Recent Activities


Spam – Controlling Unsolicited Bulk Email

Spam is a social abuse of Internet messaging services. Technical solutions must follow social consensus about the nature and boundaries of these abuses. To date, no effort to control spam has had widespread, long-term effectiveness. However it is already clear that spam is here to stay and that we must seek to control it, rather than eliminate it. Further many different control mechanisms are needed, including legal, technical and operational.

Community Discussion


Fighting Abuse with Trust
  • FCC, Washington DC, February 2012  »  pps, pdf

Email Trust Does Not Look for Miscreants
  • ISOC INET,, San Francisco, May 2010  »  pdf

The Truth About: Trust and DKIM
  • APCause, Kuala Lumpur, March 2010  »  pdf

Trust in Email Begins with Authentication

Discussion of an email trust model, and comparison of common authentication methods used as the basis for trust. Written for MAAWG.

  • White paper, June 2008  »  pdf, maawg

DKIM's SSP Effort -- Is there a role for MAAWG?
  • MAAWG / Toronto, November 2006  »  ppt

Reputation Discussion Panels: Seeking a Common Understanding
  • MAAWG / S.F., March 2006  »  ppt

A Trust Overlay for Email Operations: DKIM and Beyond
  • Apricot / Perth, February 2006  »  ppt

Challenges in Anti-Spam Efforts
  • IPJ Magazine, Vol.8, No.4, December 2005  »  html

DNS-based Message-Transit Authentication Techniques
  • DENIC Registrar's Meeting, Frankfurt, Sept. 2005  »  ppt

Adapting Global Email for Controlling Spam
  • IPSJ Magazine — Special issue on Anti-Spam, Vol.46, No.7, pp.741-746, July 2005  »  Japanese pdf  / English  pdf

    Notice for the use of the Japanese version: The copyright of this material is retained by the Information Processing Society of Japan (IPSJ). This material is published on this web page with the agreement of the author(s) and the IPSJ. Please be complied with Copyright Law of Japan and the  »  Code of Ethics of IPSJ if any users wish to reproduce, make derivative work, distribute or make available to the public any part or whole thereof. All Rights Reserved, Copyright (C) Information Processing Society of Japan. Comments are welcome. Mail to address  »  Publication Section, please.

System Aspects of Spam Control
  • IBM Academy, Feb. 2005  »  ppt

Authentication Approaches
  • APCauce/Apricot, Kyoto, Feb. 2005 »  ppt

  • Handling Service Support: CSV & BATV   »  htmlpdfppt

Spamming Anti-Spam Solution Space
  • SDForum Security SIG, Palo Alto, Oct. 2004 »  ppt

How Will Authentication Reduce Global Spam?
  • OECD Anti-Spam Task Force II, Pusan, Sept. 2004  »  ppt

A Retrospective on Future Anti-Spam Standards
  • China Anti-Spam Workshop II, Beijing, Sept. 2004  »  ppt

INBOX Conference
  • Email Authentications, San Jose, CA – 2004   »  ppt

  • Email Success Failure  »  ppt

China Anti-Spam Workshop
  • Taking Common Action Against Spam, Internet Society of China, Keynote, Apr. 2004, Beijing  »  ppt

  • Trip Report on the Chinese efforts to fight spam

Spam: Ready, Fire, Aim
  • APCause Keynote Apricot 2004, Kuala Lumpur  »  pptwith animation, pdfwithout animation

A Letters to the Editor "conversation" on spam control, in  »  Technology Review
Holistic Evaluation
  • ISPCon, Santa Clara » ppt





DOmain SEcurity TAgging (DOSETA)
  • Core mechanism
    draft-crocker-doseta-core  »  html, txt

  • MIMEAUTH — Signing a MIME object
    draft-crocker-doseta-mimeauth  »  html, txt

Trust and Brands

Clarifies the benefit of DKIM and suggests a use with well-known brands

  • The Truth About DKIM  »   pdf

DKIM Enhancement & Support
  • RFC 4871 DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) Signatures -- Errata
    dkim–rfc4871–errata–06  »   html, txt

  • DKIM Service Overview, RFC 5585 »  pdf, html, txt

  • DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) Development, Deployment and Operations
    draft-ietf-dkim-deployment-07  »  pdf, htmltxt

Affiliations List (AffiL) project

Authentication-based validation of membership (affiliation) in a published group list.

Proposal for a Pilot Project:
Using DKIM to Create a Email Trust Channel
  • Email-Authentication-Trust-Pilot » pdf, pps

DNS Scoped Data Through Attribute Leaves

With the DNS leading-underscore naming construct, the choice of valid RRs is limited to a defined set. It defines a scope-constrained attribute space for the containing domain name.

  • draft-crocker-dns-attrleaf-02  »  txt, html

Email Submission Operations: Access and Accountability Requirements
Bounce Address Tag Validation (BATV)

Using a public convention for adding signature information to RFC2821.MailFrom addresses, including a localized, storage-friendly hash method:

  • draft-levine-batv-03  »  htmltxt

Registration-based Validation
Technical Considerations for Spam Control
Unsolicited Bulk Email: Mechanisms for Control
  • Report, Internet Mail Consortium  »  html


Facsimile over Email

Developing a profile for email service to match the business quality document exchange capabilities provided by telephone-based facsimile

IFAX service of ENUM
SMTP Service Extension for Content Negotiation
Browsefax Integration


Email Privacy Efforts
History of Internet Mail

A round of problematic media activity triggered a request that I produce a "personal" history of Internet mail during the 1970s. The result was:

  • A history of e-mail: Collaboration, innovation and the birth of a system, The Washington Post, 20 March 2012; Local copy / Post original

The community activity surrounding this has resulted in a nascent website:

Here is the background that prompted the invitation to do my article:

A followup analysis:

Internet Mail Architecture

Formal specification of the current email service.

Opinion: Is It Time to Replace SMTP?
  • IPJ Magazine, Vol.10, No.2, June 2007   »  html, cisco

Augmented BNF (ABNF)

No, this isn't really email, but it grew out of the RFC733/RFC822 work and I don't have a better category, on this page...

  • Minor revision, to prepare for elevation to Draft Standard, draft-crocker-abnf-rfc2234bis-00, 9 Mar 05  »  htmltxt

Scope and Structure of Internet Mail Addresses
Mandatory MIME Security Considered Harmful
The impact email work done at The Rand Corporation in the mid-1970’s
  • A personal, informal perspective  »  pdf


Instant Messaging and Presence

Common Presence and Instant Messaging (CPIM)

Global Internet

Navigating RFCs:
Internet Technology Document Suites

What is the set of current documents with the technical details of a particular service?

Answering this question can be daunting, especially when the service has a long history, filled with formal changes, enhancements, errata notes and esoteric lore. This Document Suite wiki provides a home for collaborative, on-going efforts at recording such information about popular Internet capabilities. An Internet service is described by a collection of specification and support documents, along with informal commentary to guide development, deployment, operations and use. This collection forms a Technology Document Suite.

RFC Editor Proposal: Executive Summary
Nomcom Enhancements: Improving the IETF leadership selection process


  • Summary  »  html

  • Full Proposal  »  html

  • Implementation Effort  »  html

IETF Outcomes Wiki

Developed a public wiki for community assessment of standards produced by the IETF

2009 ISOC Postel Award to CSNet

At IETF-75 in Stockholm, on 29 July 2009, ISOC gave the Postel Award to CSNet, "the research networking effort that during the early 1980s provided the critical bridge from the original research undertaken through the ARPANET to the modern Internet."

BBC4 Radio, Today Programme 3-part series: Online Crime
Mine was the final segment.
Media Format Choices for RFCs
  • draft-crocker-rfc-media-00  »  pdf, html, txt 

  • Differences from draft-rfc-image-files-00, by Braden and Klensin  »  inline, side-by-side 

Preserve and Enhance: Balancing Goals for the Internet
  • Apricot Keynote 2004, Kuala Lumpur (ppt / pdf)

Ruling the Root: Internet Governance and the Taming of Cyberspace.

Milton L. Mueller's ostensible analysis of name and number assignment processes for the Internet:

  • My review of it The Internet Protocol Journal - Volume 5, Number 4, Cisco, January, 2003  »  html

  • Mueller response and my follow-up The Internet Protocol Journal - Volume 6, Number 1, Cisco  »  html

The Debate Over Internet Governance:  A Snapshot in the Year 2000

Interview with Berkman Center for Internet and Society, 2000  »  html

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