A pedant that hangs out in the dark corner-cases of the web.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I don't read Russian

A great deal of Cyrillic spam has made it into my various inboxes lately. I don't read Russian, so I'd sure like to be able to configure my email accounts to not accept stuff I cannot read, but this isn't an option‽

Configuring acceptable languages has been an underused but nonetheless available feature of HTTP for at least a dozen years. Why can't MTAs be configured to look for character encodings that the user cannot use? This would be a simple, straightforward solution to most of the spam that somehow currently makes it through my filters.

Update: Other languages I don't read include: Farsi, Chinese, Arabic, Korean, Georgian, and Japanese. The fault lies in myself, sure, but I need an MTA that can say Let me just stop you there. before an opaque message is relayed.

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