BCC header missing in Sent Items (Outlook EAS)
Problem reported by FlexWS - September 29, 2014 at 4:49 AM
Submitted
When you have sent an e-mail to many people via the BCC field, you can not take look later on to see who you mailed to. The BCC field is not shown in the headers of a sent item in Outlook.
Can the BCC field be added to the viewable headers for sent items?
 
I'm missing this in EAS accounts, not sure for SMTP but if it's missing there too it would be nice to add it there too, I think.

19 Replies

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1
Bruce Barnes Replied
Section 2.1.7 of RFC 4021 specifically mandates that BCC information shall NOT be disclosed.   This is defined in RFC RFC 822.
 
The disclosure of BCC fields is prohibited by the International Engineering Task Force. (IETF)
 
The IETF sets the standards by which the Internet and e-mail operates.  For more information on the IETF, or to join, and participate in the setting of those standards, see: www.IETF.org
 
Here is the explanation of the IETF standard which prohibits BCC fields from being disclosed:
 

2.1.7. Header Field: Bcc

   Description:
      Blind-carbon-copy recipient mailbox

   Applicable protocol: Mail
[18]

   Status: standard

   Author/change controller:
      IETF  (mailto:iesg@ietf.org)
      Internet Engineering Task Force

   Specification document(s):

      RFC 2822 [18] (section 3.6.3)

   Related information:

      Contains addresses of recipients of the message whose addresses
      are not to be revealed to other recipients of the message.
      Defined as standard by
RFC 822.
 

Bruce Barnes
ChicagoNetTech Inc
brucecnt@comcast.net

Phonr: (773) 491-9019
Phone: (224) 444-0169

E-Mail and DNS Security Specialist
Network Security Specialist

Customer Service Portal: https://portal.chicagonettech.com
Website: https://www.ChicagoNetTech.com
Security Blog: http://networkbastion.blogspot.com/

Web and E-Mail Hosting, E-Mail Security and Consulting
0
FlexWS Replied
Not to be revealed to other recipients of the message.
True, but my proposal is to show it to the sender (as in "me").

If you send messages BCC, because you don't want everyone to see the receivers, it may be convenient to see the BCC addresses again (as sender of that message, in your Sent Items folder), to see if you missed someone, who should have had that mail.
2
Bruce Barnes Replied
By design, BCC is private and cannot be displayed.
 
If SmarterTools was to include the BCC in the headers of e-mail messages, this will make the SmarterMail MX server non-compliant with the IETF rules and regulations as specified in Section 2.1.7 of RFC 4021   Those rules specifically mandate that BCC information shall not be disclosed.   This is further defined in RFC RFC 822.
 
The IETF is the ultimate authority for all things Internet and e-mail, and sets the standards by which the Internet operates.
 
This is not a good idea.
Bruce Barnes
ChicagoNetTech Inc
brucecnt@comcast.net

Phonr: (773) 491-9019
Phone: (224) 444-0169

E-Mail and DNS Security Specialist
Network Security Specialist

Customer Service Portal: https://portal.chicagonettech.com
Website: https://www.ChicagoNetTech.com
Security Blog: http://networkbastion.blogspot.com/

Web and E-Mail Hosting, E-Mail Security and Consulting
1
Steve Reid Replied
Somehow it must work between Exchange and Outlook because when searching it clearly states the BCC addresses will be listed in the header.
 
I am sure that exchange is IETF compliant so there must be a way for this to happen.
0
Henry Timmes Replied
I agree without, you should be able to see the BCC as a sender, you should also be able to see the BCC line when someone BCC you - so you realize it was a bcc
www.unlocktheinbox.com
0
Steve Reid Replied
I second this
0
Bruce Barnes Replied
BCC should never be made public except in server logs. If Wxchange is making BCC public in headers, then anyone can see the BC recipients, and that defeats BCC. BCC should never be made public in headers or anywhere else.
Bruce Barnes
ChicagoNetTech Inc
brucecnt@comcast.net

Phonr: (773) 491-9019
Phone: (224) 444-0169

E-Mail and DNS Security Specialist
Network Security Specialist

Customer Service Portal: https://portal.chicagonettech.com
Website: https://www.ChicagoNetTech.com
Security Blog: http://networkbastion.blogspot.com/

Web and E-Mail Hosting, E-Mail Security and Consulting
1
Steve Reid Replied
I'm not sure about how they do it... All I know is that if I sent an email to a bunch of BCC recipients, then I surely want to see who I sent it to by checking my sent items.
 
Nobody wants anyone else to know who was in the BCC, regardless of regulations that's just common sense and the reason for the Blind Carbon Copy.
1
FlexWS Replied
Yes, Exchange/Outlook and office365 do this for Sent Items.
 
The RFC says "Contains addresses of recipients of the message whose addresses are not to be revealed to other recipients of the message."
 
It is only prohibited to show the BCC contents to other recipients.
It is not prohibited to show the BCC contents to the sender of the message, since he is not one of the "other recipients of the message" as the RFC states.
 
What this means for outgoing messages to the recepients: Nothing, keep the current method.
 
What this means to the single message that will be placed in my Sent Items folder: Add the BCC addresses as a BCC-header.
 
Please (re)consider it, so the other day we can still see who we have mailed to.
1
Paul Blank Replied
Just checked this in SM webmail.  The BCC addresses are there when you view the header.  So if you need this, you can at least fire up Webmail and have a look.
0
FlexWS Replied
It seems messages sent via webmail, do show the BCC header in Sent Items! That is great. I hope they will also implement this for messages sent with Outlook. Currently for messages sent with Outlook the BCC field is not shown in webmail. Only messages sent with webmail are showing the BCC header, but this actually is the thing I meant! I hope this behavior will be added for messages sent with Outlook (EAS) too.
0
FlexWS Replied
However, as webmail did add a BCC header, Outlook 2013 EAS refuses to show it, like it normal would. This seems to be a bug on Microsoft's side. As a workaround we can get the BCC header from the message properties if SmarterMail would add the header.
0
Paul Blank Replied
That's interesting indeed. One would think that if the BCC info is there, it would show in webmail no matter what client created the email. I'm clueless here.
0
FlexWS Replied
If the header info would be available in webmail, I guess it would be available in Outlook too (my test message from webmail shows a BCC header in Outlook's Sent Items folder when I view the message properties), but that's what it's all about. There is no BCC header in the Sent Items when the message is sent with Outlook.
0
Paul Blank Replied
OK, and I just set up an account in Thunderbird connected to a SM account. Sent a message in T-Bird to BCC recipients. Synced it with SM and indeed, the recipients show up in the BCC field in the header, both in SM Webmail and the "Message Source" in Thunderbird (Ctrl + U). Just a FYI.
0
FlexWS Replied
Thanks for your test results. I've created a IMAP account in Outlook 2013 which works fine when sending messages with BCC. The BCC field is visible in Outlook and in webmail. So this problem seems to be EAS only.
0
Robert Emmett Replied
Employee Post
FlexWS, you are correct in that EAS does not handle BCC according to MS-ASWBXML, 2.1.2.1.3
Robert Emmett
Software Developer
SmarterTools Inc.
(877) 357-6278
www.smartertools.com
0
John Marx Replied
I understand that BCC is "private" and the debate is seeing it in the sent items in Outlook. Just to add fuel to the fire I just sent a test email from GMail and then went to the Sent Items. I can see the BCC there as well.
0
IT Support Replied
Hello
We are having a similar problem as described in this thread: We are forwarding e-mails of some mailboxes to another mailbox (for different receivers into the same Mailbox), so an external e-mail server can get those messages over POP. The other e-mail server sorts those messages using the headers of those e-mails into mailboxes which have the same name as the receiver on the Smartermail-server.
That works perfectly for e-mail where the recipient is in "To" or "CC" but not for "BCC". The original receiver is no longer mentioned in the headers of the forwarded e-mail, so the external e-mail server is not able to sort them correctly.
How can we make sure that the BCC recipient is mentioned in the forwarded e-mail?

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