Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(August 1996)

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Subject: Re: Unsubscribing 3rd party from various lists?
From: Chris Cook <scocc @ thor . cf . ac . uk>
Date: Wed, 7 Aug 1996 09:56:46 +0100 (BST)
To: list-managers @ GreatCircle . COM
In-reply-to: <m0unoNV-000F6YC @ camco . celestial . com> from "Bill Campbell" at Aug 6, 96 08:49:02 am

Previously Bill Campbell wrote -
> I've had some of our ISP customers ask this same question, and my
> thought is to create a dead-user alias for deleted accounts, and
> process that alias with a deliver script (or procmail if that suits
> you better).  This script would look at the headers and send a message
> back to the list manager saying that this account is no longer on the
> systems in such a manner that the list manager will be sure that it's
> really a bad account and not just another mailer glitch where
> somebody's screwed up their alias file.  Once this message goes out, I
> would add the list-manager/email-address into a database so that only
> one messages goes out.  The script would then just drop the mail into
> /dev/null for this and any subsequent messages.
> So far, I haven't had time to do this, (or to ask this list if
> somebody's already done something similar :-).

I'm about to implement this.  We have a userbase of roughly 20,000 staff and
students and hence have a turnover of approximately 6,000 usernames and
surname based mailnames a year.  We had a case earlier in the year where a new
student was registered with a mailname that had recently been "vacated" by a
member of staff.  When someone mailed the address expecting it to still be the
staff member the student, displaying spectacular ill-judgement, responded in
lewd terms.  Sigh.

Subsequently we've decided to keep vacated usernames for a period of a year or
so to ensure that recycling doesn't happen too quickly.  During that period
the user's mail will be forwarded to a certain address where an automatic
script will respond that the username no longer exists.  It'll also help us to
track when a username was removed.  The address that these usernames will
point to is named after our local crematorium.

The fall-out from the student's stupid actions were that the Texan woman he
upset was married to someone in the U.S. State Dept.  She threatened to
forward the idiots name to the Consular Service for permanent exclusion from
U.S territories.  She put it nicely "not to set his heart on ever seeing the
Alamo if I were him". :-)

                        Chris Cook - Postmaster

| Chris Cook - Postmaster, UNIX and Athena Administrator                    |
|  University of Wales                     E-mail     : CookC @
 Cardiff .
 AC .
 UK |
|   College of Cardiff,                    Phone      : +44 1222 874875     |
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|     Cardiff, UK                          Fax        : +44 1222 874285     |

"I get fed up hearing people talking about the awesome power of Mother Nature.
I'd like to see a straight fight between Mother Nature and Father God."

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