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[ih] Some Questions over IPv4 Ownership

  It's about time somebody explained email to Dave Crocker.


On 10/14/2010 9:12 PM, Jack Haverty wrote:
> Dave,
> 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.
> /Jack
> 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/

Richard Bennett