Index ← 3786 CFJ 3787 3788 → text
===============================  CFJ 3787  ===============================

      Murphy initiated an election for Prime Minister on or about Sun,
      Dec 22 2019 (18:48:16) UTC.


Caller:                        Murphy

Judge:                         omd
Judgement:                     FALSE



Called by Murphy:                                 28 Dec 2019 20:01:45
Assigned to omd:                                  12 Jan 2020 19:12:43
Judged FALSE by omd:                              23 Jan 2020 09:55:17


Arbitor's Evidence:

This is concerning whether the following message was a public message:


Judge omd's Arguments:

Based on my timeline of events [1], the message in question was sent a
week after Gmail had started rejecting most or all list messages, and
a few hours before I started changing settings in an attempt to
address the situation.  Convenient, since my tweaks muddled things for
the next few days even more than they had been.

One potential complication is that, due to Murphy's email domain's
strict DMARC policy, e is the sole player who already had the From
header of eir messages rewritten to – the same measure
that I eventually enabled for all senders, in order to end the
Troubles for now. [2] However, when I did that, I also added SPF and
DKIM records for and enabled outgoing message signing,
since Gmail's error message had complained about missing
"authentication information".  That appears to have made the
difference.  In the case of Murphy's earlier message, it doesn't seem
that From rewriting alone was enough to satisfy Gmail.  The message
doesn't appear in my own Gmail account, and if I'm reading my server
logs correctly (they're unfortunately not clear about which message is
which, something I've since improved), Gmail did reject all copies of
the message with the same error as everyone else's messages.

So, the facts are:
- The mailing list server received Murphy's message without issue,
shortly after e sent it.
- At that time it was added to the archive, and queued for delivery to
each non-digest subscriber.
- It appears that delivery to everyone *not* using Gmail succeeded as 
- But the majority of players use Gmail, whose mail server rejected
most or all copies of the message.

In other words, the message successfully left Murphy's "technical
domain of control" (a term from past judgements), but never entered
most players' technical domains of control.

This is fairly close to the situation in CFJ 1905 [3]:

> comex cites CFJ 1314, which appears to set the precedent that a
> message sent to a Public Forum is public, even if it is sent from
> an unsubscribed address and thus fails to be relayed.  However,
> Rule 478 did and still does require public messages to be sent
> /via/ a Public Forum, or to all players with a clear designation
> of intent to be public.  (In other words, the precedent implied by
> CFJ 1314 was incorrect, but was not recognized as such until now.)
> Based on common sense and the best interests of the game, I
> interpret "sent via a Public Forum" as requiring the Public Forum
> in question to re-send the message to a reasonably large subset of
> the set of all persons who have reasonably arranged to receive
> messages via that Public Forum.  Thus, a message that is initially
> blocked, but subsequently approved by the Distributor and re-sent,
> would qualify as public.  (The "reasonably large subset" clause is
> to avoid disqualifying messages due to a hiccup involving just one
> or a few subscribers.)

The one difference is that in that case, the mailing list made no
attempt to relay the message to others (because it was sent from a
non-subscribed address), whereas in the present case the list tried
but was rebuffed.  Now... the judgement makes a distinction between
messages "sent to" a forum and "sent via" the forum; by the same
principle, you could argue that the copies of the message were "sent
to" Gmail but not "sent via" Gmail.  And yet, by the literal wording
of the judgement, the Public Forum is only required to re-send the
message "to" a reasonably large subset of subscribers!

But that's being overly literal.  Or even if you do interpret the
judgement that way, that just means the judgement is wrong in this
specific case, as it failed to consider the possibility of re-sent
messages being rejected.  The same R217 factors cited in the
judgement, "common sense and the best interests of the game", clearly
counsel in favor of requiring the re-sending to succeed.

On the other hand: what if, as a scam, a significant fraction of
players arrange to intentionally block messages from the forum?  Could
they thereby prevent all list messages from being public?  I'd say no,
as that would mean they had no longer "reasonably arranged to receive
messages", no different from if they had unsubscribed.  On the other
hand, merely using an email provider with an overzealous spam filter
(Gmail) is not tantamount to unsubscribing.  After all, the delivery
issues *were* fixable (even if the From line is less useful for the
time being).  And it clearly wouldn't be in the interests of the game
to disregard deliverability for the majority of players!

To sum up, Murphy's message was not a public message because it was
not "sent via" the list to a large-enough subset of subscribers.
Therefore no election was initiated at that time.  FALSE.


[2] Incidentally, I still see that as a temporary measure.  I planned
to wait a few weeks before trying to turn it off again, and it's now
been four weeks, so it's around time.  But rather than just flipping
the switch and risking another outage, I plan to hack up my mail
server to *automatically* handle rejections by retrying with a
rewritten From address.  That way, if it turns out that Gmail hasn't
resumed trusting my server enough to 'forge' messages from other
domains, or if it decides to distrust it again in the future, messages
will still get through with the rewritten address.  It may be another
week or two before I get around to implementing this.