Domain Registration Privacy: Another View

Electronic Frontier Foundation's Jeremy Malcolm and Mitch Stoltz published an article yesterday quite reasonably expressing concern over a proposal in front of ICANN that would limit use of "domains by proxy"-style WHOIS privacy for domain registration services.

It's a concern I can understand. My wife, a feminist author who has been "lucky" enough to only occasionally have message board threads calling her horrible names (and so far has avoided some of the more intense harassment leveled at other women online) and I have watched other people, often women, get doxxed and harassed in horrible ways and I totally agree that for a lot of people, it is entirely reasonable to not want to put your home address on a domain registration and have it visible to the whole world.

I'm not against online anonymity. I just also see the other side of it, misuse of these tools by bad actors. Consider the following.

Return Path adds AOL to list of certification-enabled ISPs

Today, Return Path announced that AOL has joined the Return Path Certification Program.

Return Path now names "AOL, Yahoo, Microsoft, Comcast, Cox, Cloudmark, Yandex, Mail.ru, Orange, Spamassassin and SpamCop" as ISPs providing value to certified senders, along with "hundreds of others, including key international domains."

Having trouble delivering mail to AOL? Now you can add "look into Return Path Certification" to the list of things to investigate to help improve your inbox rate there.

(No word on whether or not Verizon's recently completed acquisition of AOL will have any impact with regard to certification. If I were a betting man, though, I'd put my money on AOL's mail platform becoming the dominant one in this merger.)

DMARC and mailing lists: We survived!

It's been a little over a year since Yahoo and AOL implemented restrictive "p=reject" DMARC policies, saying you essentially aren't allowed to use their domains outside of their infrastructure. Death to mailing lists was predicted; but what seems to have actually happened is, popular mailing list software was updated to handle the new way of things. Google Groups and Yahoo Groups were quickly updated to handle mailing list posts from users at DMARC-restrictive domains. Mailman version 2 was updated at about the same time.

On Sweating the Small Stuff

Over on the Return Path blog, Scott Roth reminds us why it's so important to remember the fundamentals. Great case study for Dillard's, one of my favorite department stores.

Return Path: When is it OK to Use a Shared IP Address?

Return Path's Tom Sather explains when it's OK to use a shared IP address. Basically, when your volume is very low. He suggests that the cutoff be 50,000 messages a month -- below that level, you should be on a shared IP address. Above that, a dedicated IP address is recommended. I personally think there's some flexibility there, but overall, you do have to draw a line somewhere, and it's pretty good guidance. (I usually recommend that senders mailing to more than 100,000 recipients per month utilize a dedicated IP address.)

The one obvious question that I think goes along with this is, when is it NOT okay to use a shared IP address or shared IP address pool? Here are three scenarios where I think it is truly NOT okay to use a shared IP address or shared IP address pool.