Who’s Got Your Mail? Characterizing Mail Service Provider Usage

Enze Liu, Gautam Akiwate, Mattijs Jonker, Ariana Mirian, Stefan Savage, Geoffrey M. Voelker

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
138 Downloads (Pure)


E-mail has long been a critical component of daily communication and the core medium for modern business correspondence. While traditionally e-mail service was provisioned and implemented independently by each Internet-connected organization, increasingly this function has been outsourced to third-party services. As with many pieces of key communications infrastructure, such centralization can bring both economies of scale and shared failure risk. In this paper, we investigate this issue empirically --- providing a large-scale measurement and analysis of modern Internet e-mail service provisioning. We develop a reliable methodology to better map domains to mail service providers. We then use this approach to document the dominant and increasing role played by a handful of mail service providers and hosting companies over the past four years. Finally, we briefly explore the extent to which nationality (and hence legal jurisdiction) plays a role in such mail provisioning decisions.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIMC 2021 - Proceedings of the 2021 ACM Internet Measurement Conference
PublisherACM Publishing
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781450391290
Publication statusPublished - 2 Nov 2021
Event2021 ACM Internet Measurement Conference, IMC 2021 - Virtual
Duration: 2 Nov 20214 Nov 2021


Conference2021 ACM Internet Measurement Conference, IMC 2021
Abbreviated titleIMC 2021
Internet address


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