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RFC 5965 - An Extensible Format for Email Feedback Reports


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The "standard":


Comments around the traps that Yahoo has been insisting on this format since 1 December. No news yet whether they are rejecting SC reports (to a SC-specific reporting address) on this basis - I suspect not.

Insistence on a specific format seems to me to diverge from the spirit of the whole abuse address concept and can only conclude this is a desperate move by overloaded networks to establish a relatively exclusive channel of exchange between the mail operators themselves. But Yahoo's adoption of it is not being universally hailed within the "community". A paraphrasing of the topic in one request for technical assistance in generating the message format being "How Yahoo avoids accepting spam reports". :D

As the acerbic Vernon Schryver says somewhere

How much are you getting paid by Yahoo? If the answer is nothing,

then the only sane understading of a demand for any particular report

formats is "We don't want your reports."

At the end of the day I can't begin to imagine the volumes of abuse reports that hit Yahoo or try to get through. As a spam reporter (albeit one with very little to report these days) I can't help feeling that if they invested more resource in cleaning up their network they would be getting fewer complaints. That is first principle for any business f'Pete's sake. But I'm biased.

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I just got this info in reply from Yahoo upon trying to report an address used by a 419er.

I subscribed to the mail list for this standard a few months back, when I began to get this kind of notice from Hotmail. At the time, it seemed that the authors were more interested in polishing the report format itself, and a bit less interested in the abuse problem on the ground.

I notice that Hotmail has since apparently stopped including this info in its replies, and while they have not been 100% responsive, they are certainly making an effort to deal with my reports (much better than Yahoo, Google, or others).

What's really annoying about Yahoo is that even as I send in my reports, and get replies saying "we can't tell you what we did about this", they bombard me with user feedback requests so I can rate their performance. From Yahoo Japan I get responses in Japanese only, and from Yahoo China I get multipage web response forms in Chinese.

My impression at the time about this RFC was that it might be difficult to construct such messages without some helper software, which would probably put their use beyond the average individual mail user. If Yahoo's objective is to choke off the reports from outsiders, they will likely succeed.

-- rick

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ARF has been around for a long time, and most places use it (esp as part of feedback loops). In fact, Julian was one of the original proponents back in the day. However, so far as I'm aware, no one is turning down SC reports because they're not ARF.

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Thanks Kelly, that seems to be spot on the money. SC newsgroups O/P Frog Prince confirms a rejection he received was in relation to a manual report and it seems those *can* still be successfully made - the Yahoo failed feedback loop response received after the initial report is evidently a red herring.

Stolen from newgroups

Path: news.spamcop.net!not-for-mail

From: Rob van der Putten <x>

Newsgroups: spamcop

Subject: Re: WTF

Date: Thu, 02 Dec 2010 16:22:32 +0100

HI there

Farelf wrote:

> It, or the previous version, in limited use within some provider

> services - ref http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feedback_loop_(email)


> But yeah, Yahoo seeking to impose it on external services is plainly

> contemptuous towards the rest of the internet community - unless what

> they really mean is complaints from users of those other service

> providers (as listed at the foot of the link) should be availing

> themselves (somehow) of the feedback loop services those providers make

> available. But I don't think that is the case (and they could explain

> it infinitely better if it was). And FP doesn't seem to be using one of

> those providers.

What you send a plain vanilla complaint (original message including

_ALL_ headers, not as attachment) directly (not using spamcop) to


The RFC seems to apply to having others sending a spam complaint on your





Nothing is more surreal then reality

Subsequently confirmed by the newsgroups O/P that a manual report as specified was accepted (and acknowledged). I confess I hadn't confirmed the original, failed submission was submitted with the original message "in-line" and to the correct abuse address.

So, I need to climb down off'n mah high horse about now.

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