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[ih] Some Questions over IPv4 Ownership


If "jack at 3kitty.org" is the example of forwarding you have in mind,
that's not how it works.  When I change providers, I move my 3kitty.org
service from one provider to another, and the appropriate DNS records
reflect the change.  Mail goes directly to my current server as
reflected by the DNS data, not through the old place.  

I do have a bunch of xxx at 3kitty.org mailboxes, and they all must move
together.  If my current provider disappears, I'll just put 3kitty.org
on a new one.  Essentially I'm using a domain name to create a set of
mailboxes that are portable.

The important feature when I move is the (lack of) effect on people
trying to send me mail.  I never have to send out "please change my
email address in your contacts". I use the DNS to get "Email Address
Portability".  But, as I said earlier, it only works if not too many of
us do it.

3kitty.org is not an ISP, it's just me.  Getting back to the original
question - I have a better case for ownership of jack at 3kitty.org than I
have on the IP address I'm using right now.


On Thu, 2010-10-14 at 23:01 -0400, Dave CROCKER wrote:
> On 10/14/2010 12:27 PM, David Sitman wrote:
> > This summer, the Ministry of Communications in Israel began considering a change
> > in ISP licensing which would require ISP's to support email address portability,
> ...
> >      this has caused us quite a bit of consternation.
> It should.
> Like many appealing ideas, it suffers upon careful consideration of the changes 
> needed to make it happen.
> Email addressing, registration and routing each have significant design and 
> operations differences from the original telephone system.  Jack's example of a 
> forwarding mailbox hints at the difference:  The address is tied to a mailbox. 
> If you go elsewhere, the message still has to route through the old place.  With 
> telephone number portability, the actual conversation does not "go through" the 
> original provider.  (There is a routing layer that is separate from the 
> conversation layer, which is not true for email.)
> In addition, note that the domain name portion of the email address is a "name" 
> of the provider.  That carries massive semantics, in contrast with the 
> neutrality of a telephone number.  One would think that portability should not 
> forever tie you to the name of your original provider.
> Still, it's worth asking whether it is at all practical to create email 
> portability?
> The answer is not only yes, but... it's been done repeatedly and without 
> mandating anything:
>     Create an independent service that offers "portable" addresses.  Namely, it 
> just is a forwarding service.(*)  (There are elaborations of this design that 
> might get clever with per-user domain names and MX records, but I'll keep it 
> simple. In reality, making the lookup handling be helpfully different from the 
> message transfer handling -- that is, allowing the message communications to be 
> "direct" -- is actually quite difficult, at a per-user granularity, relative to 
> the current system.)
>     This is a value-add overlay to the existing service... with no change to the 
> existing service.  As long as the forwarding service stays in business you can 
> have your actual mailbox anywhere you want.
>     Note that going out of business is another point of difference between the 
> telephone number management system versus the email portability idea.  The 
> former doesn't have to worry about continuity of service in the face of 
> bankruptcy while the email one does.
> d/