Home / Blogs

IETF Publishes RFCs on SPF and Sender ID

John Levine

A recent press release from the Internet Society reports that the IETF will shortly publish specifications of SPF and Sender-ID in the RFC series. What does this mean for the future? Not much.

More than 4000 documents have been published in the RFC series since the first RFC in 1969, relatively few of which have evolved into Internet standards. Each RFC is characterized when published as standards-track, best current practice, informational, experimental, or historical. These four RFCs, three describing Sender ID and one describing SPF, are all experimental.

Last year's MARID process conspicuously failed to approach the consensus that the IETF requires for standardization, which is the primary reason that the MARID group shut down. Nobody (except perhaps a few hopeful souls at Microsoft) expects anything MARID-like to move forward in the IETF. Yet there's no question that SPF and Sender ID exist and are each in somewhat wide use, and there's been quite a lot of data collected on their strengths and weaknesses. These RFCs are basically a final detail of MARID, to document what it did, even though it didn't get anywhere close to moving anything toward standardization.

Even though this release comes hard on the heels of Microsoft's new policy that everyone sending mail to Hotmail or MSN will have to identify it with Sender ID, I don't see any connection. These documents have been working their way through the RFC process since February. Before any RFC can be published, it undergoes editorial review and needs editorial approval from members of the IESG (Internet Engineering Steering Group.) The progress of the review and approval process is documented, here for SPF and here for Sender ID, and they were about done in late May, with a few minor tweaks just completed.

By John Levine, Author, Consultant & Speaker
Follow CircleID on
Related topics: Spam
SHARE THIS POST

If you are pressed for time ...

... this is for you. More and more professionals are choosing to publish critical posts on CircleID from all corners of the Internet industry. If you find it hard to keep up daily, consider subscribing to our weekly digest. We will provide you a convenient summary report once a week sent directly to your inbox. It's a quick and easy read.

I make a point of reading CircleID. There is no getting around the utility of knowing what thoughtful people are thinking and saying about our industry.

Vinton Cerf, Co-designer of the TCP/IP Protocols & the Architecture of the Internet

Share your comments

Re: IETF Publishes RFCs on SPF and Sender ID Fergie  –  Jun 30, 2005 11:26 AM PDT

Right you are, John, but the market always decides. You can understand, however, how people see the Microsoft announcement as strong-arm tactics....

Re: IETF Publishes RFCs on SPF and Sender ID Michele Neylon  –  Jul 06, 2005 11:50 AM PDT

What is confusing me is that the "help" page on Microsoft.com points to information on SPF, so what is the actual difference, if any, between them? Or is there even a difference worth talking about?

To post comments, please login or create an account.

Related

Topics

DNS Security

Sponsored byAfilias

Cybersecurity

Sponsored byVerisign

IP Addressing

Sponsored byAvenue4 LLC

New TLDs

Sponsored byAfilias

Domain Names

Sponsored byVerisign

Whois

Sponsored byWhoisXML API