Before: Arbitrator EvaStöwe (A), Respondent: Michael G (R), Claimant: Marcus M (as OAO) (C), Case: a20140119.1

History Log

Private Part

EOT Private Part

original Dispute


Summary of events

(R) who is a member of the OA-team could not be contacted by (C) in his role as organization assurance officer (OAO) by his primary email-address. The OAO filed a CCA 2.5 violation dispute.

(A) could not contact (R) via the primary email-address and got an NDR multiple times.

As there was no other allowed way found to try to get the attention of (R), a block on the account of R was ordered.

When (R) tried to log into the account again, he could not log in and contacted support with a secondary email-address.

When contacted by (A) again (via the secondary email-address R got in contact with support), (R) declared that he thought is primary email-address to be working fine and that he got mails with it, all the time. (R) searched for the issue and found it with the forwarding configuration of the email-system which he tried to use.

(A) ordered the account-block to be released, after checking that the primary email-address was working fine.

The email-admis were contacted about the problem and the issue was confirmed by the infrastructure admin. It was also tested by (A).

(R) got in contact with (C) as OAO.


The issue was more one of the cacert email system which (R) thought to be correct. He had no idea that something was wrong as he received mails on his primary email-address from senders not writing with addresses.

(R) cannot be thought to be responsible for the failure of his primary email address. Further, he helped a lot to find the problem and was good spirited to solve all issue with his address.

Because others may be affected by the issue, as well, the problem with the email-system should be solved, soon. If this is not possible, it would be a good idea if users of the system would be informed about it in a sensible way.

additional remarks

The idea to block the account as a first step to get the attention of someone not answering the primary email-address showed to be working in this case. While this does not have to be the case in all cases it may be a good idea to try it again in other cases, as it is a comparably harmless solution.

It would be even better if one could try other known email addresses. Sadly, this has currently to be considered to be a CCA 3.5 violation, as it states:


Notifications to you are sent by CAcert to the primary email address registered with your account. You are responsible for keeping your email account in good working order and able to receive emails from CAcert. 


If this is changed in the future, there could be better ways to proceed in CCA-violation cases where the primary email-address is not working. This cannot be predicted from this case. But arbitrators in similar cases may want to consider this.


I hereby come to the following ruling for a20140119.1:

While the primary email address from the respondent was not working, he should not be considered to be responsible for this.

As the email address only did not work for because of a bad configuration of the CAcert email system, email admins should be ordered to either fix the problem soon, or to inform the users about the issue.

A/CM should provide email admins with a description of the issue and a description of another email-issue that occurred in this case.

If the users are informed, the case may be closed without a final solution to the email issues, as affected members can fix the setup of their email addresses, then. The email admins should be able to solve the issues without supervision by arbitration.

Cologne, 2014-04-03


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Arbitrations/a20140119.1 (last edited 2014-09-09 18:24:45 by MartinGummi)