IEEE 802.1 Email Lists

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Updated August 27, 2017
Detailed explanations of some sending restrictions

Some email clients use HTML in such a way that it expands message size beyond our capacity.

Spam is not welcome! This includes job postings, course offerings, announcements of trade shows, and other commercial activities, even those having something to do with LANs or MANs.


Each list is an open forum; contributions are shared by all. On principle, participants may choose to disregard messages containing such claims or restrictions. They may be removed from email archives, and not counted as valid submissions. Consideration or discussion of the contents may be refused.

Whether or not that happens, any message sent to a list is effectively published worldwide, irretrievably. The contents may subsequently circulate anywhere in the universe, with no one but the original sender to blame. That’s not a policy, just a fact. If you want to control information, don’t broadcast it to an open forum.

Participants whose organizations automatically append such claims to outbound email must suppress them. If suppression is blocked by adminstrative edict or technology, they must contribute from a different account. Filters are added to lists to detect and block known claims boilerplate.

Message size limits defend against a major shared risk: The more space occupied by list messages, the more likely some subscribers will exceed storage limits, disrupting further communication (and slamming the list administrator with error reports).

Non-plaintext attachments, encoded for email transmission, are more than a third larger than the source files.

ZIP files are a tempting way to evade size limits, but they cannot be scanned and are a popular way to distribute malware. They’re our most serious security risk, and the only defense is to ensure nobody trusts any ZIP file sent via the list. If a file exceeds size limits, it should be posted online for download—uncompressed—and the location announced to the list.

Microsoft® Outlook® allows you to copy and modify a received email message, and then send it on (or back). This feature is reportedly called “Resend this message” (on the Tools menu). It looks tempting, especially for responding to 802.1 ballots.

Do not use this feature to send to the list! It preserves header information from the original message, distorting list communications two ways:
(1) The sender of the original (copied) message appears in the “Reply-To:” field.
(2) The header retains tracking information from the original message. If the original also passed through the list, the new message appears to be looping and will probably be rejected at many destinations.

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