Proof of active email address

Sujit Nath
Sujit Nath used Ask the Experts™
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My manager had sent an email last year to one of our client. The client now says that the mail has not been received.  We didn't get any bounce back from the mail address until now.  It looks like he has disabled the email now.  I would like to prove that the email was active when the mail was sent or when was the email disabled. Is there any way I can track this.
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Principal Software Engineer
Commented:
Assuming that you mean "prove" in a legally acceptable sense that would be valid in a courtroom -- no, there's no way you can prove it without having access to the email server in question, and possibly not even then.

When it comes to legally valid proof of delivery and receipt, nothing matches good old Postal Service certified mail.

You could, however, strongly suggest that it was active if you have back copies of any email that came from that email address.  Possibly a Google search might turn up something.

Side note:  The "return receipt requested" feature of SMTP is often not respected, and many MTAs (Mail Transfer Agents) and email readers simply ignore it in the interest of privacy.
Alexei KuznetsovMicrosoft Outlook MVP
Commented:
No way, sorry. The only thing you can do is to get email tracking log files year old from your outgoing SMTP server and analyse them. But even then this is not a 100% proof for others.
Alexei KuznetsovMicrosoft Outlook MVP

Commented:
Answered.

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