Talk:Email forwarding problem

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 Definition The authentication failures that occur in some popular IP-based Email authentication methods when a forwarder is involved. [d] [e]

Santa Claus Problem

Whether or not this is still a term of art in directory and email, it once was. In global Internet operations, we distinguish between "role" and "name" identifiers.

In the classic Santa problem, what is the postal service to do when it receives a letter addressed to Santa at the North Pole?

  • Silently discard, leaving the sender to assume he or she has been Naughty
  • Return to sender saying "No Such Elf"
  • Alias to the group of volunteers who answer such mail?

In like manner, when mail goes to enterprises, does one forward mail to an ex-employee, discard, or send it to the person now in the job? Howard C. Berkowitz 16:10, 23 October 2009 (UTC)

We had a discussion of a similar problem recently on the SPF mailing list. One of the mail system admins who sets up email systems for businesses, kept getting emails from JUPITER. JUPITER is not a valid domain name, but he could not reject the message, for fear it might be a legitimate message, and rejecting it could get him in trouble with his client. This anecdote tells us a lot about what a joke email authentication has become. Luckily, most legitimate operators of transmitters do use their own verifiable domain names. --David MacQuigg 17:33, 23 October 2009 (UTC)
Not purely as an authentication problem, however, the role vs. person issue is a legitimate forwarding issue. Now if the Faculty Fairy sprinkled you with Magic Dust and made you the University President, should messages dealing with email authentication still go to you, or to your successor? If the past President retired gracefully, what mail is forwarded to the presumed personal courtesy faculty account rather than the Presidential account?
This needs to be considered somewhere in the set of email articles, not necessarily here. Howard C. Berkowitz 17:41, 23 October 2009 (UTC)