Procedure for processing bounced e-mails at the DNSO.ORG

27 May 2001

Procedure for processing bounced e-mails at the DNSO.ORG


There are two kind of bounces:

  1. Local BOUNCES related to the GA list filters (mainly NO CROSS POSTING, but also technical problems such as header lenghts or message size, and spams)
  2. Delivery-Reports from distant sites

Each GA Mailing List administrator receives corresponding Mailing List bounces.

These two kind of bounces are handled in the following way:

  1. Spams are discarded.
  2. NO CROSS POSTING bounces are kept for record, but not posted.
  3. It may happen that a technical bounce is posted.
  4. If a bounced message is from the Names Council members or ICANN Directors or Staff it is usually posted.
  5. Delivery-Reports from distant sites are handled MANUALLY, and are proposed for more formal procedure below.

Please note that there is always a human being behind, and that mistakes happen.

Delivery-Reports from distant sites.

Majordomo Manual indicates clearly why Delivery-Reports from distant sites cannot be handled in automated way, and provides some tools (Perl scripts) for unsubscription /subscription of wrong e-mail addresses detected manually.

  Bounced messages come in so many different formats that it's hard to
  completely automate subscriptions to the "bounces" list.  (In fact, in
  some cases, the addressee of the bounced mail won't even be shown in
  the message!)  If the list owner's system can run a Perl script, the
  "bounces" script makes the job easy.  The script works differently than
  "approve".  The script doesn't read a message from a file or standard
  input.  Instead, it reads its command line arguments:

     % bounce listname user@xyz.com

  That command would unsubscribe the address user@xyz.com from the
  "listname" list and add them to the "bounces" list.  An owner who can't
  run the "bounce" script can send mail to Majordomo with two commands
  like these:

     approve passwdA unsubscribe listname user@xyz.com
     approve passwdB subscribe bounces user@xyz.com (931005 listname)

  The first command unsubscribes the user from the current list.  The
  second one subscribes the user to the "bounces" list, with a comment
  that shows the date and the name of the list they used to belong to.

Procedures for Delivery-Reports from distant sites to DNSO Listadmin:

  1. The GA mailing list rules request for at least 7 days of technical problems before an e-mail address is removed from a mailing list. http://www.dnso.org/dnso/notes/2000.GA-ga-rules.html

  2. All incoming mail to the GA listadmin are recorded in a file, which is once a week (Sunday) closed and ready to analyze.

    Those messages which are Delivery-Reports from distant sites are considered for MANUAL search for wrong addresses.

    After MANUAL scan, all wrong addresses are MANUALLY recorded in a weekly file, say weeklybounces.N, where N is a week number.

    The file weeklybounces.N is compared to weeklybounces.N-1, and all addresses which are in both files will be removed from ALL GA lists using the majordomo "bounce script", described in the Manual quoted above.

    An automated reminder is sent every day to e-mail addresses moved to bounces list, expecting that some of them will became valid.

Information from:
DNSO Secretariat