Monday, April 15, 2024

The Demise of Email Forwarding Is Getting Closer


A bunch of universities have just sent out notices that email forwarding is going to increasingly break in the very near future. The big email services, gmail, yahoo, outlook and apple, are going to start tightening the thumbscrews (strict SPF, DMARK and DKIM, but also other stuff) on April 1 (bad timing, that).

I’d vaguely seen that gmail was planning to block much more bulk mail to individuals, but hadn’t really thought about the consequences to normal email forwarding.


It’s a good time to audit your email situation, especially if you currently forward mail to large provider controlled domains, or if you have any chains of forwards set up that you’ve forgotten about.

This has been breaking for a long time. I get lots of bounces because people have set iCloud Mail to forward to an address that rejects the message based on the headers (which iCloud didn’t rewrite).


Update (2024-04-26): See also: Hacker News.

2 Comments RSS · Twitter · Mastodon

This is about ARC signing that few but the big mail operators will be able to handle well (almost impossible these days to run your own mail server for more than special purposes – I use one to archive mail). What I find more troublesome is that it will get very difficult to *redirect* mail successfully and that is sometimes not even supported any longer by some mail operators (at least I know one). that I use for my private mail handles ARC forwarding very well. After implementing DMARC myself I reach practically everyone one my mailing list if ca 1000 people. Helped a company sending out like 50000 mails to Gmail users and they have around 1% that doesn’t deliver (most regular bounces).

However, I want myself and others to be able to send out mailing lists from a client like Mail, but Yahoo (a company that long ago should have been closed down), they won’t let you send mass mailings without having a hard-coded unsubscribe link in the header and as we no longer use Eudora on Mac this might be the end for sending mass mails from mail clients (I think I will just ditch people stupid enough to use Yahoo though).

From the "Burning down the village is simply the best way to save it" dept.

ARC is just the end of the road, essentially, for the full participation of any entity in the email ecosystem that is not BIG, unless of course you have no need of email forwarding, or mailing list hosting, in which case it's still hard, but at least its possible.

But the church of DMARC ignored this looming threat and blithely ignored admonitions NOT to use the "From:" header, assumed ARC would not be a thing. Until it was, solidifying the big corps' advantage.

I'm so sorry. We tried.

Leave a Comment