09.25.22

Gemini version available ♊︎

Microsoft is Trying to Eliminate POP3 and IMAP for E-mail (Attack on Commodity or Standard Protocols)

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Google, Microsoft, Protocol at 2:40 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 926a0af805babd5d56f2959044221e99
Standard E-mail Under Attack
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: Microsoft is trying to decommoditise (read: control) E-mail by shutting out people who use standard protocols; how long have we got before E-mail becomes a surveillance-intensive walled garden?

THE war on POSIX (e.g. systemd) and various other things that are stable and have worked for decades (e.g. X Server) is troubling enough on its own; what happens when the network stack comes under attack (e.g. TCP/IP), impacting clients and servers irrespective of the underlying operating system?

Enter E-mail. We previously mentioned how Thunderbird was being ruined by Mozilla and Mozilla played along (passively) with Google's coup against E-mail. Now, as per this post (Gemini link), Microsoft does this too. We’ve discussed this in IRC (HTML, text, GemText, Gemini) and the video above shares some personal views. Here’s the raw but redacted evidence, which is dated 3 days ago:

From Enterprise Services ██████████████████
To Conner, Sean ███████████
Date Thu, 22 Sep 2022 19:27:12 +0000
Subject Legacy Email Protocols to be Retired

To All [The Enterprise] Staff,

Please be aware that Microsoft is disabling the use of several legacy protocols related to old methods of retrieving and sending email in the coming weeks.

What does this mean for you?
If you are using Outlook as [The Enterprise] provisions it, you do not need to do anything. If you use an alternate email program that relies on POP3, IMAP or SMTP, like native mail programs in iOS and Android, expect your [The Enterprise] email connection for that app to stop functioning when Microsoft chooses to disable these protocols.

What should you do?
[The Enterprise] only supports the use of the approved email client Outlook, Outlook 365 available in our [The Enterprise] tenant, or Outlook for iOS and Android. If you are not using Outlook, please switch today. If you require assistance, please contact ██████████████████.

Instructions for installing Outlook for mobile devices can be found here [Link to internal documentation removed. —Editor].

Thank You,

Enterprise Services

See more in So when did POP and IMAP become a “legacy protocol?” – The Boston Diaries – Captain Napalm (published about 2 days ago).

We’d like to place special emphasis on the phenomenon — or the term — “decommoditisation” specifically, for at some later stage we plan to link it to the topic of the Halloween Documents, which we’ve already reproduced in Gemini (OSI censored the online copy of these, which means there’s suppression of such information, erasure of the past on behalf of Microsoft as sponsor).

To be clear, it’s not a problem that’s limited to Microsoft; it should also be noted that GMail 1) already comes very close to blocking Thunderbird, and other IMAPS clients; 2) it does not support standard IMAPS in any case.

“GMail ignores the existence of Thunderbird,” an associate reminds us, “and mainly only works with OAuth-encumbered software.” To quote Mozilla: “As of May 30, 2022, Google no longer allows Less secure apps [sic] access for Gmail accounts, thus OAuth is required. If you are using Google supplied app passwords, Thunderbird version 91.8.0 and newer will make that conversion for you. Further, Gmail accounts do not work with Thunderbird 31 and older because they do not support Google’s OAuth (implemented in bug 849540).”

Cui bono and who stands to lose the most?

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