SPUG: email addresses in the archives

Andrew Sweger andrew at sweger.net
Fri Feb 19 13:10:20 PST 2010

The SPUG mailing list (spug-list) is hosted and (primarily) archived by
Perl Mongers using the mailman mail-list manager. The archives are open to
the public. The issue of privacy and email addresses in those archives was
brought to my attention. When something that looks like an email address
appears in an address header or body of a message, the archiving software
replaces it so it doesn't look like an email address. So,
andrew at sweger.net becomes andrew at sweger.net. Of course, if you look at
the archive with *this* message[1], it won't look like anything has
changed at all. Any mailto links put over the address point to the mailing
list. The complaint is that s/\@/ at / is not a sufficient obfuscation to
reduce harvesting of email addresses by spammer. We could have quite a
nice debate on this. I said we _could_.

I took the matter to the Perl Mongers support folks. Robert Spier says our
options are:

1) switch the archives to private - members only
2) someone contributes a patch to mailman to perform better/different obfuscation
3) do nothing

I have my opinions on this, but it's not my list (I'm just it's
control-freak dictator). What do y'all think?

[1] - probably at http://mail.pm.org/pipermail/spug-list/2010-February/008848.html

Andrew B. Sweger -- The great thing about multitasking is that several
                                things can go wrong at once.

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