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Stripping HTML from Email

Federal Computer Week is reporting that the DoD is now blocking HTML email (actually, converting it to plain-text) and also disallowing the use of OWA.

What about enabling EmailSecurity to define an “HTML Content” filter and providing plug-in to perform a “Strip HTML” action?

Rather than fully removing the html partition, or trying to clean-up/process the html, it might be feasible to leave the “Content-Type: multipart/alternative” header intact, and just strip out all the content within a boundary where “Content-Type: text/html” is defined (or maybe replace it with admin definable “HTML has been stripped” text). In some quick testing with an Outlook client, Outlook presents the content of the html as text in the initial “Content-Type: text/plain” partition, so the content is preserved. If all legitimate clients do this, it might be acceptable.

This could be very useful if this becomes widely adopted. Folks have been arguing in favor of de-html’ing email for nearly a decade, and with Blackberrys becoming so prevalent, the “but I need to display tables” lament is becoming less and less valid. Issues like this (corrected, but will continue to popup) make it even more compelling.

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