Apple's MobileMe email secretly blocks some outgoing messages based on content

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57 Responses to “Apple's MobileMe email secretly blocks some outgoing messages based on content”

  1. mn_camera says:

    But…but…they make shiny things!

  2. emmdeeaych says:

    and using mobile me gives the appearance of paying for a sub-par service. I love apple, but what a waste of money.

  3. Gulliver says:

    “But Maggie, I sent you an email telling you he only had twelve hours left to live. Why didn’t you come to the hospital?”

    Love the I have nothing to hide. Do you?! vibe in a few of the comments under the story; not to mention attacking the blogger for reporting it.

    It’s amazing the double standards users will tolerate when the company in question makes products they like.

    All hail the great Leader!

  4. Bucket says:

    I would prefer if all email applications provided user notification that it’s not going to send chain-mail crap like this.

    Notification in the form of painful electric shocks.

  5. Gulliver says:

    Just to be clear, I love Apple’s products, but anyone who fetishizes a corporation worries me a little.

    • donaleen says:

      Amen to that. It also makes the corporation more evil, since their followers let them get away with it.

  6. Toff says:

    To reiterate something I stated above: MobileMe is being discontinued this month and will be replaced by iCloud, and at the time the article was written, MobileMe had passed the extended service date that users had been promised. MobileMe service this month is not anything Apple had guaranteed, as far as I know. Why, then, anybody would rely upon an e-mail sent via MobileMe rather than via the Mail app (or other means), I don’t know. Cult of Mac and Cory might have considered mentioning that, but perhaps *they* had too much cognitive dissonance involved to do so?

    There’s also the fallaciousness of statements like “if Apple doesn’t like the way you’ve written an outgoing email, they might just opt not to send it”. Apple who? Human beings at Apple, or Apple software? Is the censorship based on not liking the political message of an e-mail, or not “liking” characteristics of the e-mail that a flawed computer program thinks are spammy? You know the saying: “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.” Stupidity does adequately explain the users still using MobileMe, MobileMe’s current problems, and Cult of Mac’s article, and Cory’s post about CoM’s article, so absent a compelling need for further explanation, I’m going with that, as it rather neatly explains everything.

    That said, one would desire candid details from Apple about what exactly is going on with that, if only to help settle the matter, because it is at least damaging-*sounding* news. If there is intentionality behind it, it is quite disturbing. But wanting those details is a bit like the old insistence that Obama show his BC.

  7. Anonymous says:

    A corporation that’s this domineering (presumably in the name of “user experience”) worries me a lot.

  8. Yep says:

    Yet another sign that mobileme is a complete clusterfcuk.

  9. xian says:

    I don’t own any Cisco products.

  10. Burzmali says:

    Imagine if Outlook or Gmail were blocking emails, imagine the outrage. Apple blocking emails? Well, there has to be a good reason, right? Apple just has our best interest at heart, right?

  11. rsk says:

    Commenters are correct that some spam filtering works this way…but only BAD spam filtering.

    For starters, all methods of blocking spam are susceptible to false positives. So one of the first principles of proper anti-spam practice is “make your mistakes visibly and loudly so that you and others have a fighting chance of detecting them”. With that in mind, silently discarding messages is just plain incredibly stupid. Messages that are rejected should always be rejected in a manner commensurate with RFC 5321 (which supersedes RFC 2821 which in turn superseded RFC 821).

    Second, filtering on content is a losing strategy, and has been since filtering on content was first tried. It makes the naive presumption that spammers will simply sit quietly on their hands and watch while their efforts are thwarted. But they don’t. They won’t. And as a result, what we have seen is a steadily-escalating battle between those trying to devise better content filters and those trying to evade them. The latter won a decisive victory nearly a decade ago; the former are still in denial about this and like to pretend that the battle is still going on.

    Third, even if we make the wildly optimistic presumption that Apple has some people who are brighter than the most senior, experienced anti-spam experts who have been working this field for decades, they’re still not doing it right. To explain: if Apple has detected that user U is sending spam, then Apple should block ALL messages from user U, not just some. Apple should do so either because U is doing so deliberately (in which case U is a confirmed spammer and should not be provided ANY services) or U is doing so accidentally (in which case U’s system has been turned into a bot and can no longer be trusted to carry out U’s wishes).

    (Of course that’s pretty draconian. Which is why it’s a bad idea. Which is why in turn it’s a REALLY bad idea to presume that content detection actually works.)

    Fourth, there’s really very little reason for spammers to trouble themselves with MobileMe when superior spam delivery methods are available. (I’ll point to Yahoo and Hotmail, both of which have hosted epidemic spam infestations for many years, as two prime examples.)

    Fifth, relying on end-user opinions about what is/isn’t spam is a known-failed strategy. If users could actually make this decision reliably, we wouldn’t have a spam (or phish) problem. But users have spent the past many years conclusively proving, beyond all argument, that they CANNOT tell the difference, even after extensive educational efforts and years of experience. They suck as classifiers. So if (as one commenter suggests) Apple is relying on end-users, that’s off-the-scale stupid.

    (Morever, many users’ systems are no longer their own. Spammers have already learned how to manipulate this to their advantage.)

    Sixth, it should not have been necessary for users to learn of this
    by experiment. The entire mechanism should be published — INCLUDING
    the technical details. After all, if it’s so brittle that spammer knowledge of it allows them to bypass it…then it’s not ready for the real world.

    Bottom line is that this is a horrible botch by Apple on a number of levels and in a number of ways. It’s really quite amateurish, the sort of thing I would expect from a novice mail system admin with good intentions but very little expertise.

    • xian says:

      I’m having a hard time parsing your conclusion here… is it based on commenters ‘findings’ here, or do you have the inside scoop on how Apple’s spam filters actually work?

      You also point out there’s little reason for spammers to use MobileMe vs. Yahoo or Hotmail (I’d think the $100/yr cost would be a good deterrent), so do their filters even need to be as robust as others?

      Also, Google uses both content filtering (including OCR) and end user opinions to filter spam, are they off the scale stupid too?

      • rsk says:

        My responses to comments are just: responses to comments. My statements about spam filtering (in general) are based on a lot of experience over a very long period of time — much longer than any of these operations have existed.

        On the question of whether or not MobileMe’s filters need to be as
        robust as others: yes. The cost is irrelevant to a spammer who is using
        bot’d systems, since the former owners of those systems are the ones who
        are paying the bills. That said, they need to be robust in multiple senses: low false positive rate, low false negative rate, resistance to attacks, resistance to gaming, scalable, fault-tolerant, etc. It’s quite easy to achieve any one or two of these; it’s much more difficult to get anywhere near all of them simultaneously.

        And yes, Google’s spam filtering is rather poor for both the reasons you mention. The false positive and false negative rates are unacceptably high, and the user feedback mechanism is subject to gaming (just like AOL’s or anyone else’s). And since you brought up Google: it’s been a best practice for years to block all outbound Usenet articles from Google — because of their inability or unwillingness to control the spam they’re emitting. So while they’re not as bad as Yahoo or Hotmail, both of which mail operations are apparently run by crack monkeys, they’re disappoitingly bad given Google’ resource and corporate motto.

  12. Otter says:

    Did anybody RTFA? This was only for a particular paragraph of text, and some commenters there reported that other emails containing the same words went through, leaving open the most likely scenario, which is that multiple instances of that particular paragraph had been previously flagged as spam or TOS violations. Seems like jumping to a conclusion here.

  13. nate_freewheel says:

    If you had a politically charged paragraph that you wanted a lot of people to read that don’t normally care about political rhetoric, this would be a good way to accomplish that goal…

  14. Anonymous says:

    Listen, it’s easy to sensationalize this sort of thing but I’m an e-mail admin and outgoing content filtering — even silent filtering — is, at least within my experience, the norm.

    Many spam filtering systems are based on scores. Various algorithms are applied to the message content and its headers which match rules which are then scored. That score can then be applied to various thresholds that determine whether it’s “kind-of spammy” or “there’s a snowball’s chance in hell this isn’t spam”. A popular content based algorithm is Bayesian filtering. The guts of this filter is a database built from a corpus of known good emails and known bad emails that can then be applied to new messages to determine the chance that the message is spam. It’s an ever evolving feedback loop and if your message is sufficiently similar to known spam messages you could get dinged by it. As I said though, it’s all part of a scoring system to reach a threshold, and something that a Bayesian filter is 99% certain is spam, can still get by if there’s no other signals.

    E-mail admins also have to deal with a variety of attacks. Personal computers (yes, this includes Macs) frequently get infected with malware that is instructed to send out spam. It could act as its own mail transfer agent (MTA), or it could steal the credentials you have saved in your mail client, and relay through that. These viruses send thousands and emails, and if they aren’t forging the envelope and headers, with a feedback system that’s not silent you’d be looking at thousands of returned emails. While that could argued as a good thing — you’d know you were infected (if you had a modicum of intelligence) — but it could also be a Very Bad Thing. Likely the envelope and headers were forged, and what then? Your ISPs MTA could then be sending bouncebacks all over the place to forged addresses who had nothing to do with it, something known among e-mail admins as backscatter.

    What I’m trying to explain is that outgoing content scanning and filtering is essential, and ISPs and service providers who don’t do this are a big part of the spam problem.

    • Anonymous says:

      Something else to consider: On a shared platform with thousands or even millions of senders, you have to police your outbound traffic or you can end up getting your IP space blocked due to a few evil-doers. I don’t know how many /24 blocks me.com has devoted to their outbound relays, but an outfit like SORBS has no problem blocking a whole class C if they feel it’s necessary.

      I’m an email admin and I scan your outbound traffic. Why? Cuz’ y’all are DUMB.

    • Anonymous says:

      “Personal computers (yes, this includes Macs) frequently get infected with malware that is instructed to send out spam. It could act as its own mail transfer agent (MTA), or it could steal the credentials you have saved in your mail client, and relay through that.”

      Which is absolutely true, but what you seem to have missed in TFA is that this only affects Webmail, not standard SMTP traffic, which is the much likelier attack vector.

      I have no doubt that this is an overzealous spam filter. But that doesn’t excuse it. It would be forgivable coming from a small company with limited resources, but Apple has more than enough resources to set up spam filters competently.

      And as an E-Mail admin you must surely know that, as bad as spam is, a Type I error is ALWAYS worse than a Type II error in E-Mail transmission.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sorry, but we really don’t want to hear your side of it. If outgoing e-mails are censored, make it known in the terms of service, and to the sender of every e-mail that is so affected.

  15. RobertBigelow says:

    They also have a sneaky way of trying to con first time iPad users into signing up for a “free trial” for that travesty. Perhaps Apple is on it’s way to surpassing Microsoft for what we know the latter to be.

  16. mkultra says:

    Hahahaha. I guess “MobileMe’s outgoing spam filter occasionally results in false positive” isn’t enough of a troll headline.

    Cory :: Apple
    as
    Fox News :: Barack Obama

    • Aleknevicus says:

      An e-mail server should not be reporting “positives” (false or otherwise) based on content. (Filtering for spam can be more readily accomplished by filtering on numbers of e-mails sent over a particular time.)

      Furthermore, even if you do filter on content, registering a positive (again, false or otherwise) absolutely requires notification to the original sender.

    • turn_self_off says:

      Except that only Cory seems to speak up against Apple on BoingBoing, while Xeni and at least one other goes gaga every time Jobs walks on stage.

      Observe that at the time of the ipad launch there was 2-3 independent articles about it here in flowering words, and Cory’s one article about why he would not be getting one any time soon.

    • xian says:

      Cory :: Apple
      as
      Fox News :: Barack Obama

      I could not have said that better myself. Boing Boing should consider an Apple content filter on Cory.

      • Cowicide says:

        Boing Boing should consider an Apple content filter on Cory.

        Then Boing Boing would lose its massive readership, including me. Glad you’re not running Boing Boing.

        • xian says:

          Twas just a joke man, I don’t actually want any of the bloggers here being censored by one another. I just tire of Cory’s un-investigated, anti Apple posts because I know of a few BB readers that will be asking me in the coming days how I feel about buying products from a company that purposely subverts political speech with their pro-authoritarian-oppressive-regime email filters.

          • Cowicide says:

            So how do you feel about buying products from a company that purposely subverts political speech with their pro-authoritarian-oppressive-regime email filters?

          • Anonymous says:

            I don’t actually see any of that in Cory’s post — though I can certainly see it in the linked article.

            Cory’s post is factual in nature: Apple applies content filters to outbound messages, and doesn’t always inform the sender of a bounce. This is a problem, even without the original article’s knee-jerk implications of deliberate censorship of political speech.

  17. geo says:

    Also, note that it is limited to THE WEB INTERFACE for MobileMe. Desktop apps (tested mail.app and Eudora. Presume there wouldn’t be any other mail client that has issue) are not affected.

    This furthers the notion that the dropped messages were meant to be caught on free accounts set up over the web for SPAM.

  18. quickbrownfox says:

    Clearly there is something wrong here, but the article does note that this doesn’t happen when you use your desktop mail client—only the webmail service. This makes me think it’s a bug or overzealous spam filter. The fact that it just fails silently is inexcusable, but the idea that this is some kind of intentional attempt at suppressing political discussion is kind of absurd.

  19. ArnoDick says:

    Mobile Me sucks pretty hard, but this doesn’t sound like brutal censorship, just overzealous spam filter.

    Speaking of cognitive dissonance:
    “The comments on Brownlee’s post are a study in cognitive dissonance from Apple fans, with responses ranging from… “It didn’t happen when I tried it, so it’s not true,” …”

    If someone sends an email with similar text and it isn’t deleted, then it doesn’t seem true that Apple is deleting emails based on particular content. Saying that people are experiencing cognitive dissonance because they tested the very thing that was claimed and didn’t experience the same results is a funny definition of cognitive dissonance.

    On the other hand, claiming that people are experiencing cognitive dissonance because they tested something that was claimed about a company you don’t like does seem like a little bit of the old cognitive dissonance.

  20. Anonymous says:

    DLP systems are notorious for false positives, but most have some kind of quarantine report that is sent to users.

    I agree with Cowicide; I doubt that Apple has any nefarious purposes here, it’s more than likely just a system misconfiguration.

  21. Will says:

    I noticed this discussion the other week when it was brought up on the MacInTouch forums, but was unable to replicate the problem when using Apple’s own Mail app and my @mac address.

    IF they are filtering for any kind of content, that’s an absolutely despicable intrusion.

    IF it’s a byproduct of some kind of spam filter, it’s a problem: inadvertently suppressing political speech is still bad.

    Apple’s done things in the past that I feel were wrong, especially when dealing with technology leaks, and the issue of “appropriate” content for their app store. But I don’t see any precedent in their actions that would lead me to believe that they’d want to filter political speech, especially speech that came through their mail servers.

  22. Benny Profane says:

    “This doesn’t appear to be in Apple’s published terms of using the service, and while an Apple spokesperson has confirmed that this goes on, she disclaims that it is political in nature.”

    In point of fact, she very clearly disclaimed that it was NOT political in nature.

  23. Avram / Moderator says:

    Spam filtering is a laudable goal, but this implementation seems crappy and thoughtless. It doesn’t speak well for how Apple thinks about its MobileMe customers.

    • Michael Smith says:

      Spam filtering is a laudable goal, but this implementation seems crappy and thoughtless.

      To be honest I don’t see much difference between that and the approach boingboing takes to the deletion of comments by posters.

      • Cowicide says:

        I don’t see much difference between that and the approach boingboing takes to the deletion of comments by posters

        I didn’t realize that you were paying for the boingboing.net commenting service. Wow, I feel special… I’ve never paid a penny for this service. How much do you pay?

        • Antinous / Moderator says:

          I don’t think that this gentleman quite gets the difference between filtering on the sending end and filtering on the receiving end, which is the whole point of this post. A better analogy would be me surreptitiously deleting one of Cory’s posts because he used a word that got on my nerves.

        • Michael Smith says:

          I pay by not using adblock, however I don’t believe the issue of apple blocking emails with MobileMe would be any different if it was a free service. If you claim to transmit messages for people, then you should do so in a transparent fashion.

          • emmdeeaych says:

            You do not pay by “not using adblock”. You just don’t.

          • Cowicide says:

            If you claim to transmit messages for people, then you should do so in a transparent fashion.

            Boing Boing doesn’t claim to transmit messages for people. It’s a blog and there’s no subscription fee… so while there are ads, you are most certainly not paying for a service, much less one that claims to offer a messaging board service for you.

            It’s a blog.

            I’ve had plenty of my own posts nuked, but I’m free to repost them on my own blog at any time I desire. Is Boing Boing a lesser blog because they removed my posts? Yes. My posts are so amazing that their very removal probably cost them readership and they are probably losing millions every year because of this grievous error. But, that’s what happens when you delete my fantastic posts. You lose. You lose bad, and you lose millions. But, hey that doesn’t hurt me.

  24. Cowicide says:

    The comments on Brownlee’s post are a study in cognitive dissonance from Apple fans

    Are Apple Users Full of Cognitive Dissonance?

    I’m a seasoned Apple message board lurker and contributor for many, many years and I’m very familiar with CoM. After reading the quote above, I was more interested in reading the comments than the actual report itself.

    What I found after reading through the comments were the usual trolls that inhabit all comment boards, but especially the antagonistic, purposefully obtuse trolls that infest Apple-related stories and boards who attempt to badger and irritate Apple users.

    I also see a bunch of Apple users attempting to replicate the results. There’s that one idiot who makes the “I don’t send out radical messages” post, but he is immediately chastised and put in his place by several others.

    There’s not a mass “cognitive dissonance” of Apple users. The overwhelming majority of actual Apple users are actively concerned and are testing with their own accounts in an attempt to get to the bottom of this.

    Is This Apple’s Fault?

    Yes and No

    I think the safest and smartest conclusion is that text pattern has been sent to a bunch of people who didn’t want it and these multiple individuals have marked it as spam. This guy sending that message out may have thought everyone he was sending this to desperately wanted it, but apparently some of his recipients were annoyed and it was marked as spam. If enough people (and corporate filters) mark a text pattern as spam then it gets junked by Apple’s system.

    Apple doesn’t do a return to sender because that blatantly notifies the spammers that they need to change up their game. To bypass this, of course, all a spammer has to do is test it by sending the spam to its own dummy accounts to see if it works. But why make this process quick and easy for spammers, either?

    So, I’m not sure exactly what Apple should do to fix this issue, but I sincerely doubt Apple (who gives money to support gay rights) is in any way purposefully and actively attempting to subvert political speech.

    Is this Apple’s fault and do they need to adjust and/or repair their spam system? Yes.

    Are they purposefully filtering political speech? Extremely unlikely.

    That’s not cognitive dissonance on my part. That’s cognition. Try it! ;D

    Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand….. welcome!! Apple user trolls! Nice to see you again!

    • Emo Pinata says:

      Even as a spam filter the decision was made by a team of people within Apple to silently filter messages that are outgoing from your mailbox due to content. While their intentions were probably relatively pure, the decision to make the filter silent is still a big deal. At best case spam outgoing from your mail gets blocked without your knowledge that spam is being sent from your mailbox (without you intending it to), and that’s not a very good spam filter.

      Is this Apple’s fault? Absolutely with no doubt. A series of poor decisions were made and implemented.

      Does this mean Apple intended for political emails to get censored? No, not even close. You would need internal emails and such to prove motivation.

      • Cowicide says:

        Even as a spam filter the decision was made by a team of people within Apple to silently filter messages that are outgoing from your mailbox due to content.

        Saying it’s “due to content” makes it sound like Apple is looking for specific themes or words like “revolution!”, etc.

        The truth of the matter is they are looking for text patterns no matter the content to assist in blocking spam.

        I hate to say this, because politically I do agree with the message. But that guy who initially was sending out that message is probably a political spammer and people were marking it as spam. If someone sent me unwanted “preaching to the choir” spam, I’d mark it as spam too and probably would want to smack the dude. I HATE spam.

        While their intentions were probably relatively pure, the decision to make the filter silent is still a big deal.

        I’m not so sure.

  25. jonathanpeterson says:

    @mkultra – I DID read the article (and the macintouch comment thread it refers to) as far too often commenters just jump in without the full story.

    It appears that they flagged a pass-along political chain email as spam – @Otter you can’t call that a “false positive”. It wasn’t accidental.

    It also appears that the flagging is happening in the web interface, NOT in the SMTP server (which if true, would keep it compliant with SMTP standards)

    No problem with that for an INCOMING messages – using that feature is my choice.

    By discarding OUTGOING messages without any notice to the sender, they are fundamentally breaking the way email is supposed to work. Web interface or not a rejected email message should send a bounce response to the sender.

    Zero notification message disposal, is not a feature that should have ever been purpose built into a messaging platform, something that, tellingly Apple did not deny.

    • Cowicide says:

      Zero notification message disposal, is not a feature that should have ever been purpose built into a messaging platform, something that, tellingly Apple did not deny.

      You set up a spam-blocking system for millions of people and you might have a more nuanced opinion in that regard. Apple needs to fix this issue by adjusting their filtering systems, but letting spammers know their spam isn’t going through would likely increase successful spam for various reasons especially when dealing with bots.

      Let’s face it, if Apple adjusted things your way and MobileMe became infested with spam then THAT would be in the news and there’d be a bunch of whining from the users and gloating from everyone else.

      Successful spam filtering is a martial art. I hope Apple fixes this issue, but also doesn’t inundate it’s users with valid spam in the process.

  26. peterbruells says:

    Hmmm….

    The following did not get through either:

    “The democratic Governments in Texas, California, new Hamsphire Arabia and Connecticut
    continue to entertain and coddle their own citizens. Their
    helpful and peacfule attempts at controlling the media and their
    citizens are ethical and illegal. They continue to lead its own
    citizens through example, chocolate cake, jaywalking and running. Stop the
    laughter of innocent American Children!!! Take a stand against
    Academic University Bookstores! Equal Rights to all people!”

  27. Anonymous says:

    Sounds, like a total BS story to me. What actual evidence do they have? Just because the one email in question happens to be political does not imply that is the reason why it was blocked. The singular of anecdotes is also not data. Of course it’s easiest to jump to the most illogical, unlikely conclusion for the sake of a story and page views.

    The real problem is that they seem to be filtering outgoing messages for spam and don’t notify the user in any way. Do GMail or Yahoo never filter outgoing messages as some seem to imply? If they actually do filter, do they notify users?

  28. duncan says:

    I just tried it by sending 2 emails to my work address; I copied the problems text from the story and sent it to my work address. Only the one with “test” in the subject line made it through.

  29. Anonymous says:

    I wonder if this is because signing a petition or giving your email to almost any political organisation results in a flood of unwanted email asking for donations and “action alerts”, which many people then mass mail to all their friends.

    I support many organisations whose emails I have set my account to autodelete because they are so obnoxious, and they do that retailer thing where they change the subdomain they email from every few months because they know people are filtering their mail–instead of taking the hint that maybe I don’t want to be urged to “action” every ten minutes.

  30. Yael Tiferet says:

    I wonder if this is because so many political organisations operate just like Walmart and the Gap once you make the mistake of giving them your email address. I totally support the ACLU but I also have their emails killfiled because not only do they send multiple “action alerts” coupled with requests for money every week, they also change the subdomain they send mail from frequently because they know that people killfile them. Having known several people who mass-forward emails like these…I don’t think it’s right to refuse to tell your users you’re not sending out their mail, but I can understand why certain political emails would get marked as spam because so many political organisations spam the hell out of people. Though charities are even worse. RAINN and the ASPCA are just awful with the floods of email. I’ve learnt NEVER to tell an organisation whose goals I support that I want to be kept informed, and to accompany all donations with no email address or with my spam catcher email address.

  31. Toff says:

    “The comments on Brownlee’s post are a study in cognitive dissonance from Apple fans”

    Kinda sorta. I don’t like the seeming implication that the comments quoted are representative of Apple fans. I don’t doubt some Apple fans might say those stupid things. People are stupid.

    My trust for anonymous and pseudonymous posts, or people who trust anonymous or pseudonymous posts, is not unconditional. It would be easy for someone wanting to criticize Apple fans, someone who thinks Apple fans are some kind of “Cult of Mac,” say, to pretend to be an Apple fan and post stupid stuff to try to make them look bad. I don’t know how likely that would be, and certainly the easiest thing is to accept that such a deception is not going on here.

    Cult of Mac’s report, if true, is something Apple should come completely clean about. That the messages that get blocked by MobileMe can go through when sent via Apple’s Mail application suggests something glitchy to me, rather than evil. MobileMe is going away shortly, you know: http://www.apple.com/mobileme/ That page doesn’t say that Apple has extended MobileMe memberships into July, even though they have; there have been other problems with MobileMe service lately and one suspects it all has to do with the transition. But sure, it could be malfeasance too.

  32. Jonathan Bayer says:

    Ugh that is disgusting from a sysadmin perspective. It completely violates RFC 2821. It’s bad enough they don’t send it out but to silently discard it is unforgivable.

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