AOL to Support Sender ID E-Mail Standard

Changes to the standard after the blowup of the MARID working group have appeased the online giant.

America Online Inc. will support a new, modified version of the Sender ID e-mail authentication specification that is being submitted to the IETF for consideration Monday.

The Sender ID specification had been in limbo since the collapse of the MARID working group in September. A new version of Sender ID, modified to address concerned such as AOLs, is being submitted Monday to the IETF by SPF author Meng Wong and Microsoft.


AOL had rejected a previous version of Sender ID because it lacked backward compatibility for version 1 of the SPF standard, also known as SPF Classic, which AOL had begun to support many months before.

The new version puts the original SPF syntax, specifically support for "mail-from" checking, back into the core specification.

"Specifically, this now allows those of us who have been testing an e-mail authentication technology known as SPF—or Sender Policy Framework—to be included in the Sender ID specification moving forward," AOL said in a statement. "This means that the over 100,000 domains publishing SPF v1 records—including AOL—will not need to change their DNS listings."

AOL also plans to begin testing using Microsofts algorithm for determination of the "purportedly responsible address" or PRA, as well as many other proposed specifications. This is different from "mail-from."

The new version of the specification does not address the objections of many over Microsofts intellectual property claims for the PRA algorithm, but users may implement the SPF Classic half of the specification without implementing the more controversial PRA detection.

This has left many people as dissatisfied with the new proposal as they were with the old, citing technical objections and a desire to keep the process as far from Microsofts input as possible.


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