Spam Shuts Down Legitimate Websites

from the due-process-doesn't-matter dept

Yet another article talking about the draconian measures taken by the anti-spam crowd in their efforts to stop spam. It talks about an ISP that feels compelled to shut down legitimate websites because anti-spam forces declare them as spammers. The anti-spammers, of course, say that it’s the only way they can stop spam and that no one is forced to use their blacklists. However, as it’s increasingly becoming a necessity to use some sort of blacklist, many website owners and ISPs feel the blacklist maintainers are taking things too far. They don’t give any sort of “due process” to let those accused of spamming defend themselves. There are plenty of cases of “false positives”, where someone forgets they opted-in to a mailing list, or someone who shares an email address with a spouse and doesn’t realize what the other person has signed up for. Most ISPs seem willing to get rid of actual spammers – but are a bit worried when they feel compelled by anti-spam forces to cut off those they feel are doing business legitimately. Doesn’t this seem like an opportunity for someone to create a better blacklist that actually does involve some sort of “due process”? If it were true that many legit websites are being victimized without this, then a better blacklist would become widely adopted very quickly, and the others would fade away.

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Comments on “Spam Shuts Down Legitimate Websites”

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Stephen Cobb (user link) says:

Re: IronPort solution to spam

IronPort makes its money selling what some people call spam cannons, MTAs optimized to send over a million messages per hour (check the A60 six pack on the company’s web site: 6 million messages per hour from up to 256 different IP addresses).
Their spam ‘solution’ is very close to the DMA’s idea of how email should be, free for all members to send in whatever volume they like until the consumer cries ‘Uncle.’
With the DMA and Microsoft (and probably Ironport) pushing hard for a federal law that would allow advertisers to keep sending you email without first getting your permission, it is clear that other solutions are needed to protect ISPs and consumers from the continuing onslaught.

Mike (user link) says:

Re: IronPort solution to spam

Just recently had two of my domains used by spammers in their fake headers and AOL has taken the liberty of blocking my legit mail because of it… any idot that can block mail without due process or at least looking at the header to determine the true source and at least black list the right person is, at least in my openion, interfering with interstate commerce.
I realize AOL could pound me under, but you see I know there is a God and they will get theirs one day…
When I went to answer their email proclaiming they would refuse to forward any mail from each of two of my domains they bounced back… sounds like something a spammer would do…

Anonymous Coward says:

Better Blacklist

Yet another posting by Mike whining about the draconian anti-spammers.

Funny how this article, linked from’s web site, has a different story:click here

Specifically, there is no mention of fatcow having to disconnect a legitimate customer.

The link you pointed to says :Some legitimate websites, those that aren’t breaking any laws but cannot afford to hire lawyers and defend themselves, are becoming nomads, going from ISP to ISP over the course of a year, forced to move because of illegitimate spam complaints.

This is a statement without any facts backing it up.

The “better blacklist” exists, and it’s run by I am not connected with them, but from watching their behavior since inception, it’s clear that they use bait email addresses to identify spam, so the issue of false positives is gone. They fall into your “draconian” category, but once again, it’s only after ignoring complaints that an ISP ends up on the block list.

GB (user link) says:

Response to Mike's note re "spam shuts down legiti

I couldn’t agree with you more! You hit the nail right on the head. What I think needs to happen is a few web hosts and perhaps even the feds need to get hit with a class action law suit. Then the lazy webhosts will get off their duffs and be worried a bit BEFORE shutting a site down. This happened to us recently and just as you described we had no due process.

I want to hear from other people who’ve had the same thing happen. Email to

It may take some time but I’m going to put together a group of people who share similar stories, find a lawyer willing to file a class action suit and start working toward getting this fixedl. Like you said – it’s gone too far!

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