Subject: Re: Obfuscation
To: Bruce J.A. Nourish <>
From: Richard Rauch <>
List: netbsd-users
Date: 09/13/2003 03:59:43
> > Imagine my surprise, Bruce, to discover that I am not a regular reader of
> > this list.
> Granted, this was probably a silly comment...

(^&  Sorry, I couldn't resist.

> >    are bright enough to construct "containment" email accounts if they so
> >    desire (as you have done).
> Containment accounts are a blunt weapon. If you close one, people who
> only know the containment address cannot contact you in future. Does
> that not dissuade replies?

I don't think so.  I can cut-and-paste a "containment" email address from's web-interface.  I might not notice, and certainly
won't care that the address is just for that list.

> >    Since you don't have to be subscribed to the list, you could even just
> >    use a totally bogus email address that you never check (have it dump into
> >    /dev/null) and leave a hint in your .signature about how to really
> >    contact you.
> What is that signature "hint" if not an obfuscated email address (and
> therefore subject to your own critique of obfuscated email addresses)?

EXACTLY, and also giving you exactly what you requested, for your
messages, without interfering with others'.

...unless you mean that *only* the NetBSD web-archive of the mailing
lists would be obfuscated.

But you don't win there, because of all of the other archives on the
'net.  Trust me, they *are* out there and they do *not* all default
to garbling addresses.  And there will probably be new ones in the
next 6 to 12 months.  And the year after that...  Are you going to
chase them all down?

If you really want your email address kept private then don't give
it out.  If you want the the addresses to be obfuscated on the list,
then it has to be done when the list mailings are sent out, not when
just one of the many web-archives displays a page.

One option that might make everyone happy would be to let people put an
"X-Garble-Me:" mail-header in to transform the email address for that one
person's one message.

> >  * "Obfuscation", if it really obscures the email address, hinders replies.
> If you're using the NetBSD mail archives from a web browser, you have
> already sacrificed the ability to reply easily. (I am not suggesting in

On the whole, it's easier than dealing with a mound of undeleted mail
in my mailbox.  (I'm a packrat; I never delete mail.)

> > Administratively raising the level of obfuscation on the list would certainly
> > lower the number of off-list replies that I make.
> See my previous remarks about bit-buckets, which are your suggested
> remedy.

"My" suggested remedy is just a way of implementing your request without
forcing it on everyone.  My *real* remedy is just to grin and bear it, if
you're going to attribute a rememdy to me.  (^&

Though an alternate is X-Garble-Me:.


  "I probably don't know what I'm talking about."