IETF expedites publication of RFC describing feedback loop recommendations

Posted by   Virus Bulletin on   Nov 17, 2011

Document fast-tracked to be published shortly before the sad passing of its author J.D. Falk.

The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) has published an RFC detailing current practices of running email feedback loops.

Feedback loops are essential for entities that send emails, such as ISPs and ESPs. Not only do they help them to detect spammers abusing their systems, but they also provide valuable feedback on which emails users perceive to be spam (even if they are not actually spam). This helps email senders fine-tune their email practices and thus helps to make email work better for senders and recipients alike. The document is based on a similar one published by MAAWG last year.

The document had recently been approved by the IETF and was due to be edited by its staff before it could be published. However, at the special request of a group of experts, the IETF agreed to expedite the editing process (which would normally take about two months) and hired a technical editor at 01:30am her time, who completed the task by the end of the same day. This meant that the final draft could be shown to the document's author, J.D. Falk, just hours before he passed away at the age of 37.

J.D. Falk, who worked at Return Path and whose previous employers include Microsoft and Yahoo!, had been very active in the anti-spam community since its early days. He was an active participant in organisations such as CAUCE, which he co-founded and where he was a board member, and MAAWG. He co-authored numerous RFCs and was fully engaged in discussions regarding spam and anti-spam technology. Most importantly, all those who knew him or met him will remember his as a genuinely nice person.

The full text of the RFC can be found at the IETF website here. CAUCE has published an In Memoriam here, while J.D. Falk's employer Return Path posted one here. The website jdfalkmemorial.org has been opened to share memories of J.D.

The Virus Bulletin team would like to express their condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of J.D. Falk and to thank him for the vast amount of work he did to help make the Internet a better place for its billions of users.

Posted on 17 November 2011 by Virus Bulletin

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spam ietf rfc
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