by Mike Masnick

Blacklists vs. Spam

from the no-recourse dept

The Washington Post is now running their article looking at the problems people have with blacklist spam solutions, where "collateral damage" harms completely innocent people who happen to have an account on a computer that gets blacklisted. As the article points out, sometimes the "cure is worse than the disease" and they include a great quote from Ray Everett-Church, saying, "if you have a block list that stops 100 percent of spam and 75 percent of legitimate mail, you've solved the spam problem, but you've created another problem." Doesn't it seem like there's an opportunity to create a much more open blacklist solution - that includes a clear process to appeal listings? Right now, since so much of it is a volunteer activity, it's completely up to the whims of those involved. The article also mentions, though, that harried sys admins often don't care so much about the victims of collateral damage. They just want to get spam off their systems as fast as possible without it costing them a thing - and thus, they say the blacklists are needed - whether or not they're accurate.

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  • identicon
    Brandon, 14 May 2003 @ 2:55pm

    A "better" blacklist

    In concept at least, Trustic has an appeals process, and essentially allows people to "vote" on whether a site should be on the blacklist or not using a trust network.

    Unfortunately, it does have a chicken-n-egg issue with having to have people using it to have an effective block list, but its been getting better over time. Its currently catching about 12% of my spamload, which is lower than some of the other services I actually trust such as SpamHaus, which is catching maybe 30%.


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