Outlook, Outlook Express and Eudora among others have plug-ins that clumsily support PGP digital signing and encryption.
Outlook, Outlook Express and Netscape’s e-mail can do S/MIME (Secure Multipurpose Internet Mail Exchange) encrypted emails. Unfortunately Eudora still does not do S/MIME. Perhaps if enough people complain, the Eudora developers will stop fooling around decorating messages with chilli peppers and get on with the bread and butter issues. software,
Because of the problem of requiring consensus for all sender and receiver email evolution has been extremely slow.
There are several mail protocols. The most common are SMTP to send mail and POP3 and to receive it.
To send email from a Java servlet, you usually would use JavaMail. Simple applications might use a home brew SMTP or JavaMail.
Applets are problematic. The mail server must be the one running on the same server as the Applet. You might use JavaMail or a home brew SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) to talk to it. Unsigned Applets may not talk to any other server than the one it was loaded from.
SMTP is a mess when it comes to authorisation. Who is allowed to use the server? SMTP does not have a proper authentication method, just a bunch of ad hoc kludges. JavaMail does not get you off the hook. It has to use SMTP underneath.
To the mail server, send mail requests coming in from your Applet look like requests from the untamed wild world. It does not know your well behaved Applet is generating them. They will likely be refused, Further, your Applet could have been hacked by spammers.
Logically such requests should go to the user’s favourite mail server, where he will be welcome. However, even if you knew the URL (Uniform Resource Locator) of his mail server, you could not talk to it without the hassle of Applet signing.
So what to do?
The official standard RFC 5322 says that you can create an email
address of words (possibly joined together by dots), so long as you avoid the control characters 0..31, space,
A-Z +-=!#$%^&*~`?|/ are in theory all valid, though I would avoid all of them but -. Email addresses are case-insensitive.
In addition, quoted strings, (possibly joined by dots) are also valid. A quoted-string is any sequence of characters (0-127) except quote (), backslash (\), and CR (13), surrounded by quotes (). Even the three excepted characters can appear in a quoted-string if they are individually escaped with backslash. Anyone using a quotedstring style email address obviously does not want mail from the general public.
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