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Signed Headers in Mail and Netnews

Document Type Expired Internet-Draft (individual)
Expired & archived
Author Charles Lindsey
Last updated 2001-09-04
RFC stream (None)
Intended RFC status (None)
Stream Stream state (No stream defined)
Consensus boilerplate Unknown
RFC Editor Note (None)
IESG IESG state Expired
Telechat date (None)
Responsible AD (None)
Send notices to (None)

This Internet-Draft is no longer active. A copy of the expired Internet-Draft is available in these formats:


The huge growth of Netnews/Usenet in recent years has been accompanied by many attempts to abuse the system by various forms of malpractice, particularly the forging of various headers, causing it to appear that articles came from parties other than those that actually injected them or conveyed some Approval that the real poster was not entitled to give. Insofar as Netnews is regularly gatwayed to and from Email systems, these problems also extend to the Email domain. This document provides a cryptographically secure means whereby it can be established beyond doubt that relevant headers of a Netnews article or an Email message have not been tampered with in transit, and that they were indeed originated by the person purporting to have done so. It seeks to supplement, rather than to supplant, the existing protocols for signing the bodies of articles and messages. [This proposal arises from the activities of the Usenet Format Working Group, which is charged with updating the Netnews standards. Comments are invited, preferably sent to the mailing list of the Group at]


Charles Lindsey

(Note: The e-mail addresses provided for the authors of this Internet-Draft may no longer be valid.)