanting to express an opinion should prepare
either a position statement (in ascii text) or a short (not to
exceed five minutes) presentation in HTML format and email it
to prior to the start of IETF.
Relevant contributions from those who expect to be present at
the BOF will be posted to and
given priority for BOF time and discussion (unless there is
extra time, those who do not submit materials in advance
should not expect to be heard at the BOF). Presentations
which are submitted will be available on a projector.
Contributions that do not represent technical / engineering
proposals, and particularly those that propose legislation or
retaliation, will not be posted.

As is usual with IETF sessions, discussion will be much better
(and there will be more time for it) if materials are reviewed
by all participants in advance. If there is little time
relative to the number of presentations, the chair will assume
that the BOF participants will have read all of the materials
on the web page.