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IETF Drops RFC For Cosmetic Carbon Copy

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the this-never-happened dept.

The Internet 63

paulproteus writes "Say you have an email where you want to send an extra copy to someone without telling everyone. There's always been a field for that: BCC, or Blind Carbon Copy. But how often have you wanted to do the opposite: make everyone else think you sent a copy to somebody without actually having done so? Enter the new IETF-NG RFC: Cosmetic Carbon Copy, or CCC. Now you can conveniently email all of your friends (with a convenient exception or two...) with ease!"

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This would actually be useful. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31702090)

Although it is an April Fool's...this would actually be useful. I can see a couple times where CCCing a Boss or someone else would get things done quicker.

I hate being a "tatle" but this would work to scare some people into action.

Re:This would actually be useful. (1)

mooingyak (720677) | more than 4 years ago | (#31702102)

I'm curious as to how an actual implementation would be supposed to handle a Reply-All.

This is discussed in the "Security considerations" (1)

paulproteus (112149) | more than 4 years ago | (#31702132)

If you're willing to break the CCC standard, you could mangle the "." in an email address. There are plenty of Unicode characters that look like a dot that aren't the real dot. That way, the reply-all to the CCC'd recipient would bounce.

Otherwise, well, um, see the Security considerations section.

Re:This is discussed in the "Security consideratio (0, Redundant)

quantumplacet (1195335) | more than 4 years ago | (#31702312)

actually, the 'CCC standard' allows obfuscation of Ccc addresses when they get merged with CC. Option is left up to the implementation as obviously both have drawbacks. No obfuscation means reply all would show the CCCed person they were left out, obfuscation would allow the CCed person to know who was CCCed if they looked closely or hit reply all.

Re:This is discussed in the "Security consideratio (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#31703338)

An easier way to fix this problem is to simply use the existing system, but with misspellings:

to: you@dweeb.com
cc: tom@dweeb.com, dick@dweeb.com, harry@dweeb.com, thebigbosss@dweeb.com, cutesecretary@dweeb.com

Observant people will notice the mis-spelling, but most people won't and they'll think the Boss is watching, so they'd better get off their twinkie-fat ass and do some work.

Re:This would actually be useful. (1)

Darker_Raven (960245) | more than 4 years ago | (#31702134)

The recipient sees Cosmetic Carbon Copies (CCCs) as regular CCs, so a Reply-All would be sent to everyone. Oops.

Re:This would actually be useful. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31702122)

Since when does a boss read e-mails anyway? In this case, CC and CCC would function the same.

Re:This would actually be useful. (2, Insightful)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 4 years ago | (#31702186)

If you just want to trick people, I've found adding a:

CCd To: (addresses here)

in the message body accomplishes it well enough, it only fails if they actually think about it, which generally only happens if they already suspect you of being full of shit :) Most people however (at least outside the geek world) are too oblivious to realize its just text in the message.

Re:This would actually be useful. (2, Insightful)

johnw (3725) | more than 4 years ago | (#31702468)

I've been amazed lately by the number of regular e-mail users who take no notice of any headers at all. Anything in the Subject: line might as well not be there, and I keep getting replies from people to whom I've Cc:ed something saying, "Who did you send this to originally?"

There are are quite a few people out there to whom nothing but the message body exists.

Re:This would actually be useful. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31702204)

A friend and I made a CCC. We did a fake reply-all. It was really just a reply to one person. Then he included something personally embarrassing, so the recipient would think it was accidentally sent out to every one on the list.

Actually, it's the "CC" field. (2, Funny)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#31702226)

IETF Bows To Environmentalists, Drops Email Carbon Copy [slushdot.com]

In a measure that will help reduce both SPAM and glbal worming, the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) today announced that they will be dropping the "Carbon Copy (CC) field from the email standard.

Spammers will no longer be able to CC: hundreds of people at once, thus shifting more of the load from mail servers to individual zombie computers. This will allow for easier detection by anti-spam software runing on host systems, due to the several orders of magnitude increase in Internet traffic that will be required to send spam.

In Soviet Russia, spam no longer CC's YOU!

Re:This would actually be useful. (3, Insightful)

rar (110454) | more than 4 years ago | (#31702238)

I have actually wanted this feature at times and wondered why there was no way in the MUA UI to do it. Not for keeping people out of the loop, but for resending emails that get bounced (say, misspelled email or delivery failure) or to recipients I forgot the first time.

Lets say that you are sending out a move invite to a number of friends. Just after you send it you notice that you forgot Alice. Now you need to send the invite just to her, but you prefer the email to look as the original so that she can see who else is invited. This is a common occurrence! And it would be very convenient if you could just bring up the email again, move everyone from To/Cc into Ccc, and then put her as the only CC.

Please explain to me again why this is presented as an Aprils fool, rather than a genuine feature?

Re:This would actually be useful. (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 4 years ago | (#31702382)

Please explain to me again why this is presented as an Aprils fool, rather than a genuine feature?

Because functionally supporting this header has the exact same result as not functionally supporting the header. An RFC just puts it in the official header namespace, otherwise you could have always used X-Ccc:

Personally, I'd like support for multiple Dcc: headers: Disjoint Carbon Copies. I want to send the same message to multiple groups of addresses where I want those in one set to know they were all copied but want to hide that it was sent to the other group, and vice versa. Those in the To: header would be in every set. Those in the Bcc: header wouldn't be listed to anyone. If you set up multiple Dcc: headers, one for each recipient, each recipient would see their own address listed (and those in To: if any) but no others.

Re:This would actually be useful. (1)

rar (110454) | more than 4 years ago | (#31702474)

Personally, I'd like support for multiple Dcc: headers: Disjoint Carbon Copies. I want to send the same message to multiple groups of addresses where I want those in one set to know they were all copied but want to hide that it was sent to the other group, and vice versa.

If the Ccc header was implemented, you could easily do this by sending the mail multiple times. Send the mail once to just the To:/Cc: recipients. Then put the To:/Cc: recipients in the Ccc: header, and for each set of Dcc: recipients send a copy with them in the Cc: field.

Since I can't figure out a way to emulate Ccc: with Dcc:, my vote is with Ccc:.

Re:This would actually be useful. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31702386)

I've thought about that too. The only problem is that if someone else then replies-all, Alice will be excluded again. Ideally, you'd want to send out the updated email to everyone again, but have a way to flag it as just a CC list update (and have everyone's email clients handle it transparently.)

Re:This would actually be useful. (1)

MrLogic17 (233498) | more than 4 years ago | (#31702392)

Sounds more like you'd want to recall the original, and re-send the revision. With a CCC, the original group still doesn't know Alice is invited. With a recalled E-Mail, nobody is the wiser- except those who are quick to read the E-Mail, or don't have a "recall this E-Mail" aware client.

Re:This would actually be useful. (1)

rar (110454) | more than 4 years ago | (#31702618)

Sounds more like you'd want to recall the original, and re-send the revision.

I am absolutely opposed to a feature that would allow people to alter email I have already received. I often use my email as an historic record of events, and would hate if I could not be sure that it is immutable.

Also, I'm pretty sure there is no standard for doing this across mail systems. To roll it out would require a major revamp of email as we know it today, since it requires some careful form of cross-realm authentication. On the other hand, the Ccc: header is just a straightforward feature to implement in the MUA.

With a CCC, the original group still doesn't know Alice is invited.

True, but for me this usually is not as important as to point out to Alice that she is not the only one getting the email. In the rare occasions when it is critically important that everyone is aware of everyone else, a followup email with "I forgot Alice" would be motivated.

Re:This would actually be useful. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31703460)

This feature (recalling a message) already exists in a number of mail platforms, including Exchange. They typically only work if the 1st message has never been opened by the recepient. If it has been opened, the 2nd message comes with a header saying that the original was recalled- but not taking any action.

I agree that within E-Mail, history should be card in stone. Notes Lotes has the unfortunate feature of being able to edit received & sent E-Mail - something that I'm sure has been abused.

Re:This would actually be useful. (1)

yorgasor (109984) | more than 4 years ago | (#31702396)

You could always use "Forward", which includes the original message along with the list of original recipients.

Re:This would actually be useful. (1)

rar (110454) | more than 4 years ago | (#31702674)

You could always use "Forward", which includes the original message along with the list of original recipients.

Which usually requires you to add an awkward "Hi, I forgot to send this to you" to not make the inline headers too confusing. Sure, this is what I do today, but it is less convenient than Ccc: would be, and exposes my mistake, which I'd rather avoid if I could.

Re:This would actually be useful. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31702402)

Google Wave.

Re:This would actually be useful. (1)

Dare nMc (468959) | more than 4 years ago | (#31703074)

when I was allowed to use thunderbird for email, it allowed me to open my sent messages, choose forward, then paste all the original recipients into the "Reply To:" box. Thus Alice can see the original email, and contacts, and dates, and no one got a second set of emails. If she chooses to "reply" then she will email the whole list back by default.
more honest...
Although I don't know the difference in "Reply to" and Follow up" to. Also doesn't matter I am stuck with Lotus notes now at work anyway.
(Or is "reply to" a newsgroups only option?)

Re:This would actually be useful. (1)

Carewolf (581105) | more than 4 years ago | (#31705230)

Lets say that you are sending out a move invite to a number of friends. Just after you send it you notice that you forgot Alice. Now you need to send the invite just to her, but you prefer the email to look as the original so that she can see who else is invited. This is a common occurrence! And it would be very convenient if you could just bring up the email again, move everyone from To/Cc into Ccc, and then put her as the only CC.

Select forward, when asked for type of forward choose 'Redirect'. This works at least in KMail. The recipient will recieve an unmodified copy of the original email, just as if she had been BCC'ed.

Re:This would actually be useful. (1)

rar (110454) | more than 4 years ago | (#31706056)

Thanks for the tip. I didn't know about this (needs a plugin for thunderbird)

But I couldn't find a standard for redirected email, is there a rfc for this? Essentially it is like Ccc: + setting a custom from address. To me this really proves how this Aprils fools joke really isn't a joke. Rather, it would be nice with a standard for headers that covers this functionality.

Re:This would actually be useful. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31702250)

You can actually copy the boss anyway. Usually they don't even bother reading the very important emails. The exception of course is when they see email chains they can get involved with instead of doing work. :P

Re:This would actually be useful. (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#31702304)

You can actually copy the boss anyway.

Wouldn't you get charged with assault for trying to squish them into the photocopy machine sheet feeder?

Maybe that's what the tie is for - feed the tie in, and the rest of the boss will follow ...

Re:This would actually be useful. (1)

dan828 (753380) | more than 4 years ago | (#31702320)

What we could use here is a setting on the mail client that just ignores any CC in the email and only sends it to the "to" field. We have this one jackass that has an elevated opinion of himself and likes to CC the managers and bosses unnecessarily in order to "scare" people into doing his pet projects that are, for the most part, unnecessary, could be taken care of with a quick conversation if he'd get off his ass and do his job, or unimportant to the people being CCd. The other day one of the head guys came in and asked me WTF this guy was obsessing about in regards to an extended email exchange over some dumb shit that no one cared about, but that he was CCing half the company on. I explained to him that it was some unimportant detail that the guy could have taken care of the day before by getting off his ass and doing his job, and got told to just ignore him from now on. Ah, the wonders of technology.

Re:This would actually be useful. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31704674)

Although the old ability to send mail to csail-stallman@mit.edu will be missed.

We need more regexp style commands in email addresses =)

Another April Fool's Knee-Slapper (1)

Delusion_ (56114) | more than 4 years ago | (#31702108)

I hate today.

Re:Another April Fool's Knee-Slapper (1)

MollyB (162595) | more than 4 years ago | (#31702740)

It'll be interesting to see if management abandons the policy of plunking Flash cookies [wikipedia.org] on our computers when a new day comes. Every click on a discussion sets another one. Let's hope today was not just a convenient way to sneak them in from now on.

Please, Slashdot, drop the Flash cookies when the joke is over.

Useful (1)

sheepweevil (1036936) | more than 4 years ago | (#31702112)

This could be very handy as a procrastination tool. Just CCC a document which needs to be reviewed to a coworker. Then you can stall for days saying you are still waiting for his input!

Enough April Fool's Already. (4, Interesting)

GrifterCC (673360) | more than 4 years ago | (#31702116)

Do you seriously mean to tell me that there are no important tech stories taking place today? Most of these articles are barely even chuckle-worthy.

Re:Enough April Fool's Already. (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#31702140)

With most sites cought in self-imposed circlejerk of 1 IV stories, I can imagine that...no, there's actually not that much to report :/

(though that wouldn't excuse Slashdot, it being usually late with anything...except for the fraking April Fool's, apparently...sigh)

Re:Enough April Fool's Already. (1)

Jazz-Masta (240659) | more than 4 years ago | (#31702244)

though that wouldn't excuse Slashdot, it being usually late with anything

I figured slashdot would get to the April fool's jokes around April 3rd, then repeat them on April 5th, 6th, 9th and 26th.

Re:Enough April Fool's Already. (1)

Digicrat (973598) | more than 4 years ago | (#31702514)

But you forget, it's April Fool's! The real joke is that the /. stories are on time.

Re:Enough April Fool's Already. (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#31702164)

Do you seriously mean to tell me that there are no important tech stories taking place today?

Do you seriously mean to tell me that there could be any actually important stories taking place today?

Perhaps you aren't familiar with the concept of April Fool's and more importantly, how people AVOID making announcements on this day to avoid confusion.

Re:Enough April Fool's Already. (1)

sdnoob (917382) | more than 4 years ago | (#31702256)

iirc, gmail was initially announced around this time of year and people weren't exactly sure if it was a joke or not... but that only helped with the initial publicity.

but personally, i can't wait until the big joke on april 1st is to do no joke at all.

Re:Enough April Fool's Already. (1)

EvilIdler (21087) | more than 4 years ago | (#31702200)

I laughed. But I am not entirely full of hate.

There's fortunately a religious holiday of some sort these days, so outside gang-rapes and train derails, there aren't any serious news worth reporting on. Look back a little, and you'll agree this is better than the year of OMGPONIES ;)

Re:Enough April Fool's Already. (3, Funny)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 4 years ago | (#31702202)

Just wait ...

You're going to see a post from an unexpected new slashdot mod ... his/her post will be something like:

I couldn't take it anymore. I've killed them all. Slashdot will now be closed because I had to save the world from them. I'm going to turn myself in now, you're all welcome.

To which I suggest we all respond with donations to their legal fund.

Re:Enough April Fool's Already. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31702220)

Do you seriously believe that one day out of the year for joke news stories is too much? GTFO.

Re:Enough April Fool's Already. (1)

The End Of Days (1243248) | more than 4 years ago | (#31702654)

Jokes are funny. This is just painfully stupid. One day out of the year for funny stories would be awesome. One day out of the year for boring lies... eh. I could do without.

Re:Enough April Fool's Already. (1)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | more than 4 years ago | (#31703164)

Do you seriously mean to tell me that there are no important tech stories taking place today?

No, I think they mean to tell you that none of the tech articles were ever all that important, and thus could wait a day.

Seriously, if you're life hangs on Slashdot, well, that's just sad.

10CC (1)

Wowsers (1151731) | more than 4 years ago | (#31702126)

From what I've seen over the years, people have no problem putting everyone's name into a CC field instead of BCC, so even if this was not an April Fool joke, there would be no benefit to a "fake" carbon copy, when people are so stupid and do it for real and use CC.

Re:10CC (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 4 years ago | (#31702228)

You're making the assumption that most people know what BCC is. In my experience, people don't use it because they don't understand what it does. What's weird is, they have no problem installing programs they find on random websites even though they've no idea what, if anything, they do.

Re:10CC (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#31702262)

Do you understand what it does? It DOESN'T CC the person but makes it look like you did.

This could actually be more useful than a BCC. Instead of BCCing my boss on an email I'm sending to a Co-worker telling him to get his work done, possibly upsetting my boss with bothering him with trivial stuff to have him review the other person, I could CCC my boss, and so my boss is left ouf of it entirely but the co-worker believes I've told him to get to work and the boss knows.

Anti-CC (1)

Ksevio (865461) | more than 4 years ago | (#31702130)

I really want the anti carbon copy that makes sure an email is never delivered to an address. Would be good for those mailing lists that you want to email all except for one person.

Enough already! (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 4 years ago | (#31702148)

The subject says it all.

Wheres the tag? (1)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 4 years ago | (#31702162)

You know, the 'AnotherRetardedUnfunnyAprilFoolsMoron' tag?

Re:Wheres the tag? (1)

tsm_sf (545316) | more than 4 years ago | (#31703070)

YetImStillGoingToReadAllTheCommentsAndPostAWhineyComplaint?

Information Leak (1)

holt (86624) | more than 4 years ago | (#31702170)

The option of sending a blank Ccc: header to indicate that at least one Cc:'d recipient was actually a Ccc: inherently leaks information and MUST NOT be exercised if there is only one Cc:'d recipient in the rewritten message because in this case the information leak is total and would eliminate the aura of mystery produced by including such a header, as it is then perfectly clear that the Cc: was indeed actually a Ccc:, defeating the purpose of the allowing the header to be optionally included. As with address obfuscation, whether this is appropriate for a given message depends on how much information the sender is willing to have the recipents[SIC] know about which Cc:'d recipients never were actually sent the message.

I don't think this restriction on not including the empty Ccc: header when only one address is moved to the Cc: header entirely makes sense. For example, I might send a message to some friends, Ccc:'ing someone. I may not care if my friends know that I Ccc:'d that person, but I do want to make sure that if they forward the message on, their recipients think the Ccc:'d person was actually Cc:'d. Since there are times this is possible, I think this behavior should be recommended but optional.

Can't we at least expect our April Fools RFCs to be well thought out? Come on!

Flash sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31702218)

This content requires the Flash Player. Download Flash Player. Already have Flash Player? Click here.

This site wants to access your webcam.

Please ensure you can see yourself above. Some visitors may have to right-click or context-click then choose 'Settings'

I'd rather see it be: (1)

ircmaxell (1117387) | more than 4 years ago | (#31702318)

Instead of CCC, make it FCC (Fake Carbon Copy). Just don't you dare curse...

FCC already in use (1)

paulproteus (112149) | more than 4 years ago | (#31702442)

FCC is used, at least, in the Alpine (formerly known as PINE) mail reader to mean "Folder carbon copy".

That, and by a federal agency. Oh, now I get your comment...

not the real April Fool's RFC (4, Informative)

brunascle (994197) | more than 4 years ago | (#31702388)

This isn't the real April Fool's RFC. The real one is RFC 5841, TCP Option to Denote Packet Mood [ietf.org] .

Re:not the real April Fool's RFC (1)

lowar (258202) | more than 4 years ago | (#31702922)

Finally an RFC defining some common emoticons. :-D

Re:not the real April Fool's RFC (1)

vyrus128 (747164) | more than 4 years ago | (#31703032)

Blame CmdrTaco for that -- the document and the summary both state it's not the real IETF. (It was submitted to the RFC editor for consideration as the April Fools' RFC, but rejected.)

I support this idea... (1)

xmundt (415364) | more than 4 years ago | (#31702500)

Greetings and Salutations....
          I fully support this concept, and, would go on to require that it be the DEFAULT for all mail messages that are addressed to more than one or two people at a time.
Since a vast majority of the multiple-receiver emails I get are mindless twaddle, this would go a long way towards cutting the excess loads on the InterTubes.
            Regards
            Dave Mundt

Thank God for Chrome (1)

rchh (658159) | more than 4 years ago | (#31702588)

Chrome keeps telling me that the flash plugin has crashed. So I don't have to look at some weird guy when I open a page. Not bad.

Re:Thank God for Chrome (1)

Antiocheian (859870) | more than 4 years ago | (#31702640)

Furthermore you can keep touching yourself without anyone else looking at you. Definitely not bad.

not required already possible with RFC822 (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31702784)

This is already possible by putting a Cc in the RFC822 headers but not delivering to the Cc address. The delivery addresses are specified in the envelope headers (the RCPT TO: commands given in the SMTP protocol). So you can pretty much whatever you want in the RFC822 headers.. To:, Cc:, From: and deliver to whoever you want (eg none of those people, a subset of them, extra people (Bcc) etc.

Re:not required already possible with RFC822 (1)

olivier69 (1176459) | more than 4 years ago | (#31702830)

Wow, amazing it took so many comments before this insightful one on a "tech" site ! SMTP is like it is : Simple !

Re:not required already possible with RFC822 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31703178)

Exactly. Nowhere in the RFC does it propose modifying the SMTP protocol! Instead, it merely suggests a feature of MUAs to expose already available functionality.

You can already do this.. (2, Interesting)

geniusj (140174) | more than 4 years ago | (#31703044)

Envelope headers are different than actual recipients. Mail clients don't implement it, but there's nothing in the SMTP protocol preventing you from putting a Cc: header in your message with a list of names/email addresses, but not actually delivering the messages. It's just a matter of a mail client offering this functionality. For now, you'll have to telnet into port 25 ;)

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