Subject tag [Dovecot] is gone

Nick Edwards nick.z.edwards at
Wed Jun 11 05:31:05 UTC 2014

If DMARC (the new kid on the block), gets broken by simple things like
subject changes on lists, then DMARC is broken, I wont go into the
other 9 key reasons I consider it useless because as you said this is
not the list for it.

On 6/11/14, Patrick Ben Koetter <p at> wrote:
> Professa,
> I suggest to take this discussion to the DKIM mailing list or even better
> to
> DMARC at IETF. Discussing the usefulness of DKIM or DMARC is better done
> there.
> Until people at IETF come up with a solution for DMARC that works for all
> participants most MLs, just like this, are better off avoiding further
> damage
> to mail transport by not adding the list name to the subject and not adding
> a
> footer. Of all available options not to break DMARC, this is still the best
> -
> be it liked or not.
> p at rick
> * Professa Dementia <dovecot at>:
>> On 6/9/2014 7:26 PM, Timo Sirainen wrote:
>> > The main reason is DKIM, which is starting to be a real problem.
>> I have not used DKIM much.  My mail server and client mostly deal with
>> SPF.  I have a filter that colorizes messages that have no SPF or a
>> missing DKIM or bad DKIM signature.  I *have* noticed that a lot of
>> messages from the list get marked in such manner, but it never really
>> bothered me and I never thought about it much.  Now I understand why
>> that happens (the [Dovecot] identifier in the subject).
>> When trying to solve a problem, the first thing is to correctly identify
>> the problem.  You cannot solve a problem if you do not even know what it
>> is.
>> The underlying problem is to identify and classify emails as ones you
>> want and ones you do not want.  This is not easy and involves reading a
>> person's mind.  A person may, depending on their mood, classify the same
>> email differently at different times, which complicates things.
>> DKIM assumes that you can, in many cases, classify emails this way based
>> on authenticating the *domain* of the sender.  This has some serious
>> flaws in that it does not address this issue, even though it purports to.
>> One way to classify an email as "wanted" is if it comes from someone you
>> know and want to communicate with.  Signing based on a domain does
>> nothing to address this.  If my girlfriend is judy at, I want to
>> receive her emails.  That does not means I want to receive all emails
>> from the domain.  I do not want someone else to impersonate
>> her.
>> If later, we break up and I no longer want to receive her emails, DKIM
>> does nothing to help with that, either.  That could be OK if such
>> functionality is beyond its scope.
>> DKIM erroneously bundles sender authentication with message validation.
>>  I want to know that it really was judy at that sent me the
>> message and not someone trying to impersonate her.  However, as a
>> separate function, I would like to know that the message I received is
>> not the one she sent.  These functions should not be integrated.  As it
>> is now, if the signature does not verify, I do not know why.  Was the
>> sender spoofed?  Was some part of the message modified in some way?  And
>> just for the record, I believe that the subject line should conceptually
>> be treated as part of the message, along with the date.
>> DKIM is too strict.  If I want to present a legal document (email) in
>> court, I may want to prove that the document I present to the court is
>> exactly as it was when it was sent to me.  However, this is not a common
>> occurrence.  The real world is messy and imperfect and often, changes to
>> emails are innocuous and legitimate.  Mailing lists are an example of
>> this.
>> A mailing list or anti-virus scanner *should* be able to add a footer or
>> add a mailing list identifier to the subject line, as long as those
>> changes can be marked as later additions that the original sender is not
>> accountable for.  An email program should make it clear to the recipient
>> which parts are not accountable to the original sender.
>> I am not proposing a new standard, simply pointing out that breaking an
>> established protocol (by removing the [Dovecot] subject identifier)
>> because of a flawed anti-spam system is not in people's best interest.
>> Can a spammer spoof messages from the list?  Sure.  Has it happened?
>> Not that I am aware of.  Is it a problem?  Not so far.
>> So why, then, make people go through all this trouble of setting up new
>> filters and rules, mail routing, software upgrades, etc, just to appease
>> a standard that is clearly broken?
>> Dem
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