Openwall GNU/*/Linux - a small security-enhanced Linux distro for servers
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Date: Sun, 17 Feb 2008 02:17:25 +0300
From: Solar Designer <solar@...nwall.com>
To: oss-security@...ts.openwall.com
Subject: Re: welcome

Hi Jonathan,

Thank you for sharing your thoughts with the rest of us.

On Fri, Feb 15, 2008 at 09:10:16PM -0900, Jonathan Smith wrote:
> One nitpick before we get too established... would it be possible to
> turn off reply-to-list? That is what "reply to all" is for in mail
> clients :-)

Yes, I can easily change this setting, but I like it the way it is now -
and I suspect that many (most?) other list members do as well.  I find
that having Reply-To on discussion lists pointing to the list address
helps ensure that discussions don't unnecessarily go off-list and that
list members are not unnecessarily CC'ed on responses.  (I realize that
some actually prefer to be CC'ed because of the way their mail readers
are configured.)  If/when we start getting a lot of desirable postings
from non-members, we may change this setting to make it easier to CC
such non-members on responses.

If anyone else has an opinion on this matter (regarding this specific
list indeed), please speak up.

> I'm not sure if this is possible, but I'd like to see read-only
> subscriptions. That is, folks can "subscribe" and get the list via email
> without having to be approved to post to the list. See below for more
> discussion on this isssue.

The easiest way to achieve this, without patching the code, is to create
a second ezmlm-idx list with announcement-only settings and subscribe it
to this list.

But I am not sure if having a completely read-only list is any better
than having message pre-moderation.  The difference is in what happens
to posting attempts from non-pre-approved addresses.  Do we want such
messages bounced or submitted to a moderator?

> My hope is that we can get "upstream" maintainers involved at least to
> some extent in this project. That is, when some {f{,l}}oss (I guess for
> this list we're going with "oss") project encounters a security issue,
> they'll come to either oss-security or vendor-sec and communicate with
> the folks who consume their work. I hope this to be true whether or not
> they are actually on the list.

Right.  So perhaps postings by non-members need to be pre-moderated
rather than rejected right away.  If we do that, then it is illogical to
reject posting attempts by read-only members right away.

> So, what we'll really have are three classes of users. One is the folks
> who read the list and don't have the ability to post. Joining this group
> should require no administrative action, and it should be open to the
> public. The second is folks who can post but aren't members. I'd add
> upstream authors to this list on a case-by-case basis. The third is
> folks who read it and can post, such as (I'd imagine) many current
> vendor-sec members. These folks need to be vetted on a case-by-case
> basis as well.

Oh, so you'd like some non-member addresses being permitted to post
without pre-moderation (and the associated delay)?  Yes, this is supported.

> Can the software currently being used to host the list be
> configured for the above?

Yes, it can - with the caveat that the read-only access will be via a
second list.

If we choose to allow the "read-only" members right onto this list, but
have message moderation turned on even for list members, then there's an
implementation issue to be dealt with: in my experience, ezmlm-idx fails
to honor its "allow" list (addresses that can post bypassing moderation)
once message moderation is enabled even for list members.

Anyway, I think it's too early to discuss this in that much detail.  If
we get to the point where undesirable postings are a real issue, we will
hopefully have enough desirable postings as well to justify the effort
on re-configuring the list or even fixing the ezmlm-idx issue I've
mentioned above.

Thanks again,

Alexander

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