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Email Feedback Report Type Value: not-spam

The information below is for an old version of the document that is already published as an RFC.
Document Type
This is an older version of an Internet-Draft that was ultimately published as RFC 6430.
Authors Barry Leiba , Kepeng Li
Last updated 2015-10-14 (Latest revision 2011-09-22)
Replaces draft-li-marf-not-spam-feedback
RFC stream Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)
Intended RFC status Proposed Standard
Additional resources Mailing list discussion
Stream WG state Submitted to IESG for Publication
Document shepherd Murray Kucherawy
Shepherd write-up Show Last changed 2011-08-02
IESG IESG state Became RFC 6430 (Proposed Standard)
Action Holders
Consensus boilerplate Unknown
Telechat date (None)
Responsible AD Pete Resnick
Send notices to (None)
marf                                                               K. Li
Internet-Draft                                                  B. Leiba
Intended status: Standards Track                     Huawei Technologies
Expires: March 25, 2012                               September 22, 2011

              Email Feedback Report Type Value : not-spam


   This document defines a new Abuse Reporting Format (ARF) feedback
   report type value: "not-spam".  It can be used to report an email
   message that was mistakenly marked as spam.

Status of this Memo

   This Internet-Draft is submitted in full conformance with the
   provisions of BCP 78 and BCP 79.

   Internet-Drafts are working documents of the Internet Engineering
   Task Force (IETF).  Note that other groups may also distribute
   working documents as Internet-Drafts.  The list of current Internet-
   Drafts is at

   Internet-Drafts are draft documents valid for a maximum of six months
   and may be updated, replaced, or obsoleted by other documents at any
   time.  It is inappropriate to use Internet-Drafts as reference
   material or to cite them other than as "work in progress."

   This Internet-Draft will expire on March 25, 2012.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2011 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
   document authors.  All rights reserved.

   This document is subject to BCP 78 and the IETF Trust's Legal
   Provisions Relating to IETF Documents
   ( in effect on the date of
   publication of this document.  Please review these documents
   carefully, as they describe your rights and restrictions with respect
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   the Trust Legal Provisions and are provided without warranty as
   described in the Simplified BSD License.

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Table of Contents

   1.    Introduction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
   1.1.  Discussion  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

   2.    Feedback Report Type: Not-Spam  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

   3.    Example . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

   4.    Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

   5.    IANA Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

   6.    Acknowledgements  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

   7.    References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
   7.1.  Normative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
   7.2.  Informative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

         Authors' Addresses  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

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1.  Introduction

   In RFC 5965 [RFC5965], an Abuse Reporting Format (ARF) is defined for
   reporting email abuse.  Currently two feedback report types are
   defined that are related to the spam problem, and that can be used to
   report abusive or fraudulent email messages:
   o  abuse: indicates unsolicited email or some other kind of email
   o  fraud: indicates some kind of fraud or phishing activity.

   This specification defines a new feedback report type: "not-spam".
   It can be used to report a message that was mistakenly marked as

1.1.  Discussion

   In some cases, the email client receives an email message that was
   incorrectly tagged as spam, perhaps by the email system, or
   accidentally by the user.  The email client accepts the end user's
   "not-spam" report instruction, retrieves information related to the
   message, and reports this email as not-spam to the email operator.
   When the email operator receives the report, it can determine what
   action is appropriate for the particular message and user.  (The
   requirement for a not-spam report type is from the Open Mobile
   Alliance (OMA) Spam Report Requirement Document [OMA-SpamRep-RD].)

   For example, in response to a "not-spam" report the email system can
   remove the spam tag or otherwise reclassify the message, possibly
   preventing future similar email for this user from being marked as
   spam.  The report can be used to adjust the training of an automated
   classifier.  After processing the report, the email operator might
   send a notification to the email client about the processing result
   (for example, by moving the message from one mailbox to another, such
   as from "Junk" to "Inbox").

   In most cases, "not-spam" reports will probably not be taken on their
   own, but will be considered along with other information, analysis of
   the message, etc.  Because different users have different needs and
   different views of what constitutes spam, reports from one user might
   or might not be applicable to others.  And because users might
   sometimes press a "report not spam" button accidentally, immediate
   strong action, such as marking all similar messages as "good" based
   on a single report, is probably not the right approach.  Recipients
   of "not-spam" reports need to consider what's right in their

   There are anti-spam systems that use (non-standard) "not spam"
   feedback today.  All of them take the reports and mix them with other

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   spam reports and other data, using their own algorithms, to determine
   appropriate action.  In no case do the existing systems use a "not
   spam" report as an immediate, automatic override.

   The feedback types "abuse" and "not-spam" can be taken as opposites.
   A mistaken "not-spam" report could be countermanded by a subsequent
   "abuse" report from the same user, and an operator could consider
   collected reports of "abuse" and "not-spam" in making future

2.  Feedback Report Type: Not-Spam

   This document only defines a new feedback report type, "not-spam",
   extending the Email Feedback Reports specification [RFC5965].

   In the first MIME part of the feedback report message, the end user
   or the email client can add information to indicate why the message
   is not considered as spam -- for example, because the originator or
   its domain is well known.

3.  Example

   In the example, Joe, a pharmaceuticals sales representative, has
   received a message about discount pharmaceuticals.  Because that is a
   frequent subject of spam email, the message has been marked as spam
   -- incorrectly, in this case.  Joe has reported it as "not-spam", and
   this is an example of the report, shortened (the "[...etc...]" part)
   for presentation here.

   Note that the message is DKIM-signed [RFC6376], a good security
   practice as suggested in RFC 5965 section 8.2 [RFC5965].

      DKIM-Signature: v=1; a=rsa-sha256; s=abuse;;
        c=simple/simple; q=dns/txt;;
      From: <>
      Date: Thu, 8 Mar 2005 17:40:36 EDT
      Subject: FW: Discount on pharmaceuticals
      To: <>
      Message-ID: <>
      MIME-Version: 1.0

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      Content-Type: multipart/report; report-type=feedback-report;

      Content-Type: text/plain; charset="US-ASCII"
      Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

      This is an email abuse report for an email message received
      from IP on Thu, 8 Mar 2005 14:00:00 EDT.
      For more information about this format please see
      Comment: I sell pharmaceuticals, so this is not spam for me.

      Content-Type: message/feedback-report

      Feedback-Type: not-spam
      User-Agent: SomeGenerator/1.0
      Version: 1

      Content-Type: message/rfc822
      Content-Disposition: inline

      Received: from
           ( [])
           by with ESMTP id M63d4137594e46;
           Thu, 08 Mar 2005 14:00:00 -0400
      From: <>
      To: <Undisclosed Recipients>
      Subject: Discount on pharmaceuticals
      MIME-Version: 1.0
      Content-type: text/plain
      Date: Thu, 02 Sep 2004 12:31:03 -0500

      Hi, Joe.  I got a lead on a source for discounts on
      pharmaceuticals, and I thought you might be interested.

              Example 1: Not-spam report

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4.  Security Considerations

   All of the Security Considerations from the Email Feedback Reports
   specification [RFC5965] are inherited here.  In addition, the Email
   Feedback Reports Applicability Statement [I-D.ietf-marf-as] contains
   important information about trust relationships and other security-
   and integrity-related aspects of accepting abuse feedback.

   In particular, not-spam reports will likely be used in an attack on a
   filtering system, reporting true spam as "not-spam".  Even in absence
   of malice, some not-spam reports might be made in error, or will only
   apply to the user sending the report.  Operators need to be careful
   in trusting such reports, beyond their applicability to the specific
   user in question.

5.  IANA Considerations

   Registration is requested for the newly defined feedback type name:
   "not-spam", according to the instructions in section 7.3 of the base
   specification [RFC5965].

   Please add the following to the "Feedback Report Type Values"
   Feedback Type Name:  not-spam
   Description:  Indicates that the entity providing the report does not
       consider the message to be spam.  This may be used to correct a
       message that was incorrectly tagged or categorized as spam.
   Published in:  this document
   Status:  current

6.  Acknowledgements

   The authors would like thank Murray S. Kucherawy and Bert
   Greevenbosch for their discussion and review, and J.D. Falk for
   suggesting some explanatory text.

7.  References

7.1.  Normative References

   [RFC5965]  Shafranovich, Y., Levine, J., and M. Kucherawy, "An
              Extensible Format for Email Feedback Reports", RFC 5965,
              August 2010.

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7.2.  Informative References

              Falk, J., "Creation and Use of Email Feedback Reports: An
              Applicability Statement for the Abuse Reporting Format
              (ARF)", draft-ietf-marf-as-00 (work in progress),
              September 2011.

              Open Mobile Alliance, "Mobile Spam Reporting
              Requirements", OMA-RD-SpamRep-V1_0 20101123-C,
              November 2010.

   [RFC6376]  Crocker, D., Hansen, T., and M. Kucherawy, "DomainKeys
              Identified Mail (DKIM) Signatures", RFC 6376,
              September 2011.

Authors' Addresses

   Kepeng Li
   Huawei Technologies
   Huawei Base, Bantian, Longgang District
   Shenzhen, Guangdong  518129
   P. R. China

   Phone: +86-755-28974289

   Barry Leiba
   Huawei Technologies

   Phone: +1 646 827 0648

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