State Department To Punish Diplomats For Using Reply-All

from the welcome-to-1999 dept

Remember back in the late 90s when people freaked out on various email lists when people would go nuts with the “reply-all” function, leading to annoying conversation threads no one wanted to be in on? Then, the rest of the world discovered how to properly configure email list management software, such that you could have discussion lists and announcement lists, and all was good in the world. Apparently, the US State Department never got that far, and it’s just now coming to terms with the fact that incorrect reply-alls can be annoying. So, annoying, in fact, that the State Department has now sent a note to all foreign outposts, saying that it will punish those who abuse the reply-all function (thanks to everyone who sent this in) and complaining that reply-all “floods” were taking down the mail system in a form of a denial of service attack. Honestly, though, this just makes me wonder what the State Department is doing that its mail servers can’t handle a bunch of diplomats hitting reply-all around the same time. That’s quite different than a true denial-of-service attack. If that’s really all that it takes to take out State’s email server, I would imagine foreign hackers are gearing up a decent-sized real DoS attack on those servers by now.

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Comments on “State Department To Punish Diplomats For Using Reply-All”

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Brad Cooper (user link) says:

Ive heard of things like this bringing down smaller orgs

I’ve seen evidence of this and heard stories about what can happen with even “smaller” orgs of “only” 20,000 people.

Even if there aren’t technical outages, the work force is essentially “taken down” for between a day and several days discussing the reply all events at the water cooler and via email.

Shameless plug: by the way, this is exactly the situation my company’s service, SmartMessage Center, was designed to solve, but mostly for smaller, more informal groups (just got a “reply all” to all the parents on my son’s soccer league, for example, which turns into a waste of everyone’s time)

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