Better protection of member's e-mail.

James Mahaffy (
Mon, 3 Nov 1997 17:57:56 -0600 (CST)


In a recent post David Andreu said:

> I have recently started to receive junk e-mail (chain letters, undesired
> subscriptions, etc) that used the ASA list as a route. I suppose other people
> are having the same problem. Is there a solution to this? Thank you very much.
In spite of what Steve and some others said, I think part of the problem
is that Calvin has set their majordomo software so it is too easy to get
a list of everyone on the list. If this is a problem with others, I
would suggest we ask the chaps at Calvin (or possibly Terry) to at least
set the majordomo software so that ONLY members of the list can get a
list of e-mail addresses. Here at Dordt, we use the same software to
run the Christian geologists list and have tightened it up a bit so that
only members can acess the list of e-mail addresses. I just unsubscribed
to ASA and then gave majordomo the proper command to give me a list of the
members e-mail addresses and
it did. It also sent me the e-mail names of the evolution list (which I have
NOT been on for quite some time). We tightened our security when some folks
broke through our firewall and got a list of all our majordomo lists and
then sent junk mail to all members of all these lists).

There is of course a down side. As a list owner, I sometimes wish the
software would not check to see if the poster is on the list since
I end up forwarding too many posts to
acg-l from folks that are sending it from a different machine that
generates a bit of a different address. But it does keep junk posts off
the list and protects the names a bit. In all fairness to Calvin, they
now require you to confirm a subscription (we don't). I assume this
protects against a person being put on a whole bunch of lists by a

Of course the fact that the archives are on a public web site means all
the information is in another public place, but I suspect folks that
gather lists of names for junk mail will not bother trying to strip them
off archives but would from either newsgroups or maybe e-mail lists.
Actually I think this list is lucky that the list itself has not gotten
a bunch of junk mail. Calvin may do some screening of that behind the
scenes but if the list is open for non member postings (which I think it
is) that may be a problem in the future. However, if it is not a
problem yet, it is probably wise not to worry about it until it is.
Every fix, brings with it its own headaches to someone.

James F. Mahaffy                   e-mail:
Biology Department                 phone: 712 722-6279
Dordt College                      FAX 712 722-1198
Sioux Center, Iowa 51250