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Spfbis Status Pages

SPF Update (Concluded WG)
App Area: Barry Leiba | 2012-Feb-07 — 2014-Apr-25 

2013-07-23 charter

SPF Update (spfbis)


 Current Status: Active

     S Moonesamy <sm+ietf@elandsys.com>
     Andrew Sullivan <ajs@anvilwalrusden.com>

 Applications Area Directors:
     Barry Leiba <barryleiba@computer.org>
     Pete Resnick <presnick@qti.qualcomm.com>

 Applications Area Advisor:
     Pete Resnick <presnick@qti.qualcomm.com>

 Mailing Lists:
     General Discussion: spfbis@ietf.org
     To Subscribe:       https://www.ietf.org/mailman/listinfo/spfbis
     Archive:            http://www.ietf.org/mail-archive/web/spfbis/

Description of Working Group:

        The Sender Policy Framework (SPF, RFC4408) specifies the publication
        of a DNS record which states that a listed IP address is authorized
        to send mail on behalf of the listing domain name's owner.  SMTP
        servers extract the domain name in the SMTP "MAIL FROM" or "HELO"
        command for confirming this authorization.  The protocol has had
        Experimental status for some years and has become widely deployed.
        This working group will summarize the result of the experiment and
        revise the specification, based on deployment experience and listed
        errata, and will seek Standards Track status for the protocol.

        The MARID working group considered two specifications for
        publication of email-sending authorization:  Sender-ID, which
        eventually became RFC4405, RFC4406 and RFC4407, and SPF, which
        eventually became RFC4408, all in the end published under
        Experimental status.  By using IP addresses, both protocols specify
        authorization in terms of path, though unlike SPF, Sender-ID uses
        domain names found in the header of the message rather than the

        The two protocols rely on the same policy publication mechanism,
        namely a specific TXT resource record in the DNS.  This creates a
        basic ambiguity about the interpretation of any specific instance of
        the TXT record.  Because of this, there were concerns about
        conflicts between the two in concurrent operation.  The IESG note
        prepended to RFC 4405 through RFC 4408 defined an experiment with
        SPF and Sender-ID, and invited an expression of community consensus
        in the period following the publication of those specifications.

        Both technologies initially enjoyed widespread deployment.  Since
        that time, broad SPF use has continued, whereas use of Sender-ID has
        slackened.  Furthermore, SPF's linkage to the envelope (as opposed
        to Sender-ID's linkage to identifiers in the message content) has
        proven sufficient among operators.

        Formation of the SPF Update Working Group is predicated on three

        1. The SPF/Sender-ID experiment has concluded.

        2. SPF has been a qualified success, warranting further development.

        3. Sender-ID has had less success, and no further development is justified.

        The working group will produce a document describing the course of
        the SPF/Sender-ID experiment, thus bringing that experiment to a
        formal conclusion.  The group will complete additional work on SPF
        (described below), but will not complete additional work on the
        Sender-ID specification.

        Changes to the SPF specification will be limited to the correction
        of errors, removal of unused features, addition of any enhancements
        that have already gained widespread support, and addition of
        clarifying language.

        Specifically out-of-scope for this working group:

        * Revisiting past technical arguments where consensus was reached in
          the MARID working group, except where review is reasonably
          warranted based on operational experience.

        * Discussion of the merits of SPF.

        * Discussion of the merits of Sender-ID in preference to SPF.

        * Extensions to the SPF protocols.

        * Removal of existing features that are in current use.

        Discussion of extensions to the SPF protocols or removal of
        existing features shall only be discussed after completion of
        current charter items in anticipation of rechartering the working

        An initial draft of an updated SPF specification document is
        draft-kitterman-4408bis. The working group may choose to use this
        document as a basis for their specification.

Goals and Milestones:
  Done     - A document describing the SPF/Sender-ID experiment  and its conclusions to the IESG for publication.
  May 2013 - A standards track document defining SPF, based on RFC4408 and as amended above, to the IESG for publication.

All charter page changes, including changes to draft-list, rfc-list and milestones:

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