From: news [mailto:news@...]On Behalf Of Duncan
Sent: Friday, December 09, 2005 11:26 AM
Subject: [gentoo-amd64] RE: Re: gcc compile failed after 2005.1-r1
instalation [OT- html posts]
Bob Young posted <FAEEIJPAOFEMBBLKPMJEAEPIDNAA.BYoung@...>,
excerpted below, on Thu, 08 Dec 2005 12:25:21 -0800:
>> Even the two reasons listed in the above reply don't stand up very well
>> logical reasoning, it's obvious the OP was neither a spammer nor a
>> author, filtering all html email on the basis of those two reasons alone
>> akin to throwing out the baby with the bath water.
>Not necessarily. Many of us believe two things about HTML mail that color
>our attitude toward it.
>1) Of all the mail born malware attacks to date, ask yourself how many of
>them would have been possible if email hadn't tried to go HTML. Zero, or
>very close to it.
The result would have been the same if the email client were simply
configured to disallow scripting, and prevented from fetching non-local
>For those of us seriously concerned about security,
>that's a huge reason right there, altho admittedly, alone, the benefits
>might outweigh it, if a suitably secure parsing method can be found (and
>there is such a method, don't fetch any content not in the mail, don't
>render any active content, only text, formatting, and images, being a very
So we agree, it's easily possible to configure most modern email clients to
render html messages safely. The fact is the security "argument" is weak at
best, it had more weight a few years ago, but technology progresses.
Opinions and policies should be based on objective evaluation of the true
current situation. They should evolve and be modified as things change, not
set in stone, never ever to be altered throughout the eons of time.
>2) For those with content worth reading, the content is /just/ as worth
>reading in plain text. It doesn't need HTML to fancy it up or obscure it.
>In fact, those who DO seem to /need/ HTML, don't often seem to have much
>worth reading -- the spammers, the crackers, and the AOLer types
>that don't even WANT to know how their computer operates, thus being the
>ones most likely to be spreading the malware in the /first/ place,
>therefore the ones anyone who cares about their security is /least/
>likely to want to have sending them HTML.
That's waay too general a statement to be valid, and frankly smacks of a bit
of elitism and snobbery. Not everyone who sends html email is a spammer or
cracker, and just because someone isn't interested in learning what L2 cache
is, doesn't mean they are automatically unworthy of a response to their
request for help.
>The two factors coupled together, the security issue and the lack of
>content that really /needs/ html to be valuable (if it /needs/ it, send a
>link, parsing HTML is what BROWSERS are for!), are persuasive enough for
>many of us.
You're certainly entitled to your opinion, it just seems that the arguments
you're basing it on are rooted in the past, and don't allow for the
possibility that maybe things are different now, or that your perception is
colored by prejudices and generalizations that are incorrect.
>Others are free to continue their in our opinion misguided
>use, as long as they don't involve us, either in their mail, or in the
>DoSs that result when one of their HTML mail spread malware things gets
Since many emails are already html, and there hasn't been any wide spread
"malware thing" in quite some time, you still don't seem to have a real
solid basis for your opinion, at least not one that's based on current
facts, and objective analysis.
>( Had plain text
>remained the rule, all those infections wouldn't have happened, and I'd
>likely still be able to run my own mail server and connect to others
>directly, so YES, it has affected me!)
If we all communicated using Morse code we would be safe also, we don't
because there are more convenient and effective methods. Do you allow html
to be rendered when you browse the web? If so, why is email more dangerous
when your email client can easily be configured to render html just as
safely as your browser?
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