AEGEE Mailing Lists Policies
The chaos is something natural, unfortunately not very good for AEGEE. For clarity you can find here the policies applied when creating and reconfiguring a mailing list. The intention is that you all are threated in the same way and the spam-reputation of the mail server is kept at good level.
- Opening a Mailing List
- Publishing a Mailing List under https://lists.aegee.org
- Spam and List Settings
- Closing a Mailing List
- Transitional Clause
Opening a Mailing List
Everybody is fee to open a mailing list. The process is described at https://mail.aegee.org/lists/new-lists.html
Publishing a Mailing List under lists.aegee.org
A mailing list can appear at https://lists.aegee.org, when
- This is the only published mailing list of the local, project or working group.
- No mailing lists for events (e.g. no SU-LALULA-L)
- No mailing lists where everybody can send messages
- No mailing lists where listowner's subscription approval is needed
- The list hast to be related to AEGEE
Spam and List Settings
Joe-Jobs, Spamtraps and Honeypots
In the mailworld the spammers do not use their own email address as sender. Instead they put as sender one of the addresses they spam. This is called a Joe-Job.
The spam fighters are not stupid, they hide in the webpages email addresses that are visible only for the search engines of the spammers. When a mail arrives at such mailbox (Spamtrap, Honeypot), it can be said that the mail for sure is spam. This method is used to train the spam filters to better classify similar emails for the future.
Advanced spam fighters take a step further and mark the server who sent to the spamtrap as spammer. They report that server to internet blacklists. When a mail arrives from a blacklisted server, the mail is marked as highly probable spam.
In turn, sending mails (as reply to Joe-Job) to spamtraps marks the mails from the sending server as spam.
When Listserv replies to a mail it is not known if the reply will end in a spamtrap, except the email address is known to be "normal". Normal addresses are emails already subscribed to a mailing list. Below is a list of settings and combinations that lead to sending mails to possible spamtraps and are therefore not allowed:
When feasible the list shall be configured, so that the amount of people who can send them emails is limited (subscribers of that or other lists). You shall have a good reason not to limit the amount of email addresses permitted to post and you shall really use the mail address for incoming correspondence. Otherwise the settings will be altered, so that only list subscribers can post to the list.
- Send= Public | Non-Members, Confirm it shall be obvious where the problem is. The configuration sends back a reply to every received email. If the reply ends in a honeypot, then the mail server is marked as spammer
- Editor = ...Hold indicated that everybody can send to the list, but the mail has to be approved by the editor. The person who sent the email is notified that the email is pending. Now the meaning of Editor =...Hold is changed: only people who receive mails from the list can propose mails to the Editors. Mails from others are rejected. The configuration, that a person can filter the mails for spam within a team and approve only the non-spam is not possible anymore.
- Ack = Yes, when Send= Public | Non-Member sends again a mail back to everyone who wrote to the list.
For the case that everybody shall be permitted to post to the list, a spam filter needs to be adjusted. Every incoming email is evaluated for spam with Spamassassin and the matched scores are reflected in the X-Spam-Level header. To adjust a spam filter for a mailing list go to the webinterface of your list, and choose (from the top menu) List Management -> Customization -> Mail Templates, [Select Template Category] Anti-Virus and Anti-Spam -> [Select Template] Rules for filtering list messages based on their content [CONTENT_FILTER]
The format of the CONTENT_FILTER tempalte is described in the List Owners' Manual http://www.lsoft.com/manuals/15.5/LISTSERV15.5_ListOwnersManual.pdf (Section 2.16 Content Filtering, Page 38). You will write in the template something like
Action: Reject Your mail was evaluated as spam. Look at my homepage www.XXX-aegee.org for alternative ways to contact me.
The abovementioned rule specifies that mails with 5 or more spamassassin points will be rejected the the explanation below will be given to the sender. It is important to stick to the two lines and not to make the second line more than 500 characters. N.B. Don't forget to put some telephone numbers on your homepages.
Closing a Mailing List
A mailing list shall disappear when it is not in use anymore. In such cases the archives are stored and the list can be put again online, including subscribers and archives, at any moment in the future. A mailing list can be deleted, when:
- The list is not in use for at least six months. Then the listowners are asked if they approve a deletion. If the e-mail addresses of the listowners are not valid any more, the list is deleted without further notifications.
- A listowner asks for deletion.
- A subscriber proposes over a list a deletion and there are no objections on the list within one month.
- The list is used against the principles of the association. N.B. if a person or antenna has a problem with a mailing list, this does not mean that the association has the same problem.
- The list has no subscribers.
The transition period will end when all lists are adjsuted to the abovementioned criteria. Feel free to do the changed on your own. When I do them, you will get a short notice. Existing mailing lists will continue to have their settings until somebody adjusts them. New mailing lists stick to these policies.
Written in November 2008 by Дилян Палаузов