Status of ARC

The Authenticated Received Chain, or ARC, was submitted to the IETF as an Internet Draft on Friday, October 16th, 2015.

What is ARC?

When an email sender or Internet domain owner uses email authentication to make it easier to detect fraudsters sending messages that impersonate their domain, some services like mailing lists or account forwarding may cause legitimate messages to not pass those mechanisms, and then they might not be delivered. These services may be referred to as intermediaries because they receive a message, potentially make some changes to it, and then send it on to one or more other destinations. This kind of email traffic may be referred to as an indirect mailflow.

ARC preserves initial email authentication results across subsequent intermediaries (“hops”) that modify the message and thus will cause email authentication to fail to verify when the message reaches its final destination.

How can I learn more?

What are the next steps for ARC?

The goals for the remainder of 2015 include getting more review and input on the specification and recommended usage documents from the Internet community, and identifying parties willing to develop implementations to gain operational experience with the protocol.

An interoperability event will be organized for February 2016, where these early implementors can test their software and services with each other, and make sure they are all compatible in their implementation of the specification.