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Mirek

GMail blacklisted by SpamCop

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Hi all!

Sorry if posting in wrong forum - but this one seemed most appropriate at first glance.

Since at least few weeks I am experiencing problems with mail delivery. Mails send from GMail and Google Apps users to me (I'm using commercial hosting) are delayed or fail to deliver. Delays are random - from minutes to many hours.

After many hours and days spend on tests and analyzing Received headers I found the cause - it turned out, that my hosting company is using SpamCop's blacklists and that some GMail IP addresses has been blacklisted.

For example this IP: https://www.spamcop.net/w3m?action=checkblock&ip=209.85.161.195

- and many other from range 209.85.128.0 - 209.85.128.255 - which belong to Google and are used by GMail MTA servers.

I think that those IPs should be whitelisted (whole: 209.85.128.0/17 range and probably some other ranges) - because those IPs are used also when normal users (not spammers) send mails using GMail (via both: web interface and SMTP server).
If hosting company uses Spamcop's blacklist, mails send from GMail or Google Apps get delayed - even for hours, until Google retries sending them from different IP - one that is not blacklisted. If sender has no luck and Google retries sending message only through blacklisted IPs for more than 24h, then Mail Delivery Subsystem informs, that it failed to deliver mail.
It took quite a lot of time for me to find the cause of those delays - since Google and my hosting company weren't very helpful. And now, Google support says it's not their problem, that somebody blacklisted them, while my hosting company insists, that Google and Spamcop should take care of it (but they probably even didn't inform you about the problem, reported by many of their clients).
I also see that there are search results for gmail blacklisted by spamcop - some quite fresh, from last few weeks...

I'm a little fed up with my hosting company, because I think that they should report (or resolve) such things - as they are users of SpamCop's blacklists - and I'm just their client, that should not care about it at all.

At the moment they whitelisted some IPs (not whole range mentioned above) - and delays occur less frequently - but weren't fully eliminated. And they don't want to whitelist anything more - they are just waiting until Google and SpamCop fix the problem.

I hope the problem can be solved - otherwise I will have to search for other hosting companies - ones that don't use spamcop's BLs - quite strange criterion...

I am aware that according to RFC, mail protocol wasn't meant for instantaneous delivery - but such delays are difficult to accept these days.

Regards,
Mirek

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Sorry to hear about your problems.

The problem you describe is in part one of the problems of using a "public" email server such as Google. It is a problem may ISPs have when they don't police/monitor their clients. One user of the service can poison the pool for all users of the mail server and its IPs. This is a problem for the people sending you email that affects your experience.

Because of the problem of false-positives, your ISP blocking even valid email from Google, SpamCop strongly recommends users of their blacklist direct identified spam to a "spam" folder and NOT block them out right or send them to the bit-bucket. By placing them in a spam folder, the emails can be reviewed by users (you) to retrieve any false-positives. That is a problem between you and your ISP.

Google/Gmail is not the only general public email service provider that experience the problem. Yahoo, Microsoft and other also has this problem. They do not monitor their clients well. It is easy and cheap (free) to create an account long enough to send thousands of spam, and then discard the account when it gets blocked. When an IP address gets identified as a source of spam, SpamCop adds the IP to their dynamic blocklist as a service to users of the list. For SpamCop were to whitelist all the IPs used by Google, or any other offending email server, would negate the value of the service SpamCop provides.

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