scouts-l Mail Archive for April of 2000: Re: Spam
Michael F. Bowman (mfbowman@BELLATLANTIC.NET
Sat Apr 15 2000 - 15:29:50 CDT
> Actually, all e-mail systems are required by law to have an
> address of "postmaster@fill in domain name", and most have an
> address of "abuse@fill in domain name".
I think this is a misconception. I know of no law that requires a
registered domain to have an e-mail address of postmaster@domainname.
Neither the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority http://www.iana.org nor the
Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers http://www.icann.com
list a requirement for using postmaster@domainname as a condition of sending
mail from a domain. The Internet Engineering Task Force http://www.ietf.org
handles requests for comment (RFC) on Internet Standards. They reference
http://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc1648.txt, which is a 1994 RFC urging x.400
mail domains to adopt the same convention of using postmaster@domain as used
by other mail systems. In other words there is no legal requirement to use
postmaster@domainname, but there is a standard or convention for doing so to
promote interoperability on the net. Not every domain name owner is in
compliance and there isn't a penalty for not being in compliance other than
being an annoyance to the rest of the net community. So if you have a beef
with a user at a domain over e-mail practices, sending an e-mail to
postmaster@domain may work in most cases, but won't always work. If you
want to be sure to have a good point of contact there is another
To register a domain name you are required to provide an administrative,
technical and billing contact. These contacts are then published as a
matter of record and searchable with a number of WhoIs services such as
http://whois.networksolutions.com or http://www.geektools.com/whois.html.
If you want to find out who the administrative point of contact is for a
given domain that is originating e-mail use a WhoIs service and in most
cases you'll get a mailing address, e-mail address, and telephone number.
The technical point of contact is the most important - it reveals the name
of the ISP that is hosting the domain. For example you may have an e-mail
from xxxxaaaa.com and when you do a whois search you find out that
xxxxaaaa.com is hosted by yyyybbbb.com. yyyybbbb.com in such a case most
likely has a contract with xxxxaaaa.com that spells out what practices are
acceptable. If there is abuse or a problem, yyyybbbb.com can under its
contract either force xxxxaaaa.com to adopt better practices or terminate
Michael F. Bowman firstname.lastname@example.org
Vice President, http://usscouts.org
U.S. Scouting Service Project, Inc.