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Versions: 00                                                            
Document: draft-kahle-mail-archive-00.txt
Author: Brewster Kahle, Internet Archive, brewster@archive.org
Expiration: May 1, 1997

           Restricting the External Archiving of Email

Status of this Memo

   This document is an Internet Draft.  Internet Drafts are working
   documents of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), its Areas,
   and its Working Groups.  Note that other groups may also distribute
   working documents as Internet Drafts.

   Internet Drafts are draft documents valid for a maximum of six
   months.  Internet Drafts may be updated, replaced, or obsoleted by
   other documents at any time.  It is not appropriate to use Internet
   Drafts as reference material or to cite them other than as a
   ``working draft'' or ``work in progress``.

   To learn the current status of any Internet-Draft, please check the
   1id-abstracts.txt listing contained in the Internet-Drafts Shadow
   Directories on ds.internic.net, nic.nordu.net, ftp.isi.edu, or

1. Abstract

This draft proposes a mail header field "Restrict:" with a defined value
of "no-external-archive" that gives information to a receiving mail
transport agent or mail user agent that this message should not be
archived by individuals or organizations not associated with the
list owner.

With the increasing number of search engines that gather information and
offer wide access, some writers and would like to restrict how their words
are distributed.

Mailing lists may begin (or have already begun) to be systematically
archived for searching and historical reference. This draft is designed for
mailing lists, but it can also be applied to messages in Usenet newsgroups
as well.

The legal issues around this are deep and difficult, and this
draft does not address these legal issues. However, it would be useful to
respectful mail receivers if there was a standard method for mail creators
(authors or list owners) to express their desires about whether or not
their mail can be archived.

2. Proposed Mail Header

A general header "Restrict: " is proposed that can be used to express
other restrictions than that which is proposed here. The only value
proposed in this draft is "no-external-archive".

The "no-external-archive" value of the "Restrict:" header could be used by
mail receivers that archive messages, and is advisory only. This header is
not meant to restrict the list owner, or original author's archiving or
indexing of the message. It is only meant to advise individuals or
organizations not associated with the list owner (such as archive sites)
that the author or list owner does not want this message to appear in any
archives not controlled by the author or list owner.

3. Legal Issues

The presence or lack of this header on a message does not imply any legal
restrictions or legal rights.

4.  Security Considerations

Because it is advisiory only, the "Restrict:" header may lull a sender
into a false sense of security about whether or not the message will be
archived in a manner that matches their intentions. No sender should
assume that the presence or absence of this header will increase the
security of the message in any way.

5. Author's Address

Brewster Kahle
Internet Archive
Presidio, P.O. Box 29141
San Francisco, CA 94129
Ph: 415.561.6900
Fax: 415.561.6795