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Is it really doing any good?

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I reported everything until the activity was consuming my life - then I blocked to get to manageable levels.

And that is the problem - if every ISP helped their customers really report spam to the correct source and returned email from spam sources with an explanation, then the irresponsible ISPs like comcast would soon have so many complaints and customers leaving for responsibly administered ISPs that they would reform (or go out of business).

But that's not the way it is. And most people have to rely on filters of one sort or another to manage their email. And don't have time or the expertise to insist on responsibly administered email or to report everything through spamcop.

And yes, I am an 'almost' person - almost always right, almost new, almost knowledgeable, almost always nice! <g> but there is always the part that isn't!

Miss Betsy

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then the irresponsible ISPs like comcast would soon have so many complaints

34570[/snapback]

On the other hand, those repeated times of receiving bounces to those complaints ... the issue being that InBoxes were full, both abuse and postmaster ...

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On the other hand, those repeated times of receiving bounces to those complaints ... the issue being that InBoxes were full, both abuse and postmaster ...

34577[/snapback]

Please feel free to add more abuse evidence to what already exists at http://www.rfc-ignorant.org/tools/lookup.p...cast.net&full=1, and use the rfc-ignorant.org lists and comcast.blackholes.us to filter your own mail. :)

See also Add comcast.blackholes.us to the list of blocklists.

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Well I'm back again after some time away. My master Road Runner account got put on a spam list several months ago. What I did was just fill up the account completely, so no one could leave messages. They bounce back to whoever is in the "from" field. Basically I don't care anymore if the "from" field is bogus and bouncing back to the wrong people. I use temporary sub accounts now.

Well... Out of curiousity, I deleted the "filler" in my master account. In comes the spam again. :( This is just pissing me off, that my MASTER account has been put on bullsh** spam lists. I bet even if I disconnect my ISP service, and then come back several years later, that Master email address would still be receiving spam. How do the spammers harvesting programs work anyway? Do email addresses on spam lists, eventually leave the list? Or does the spammers database continue to grow and grow with email addresses to spam?

You would think that Road Runner ISP would identify this bullsh** spam. It all has the same subject line in it with same body. But no, they do nothing. I've reported to Road Runner spam Block service in the past. Sometimes I get a message back saying the IP has been blocked. Apparently this blocks this IP for all RR customers. But this is a no-win battle, because the spammer keeps using zombie servers, all with different IP addresses. Subject is same, but IP is different. Therefore, spam keeps coming in and not being blocked. RR claims to use public block lists but I don't think they do.

I am almost finished rambling now...but I have to say, that spam really ticks me off!!! I just wish the whole internet as a whole, would do away with SMTP protocol. Headers and everything can be faked. Someone needs to establish a new standard where this can't be faked, and where the spammers that own the spam lists, can be easily tracked down and SHUT DOWN.

Edited by Kojote

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They bounce back to whoever is in the "from" field. Basically I don't care anymore if the "from" field is bogus and bouncing back to the wrong people. I use temporary sub accounts now.
So you have no issue about possibly contributing to the spam problem then? You do realise that spammers may include anti-spam activists or organisations in the Reply field for a Joe-Job attack.
How do the spammers harvesting programs work anyway? Do email addresses on spam lists, eventually leave the list? Or does the spammers database continue to grow and grow with email addresses to spam?
Email addresses will remain on spammer's lists unless and until you give them a very good reason to take them off. This basically involves causing them as much grief as possible (complaining to the ISP and domain registrar of spamvertised sites, reporting domains with fake details to the WDPRS and, ultimately, running a tool like SpamVampire to drain bandwidth from spamvertised sites and increasing the spammers hosting costs). I very rarely get spam now because my pet spammer is too busy getting kicked from one ISP to another (after a long stay they moved off China Telecom and have gone through 3 other ISPs within a week - most of their domains are now offline).
You would think that Road Runner ISP would identify this bullsh** spam. It all has the same subject line in it with same body. But no, they do nothing. I've reported to Road Runner spam Block service in the past. Sometimes I get a message back saying the IP has been blocked. Apparently this blocks this IP for all RR customers. But this is a no-win battle, because the spammer keeps using zombie servers, all with different IP addresses. Subject is same, but IP is different. Therefore, spam keeps coming in and not being blocked. RR claims to use public block lists but I don't think they do.
Ultimately, you have the option to terminate service with your ISP (whether this is practical depends on your local situation - cable is a problem but DSL should be easy to switch). If they have a newsgroup or forum, post there to encourage others to take similar action.
I am almost finished rambling now...but I have to say, that spam really ticks me off!!! I just wish the whole internet as a whole, would do away with SMTP protocol. Headers and everything can be faked. Someone needs to establish a new standard where this can't be faked, and where the spammers that own the spam lists, can be easily tracked down and SHUT DOWN.

37113[/snapback]

You're in good company. However the "problems" with SMTP are not so much to do with an insecure protocol as they are inherent to any system allowing mass communication (note the spread of spam into other areas - e.g. SPIM, SPIT). For email, your best solution is a SpamGourmet account - unlimited aliases so you can assign a unique one to each person you deal with. If spam appears on one, you (a) know who is responsible and (B) can shut the address down without affecting others.

It is surprising (and somewhat depressing) how many businesses think that having an email address is a "ticket to spam". This includes the American Red Cross who ignore unsubscribe requests (their newsletter is dealt with by advertising.com) and have disabled their email addresses making it impossible to contact them by normal means. Guess who won't be receiving donations in future?

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I bet even if I disconnect my ISP service, and then come back several years later, that Master email address would still be receiving spam.

37113[/snapback]

You are most likely correct about that. I run a server and one of our worse spammed accounts is a person that left over 5 years ago and I continue to see the requests for her name (and we reject non-existent accounts, not bounce them to innocent bystanders).

Also, please never come in here complaining that your ISP has been listed if you insist on helping them be listed. Every spam you know you are forcing onto a forged third party is reportable via spamcop and could get the IP listed. It would be RR responsibility to fix the problem, so perhaps, as an insider, you could help that change. Provide proof of what they are doing and point them to Why are auto responders bad? in the FAQ.

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Has SpamCop actually done anything for anyone? I have been sending spam to these folks for over 2 months now and I still get between 10 and 20 per day. My average response time is 3 hours "Great" according to the SpamCop website. What is suppose to happen here or am I just sending my email out generating more spam? Is SpamCop spam? Is all this a fraud to get personal information from me?

21423[/snapback]

I run a Microsoft Exchange organization with just a little over 30 users. When I came into this position, we were receiving a total of about 6000 spams per day delivered to users inboxes.

I immediately upgraded our mail system to Exchange 2003, and added Intelligent Message Filtering which reduced the number of emails delivered to users inboxes to a more managable 2000 spams per day. However, that was still not acceptable to me, so I further implemented the Smaphaus blocklist and the SpamCop blocklist. Between those 2 blocklists, and Microsofts IMF addon, I have reduced the number of spams delivered to users inboxes in my organization from a staggering 6000 per day to less than 100 per day. Yeah, you read that right, less than one hundred spams per day for 30 users, thats only about 3 messages per day that they have to deal with.

While this is great simply from a time spent standpoint, there are other more substantial implications. Because we are in the insurance business, every email that we send or receive has to be saved... Forever. Once per month, all email from the previous month gets archived to DVD. Before I implemented the blocklists, it took me 3 DVDs to archive a months worth of email for 30 people, thats about 14GB of data per month. With the addition of the BL, these emails are never delivered, so unlike messages sent to the junk mail folder with IMF, they take up absolutely 0 disk space. This means I can keep mail on the server longer before filling up the Exchange message store.

That means that it takes me less time to retrieve archived messages. It also substantially reduces the processing load on the server, and the amount of bandwidth that I use for SMTP, both of which are very tangible, real, and substantial costs.

So in answer to your question, YES, the SCBL does make a MAJOR difference to those of us that use it, especially when combined with other filters and lists.

Is it enough by itself? Of course not, but then, I also don't use a single security solution to protect my network from viruses and such either. As with everything else, multiple layers offers the best solution, but the SCBL is one of my most important first-line layers when it comes to spam.

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<snip>

I run a Microsoft Exchange organization with just a little over 30 users. When I came into this position, we were receiving a total of about 6000 spams per day delivered to users inboxes.

<snip>

so I further implemented the Smaphaus blocklist and the SpamCop blocklist. Between those 2 blocklists, and Microsofts IMF addon, I have reduced the number of spams delivered to users inboxes in my organization from a staggering 6000 per day to less than 100 per day. Yeah, you read that right, less than one hundred spams per day for 30 users, thats only about 3 messages per day that they have to deal with.

While this is great simply from a time spent standpoint, there are other more substantial implications. Because we are in the insurance business, every email that we send or receive has to be saved... Forever. Once per month, all email from the previous month gets archived to DVD. Before I implemented the blocklists, it took me 3 DVDs to archive a months worth of email for 30 people, thats about 14GB of data per month. With the addition of the BL, these emails are never delivered, so unlike messages sent to the junk mail folder with IMF, they take up absolutely 0 disk space. This means I can keep mail on the server longer before filling up the Exchange message store.

That means that it takes me less time to retrieve archived messages. It also substantially reduces the processing load on the server, and the amount of bandwidth that I use for SMTP, both of which are very tangible, real, and substantial costs.

<snip>

37212[/snapback]

Hi, Telarin,

...Thank you for an excellent description of a situation (not unique, I expect, even to your industry) where using SpamCop blacklist to block rather than filter suspected spam provides a real value.

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Hi, Telarin,

...Thank you for an excellent description of a situation (not unique, I expect, even to your industry) where using SpamCop blacklist to block rather than filter suspected spam provides a real value.

37223[/snapback]

I would also like to add my thanks to Telarin and ask if Telarin might be interested in adding some additional information as to how valid mail that gets rejected is handled. Your philosophy and logic used in the cost / benefit trade off might be very interesting to many of our readers. Thank you again.

PS I added a copy of your post to our How We Use SpamCop, Detailed Examples topic.

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I would also like to add my thanks to Telarin and ask if Telarin might be interested in adding some additional information as to how valid mail that gets rejected is handled. Your philosophy and logic used in the cost / benefit trade off might be very interesting to many of our readers.  Thank you again.

PS I added a copy of your post to our How We Use SpamCop, Detailed Examples topic.

37232[/snapback]

Honestly, VERY little valid mail gets rejected. I have maybe 1 or 2 confirmed rejections per month. These are handled on a case-by-case basis. If it is a company with which we do regular business, I will usually go ahead and add their mail servers IP address to the global accept list in exchange. If it is a customer, depending on their apparent level of technical expertise, their ISP, how rude they are, and what kind of mood I am in; I will either add their email address to the global accept list, encourage them to send through a different email account, or for the really dense, simply tell them that the problem is with their ISPs mail server and that they will need to contact their tech support.

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Your experience is on the mark and shared by others including myself. Reporting spam to SC does not reduce spam, period.

Fast forward: 2006

This is a very old thread. But I thought I would post here in hopes that someone would run across it.

I too was an original SC subscriber and evangelist. Around 2000 I gave up and stopped reporting. But I came back because it gives me some small thread of satisfaction that at least some of the reports will actually squash a spammer.

However, of recent, I've noticed a disturbing trend in spam reporting.

I report nearly 1,000 spams during every 24 to 36 hour period. My average is 7 hours. In January, I began researching specific types of spam, testing SpamCop, and tracking down the spammers. I began with "Pump & Dump" Stock Scams, and moved to Phishing then this recent wave of "Adult" topics.

Phishing research produced the most disturbing results: the attacks would hit for several days, then return a week or so later from the EXACT same IP addresses. (Translation: nothing being done by the ISP)

In a move of self protection, I opened a new email address and guarded it carefully -- never published, never used as a "sending" address, never subscribed. Only shared with known and trusted persons.

It went on with zero spam for months and months, but one day the inevitable happened, and two spams arrived in the mail box.

In a moment of vengeful retaliation, I reported it to SpamCop. However, I didn't take the precaution of first changing the guarded email address to the 'spam trap' address.

The next morning I had thirty (30) spams in the mail box -- from all different IP addresses, all different topics, all different spamvertised addresses.

Logic suggested that by reporting the spam, somehow, the spam network harvested the address. I was afraid that somehow, the spammers were watching SpamCop reports, to harvest authentic email addresses.

Since that time, the guarded address has now also become unusable because of the thwart of spam hitting it each day. I added it to the POP addresses filtered in my SpamCop account -- and started a new unique address. Which now, has also become jaded with spam.

Can it be possible that the "Third Parties Interested in spam" are actually covert spam harvesters who extract the email addresses to sell to spam cartels?

I don't know, and I don't even want to suggest that SpamCop is actually in complicity with the spam industry. Knowing what I've learned in some twenty years on the internet, I know that the internet business breeds players who will do anything for money.

Understanding how it works, and the nature of people, I see the anti-spam, spam-blocking and spam-filtering industry as a superb way to make lots of money by selling email addresses back into the spam pool to propagate and perpetuate their own industry. (After all, anti-spam products wouldn't be very profitable if there was no spam, right? Therefore it becomes of paramount interest to the anti-spam industry to make sure spam continues. If cars ran on water, the gas industry would be in trouble, right? Thus, there are no cars that run on water.)

Things do happen... making one stop and think.

spam won't stop until we take back the DNS system. Period.

Until that time, we can all continue reporting the best we can,

and hope to hold spam to a low roar.

Moderator Edit: Signature Block removed, as a few years down the road, it seems that this poster isn't who he wanted to make it appear. This user also Banned for performing such actions.

Edited by Wazoo

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Ok, since you're having a "spamcop doesn't work" fest, let me put in my two cents.

I run a mail server with 30 something users... Here are some statistics:

Current server uptime: ~11.2 days

Messages blocked by blocklists (spamcop, spamhaus, open relays in that order) since last restart: 187,000

Ok, now a little math. Lets figure 10k per message (many contain images so are considerably larger, but we'll use 10k as an average size). That comes out to about 1.87 GB of email rejected during SMTP BEFORE I had to commit bandwidth to receiving the message. Thats 1.87 GB of email in a mere 11 days! That works out to almost 5GB per month. All email is maintained in the system for 120 days, which works out to about 20 GB of disk space not used. And 20 GB of bandwidth not used. After 120 days, all emails are archived to DVD and stored forever. You do the math there. What are my real savings in disk space and bandwidth?

Lets not even talk about 35 users that aren't having to wade through 187,000 emails. If just 1 in 10 of those are to a valid email address, thats 50 messages per person per day. Even if they only spend 20 seconds on each one to determine its spam and delete it, that would be 17 minutes per person per day spent sorting spam. With 35 people at $15/hour, that a REAL savings of $150 per day, or $4,500 per month.

I don't know about you, but I'm going to have to take the "spamcop works and works well" position on this issue...

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In a move of self protection, I opened a new email address and guarded it carefully -- never published, never used as a "sending" address, never subscribed. Only shared with known and trusted persons.

It went on with zero spam for months and months, but one day the inevitable happened, and two spams arrived in the mail box.

Could one of those "trusted persons" have been hit with an address-harvesting worm?
In a moment of vengeful retaliation, I reported it to SpamCop....The next morning I had thirty (30) spams in the mail box -- from all different IP addresses, all different topics, all different spamvertised addresses.
A rapid escalation in address usage could also be due to that worm. However SpamCop isn't really a vengeance tool (cue piccie of Wazoo with lightning bolt in hand... :)) - you may wish to consider the likes of SpamVampire or Refi-Retaliator if you are comfortable with the notion of taking more active measures.

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The sudden upsurge of spam after reporting to spamcop is usually attributed to the fact that once the spammers get your address, you will start getting increasing amounts of spam. And that is probably true.

OTOH, when you report to spamcop, particularly if you report spamvertized addresses, then the likelihood of your email address (either unmunged or coded in the message) going to a spammer in a report increases also. It is not retaliation, but simply that they grab whatever email addresses they can get, anyway they can. (they added the internal server that is in my headers that filters for spam to their list.) So your email address is automatically added to more spammer lists and that results in more spam.

Reporting to spamcop does nothing except feed the spamcop bl with an occasional report going to a server admin that is responsible and just made a mistake who, then, fixes it immediately. In addition, server admins who don't realize that accepting email and then bouncing it or don't realize that they have infected computers on their systems get a heads up.

It all depends on what you are trying to accomplish whether using spamcop is a good idea or 'works'

For server admins it works well. For those who use the spamcop email service it works well. For those who approve of the use of blocklists, it works well.

Miss Betsy

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First of all, let me state that I hate the fact that there is a lot of text here, a lot of accusations, but zero, I repeat ... zero, specific data ...

Phishing research produced the most disturbing results: the attacks would hit for several days, then return a week or so later from the EXACT same IP addresses. (Translation: nothing being done by the ISP)

Yes ...???? Some ISPs have made themselves famous for no response, a few others for their lackadasical response, some for their quick response ...

In a move of self protection, I opened a new email address and guarded it carefully -- never published, never used as a "sending" address, never subscribed. Only shared with known and trusted persons.

It went on with zero spam for months and months, but one day the inevitable happened, and two spams arrived in the mail box.

Well, those known and trusted souls can be ignorant as heck sometimes. And of course, "we" have your assurance that this specific address was of course impossible for one of those fake address generators to accidentally 'invent' ... I just ran across on of those "poison address generators" the other day where one could pick the length of the 'name' and 'domain' items, strangely even offering to select from 1 to 55 characters for the 'generated' term ...

In a moment of vengeful retaliation, I reported it to SpamCop. However, I didn't take the precaution of first changing the guarded email address to the 'spam trap' address.

So I'm not sure about this sequence .... See, most folks "submit their spam to the SpamCop Parsing and Reporting Tool" and then verify the results ... and then make a decision as to whether or not the reports generated actually get sent. Yet, you're suggesting that you "materially alterate" your submittals, and then don't pay attention to what happens after the submittal ..??? Doesn't fly wuth the "investigative" mode that this post started out with ... or the diligence one agreed to way back when with the "I Agree" buttons.

The next morning I had thirty (30) spams in the mail box -- from all different IP addresses, all different topics, all different spamvertised addresses.

Logic suggested that by reporting the spam, somehow, the spam network harvested the address. I was afraid that somehow, the spammers were watching SpamCop reports, to harvest authentic email addresses.

This is another one of those things where specifics might come in handy. This does include the way the spam was originally handled, but certainly the list of targets that the reports (you agreed to send) went to. Did you send your reports to an abuse desk or a scummy address? Some abuse desks are also known to "forward" these reports to rgeir "customers" ... but again, no data provided in your story.

Since that time, the guarded address has now also become unusable because of the thwart of spam hitting it each day. I added it to the POP addresses filtered in my SpamCop account -- and started a new unique address. Which now, has also become jaded with spam.

Yet, no mention of blaming SpamCop.net with this last "new" address .. or was this supposed to be implied, assumed, expected?

Can it be possible that the "Third Parties Interested in spam" are actually covert spam harvesters who extract the email addresses to sell to spam cartels?

It is certainly possible ... that's why the option to send / not send was added to third-party reports on the parse result screen ..... but of course, the real issue at the moment is your yet undefined list of third-parties ...

I don't know, and I don't even want to suggest that SpamCop is actually in complicity with the spam industry. Knowing what I've learned in some twenty years on the internet, I know that the internet business breeds players who will do anything for money.

Understanding how it works, and the nature of people, I see the anti-spam, spam-blocking and spam-filtering industry as a superb way to make lots of money

Well, there isn't a dime of it coming this way. As usual, I must be repeating my life's story of doing things all wrong ... hmmmm, what did you say your last e-mail address was? <g>

by selling email addresses back into the spam pool to propagate and perpetuate their own industry. (After all, anti-spam products wouldn't be very profitable if there was no spam, right?

The original intent back in those early days was that SpamCop.net would put itself into oblivion ... back when it was "ovbious" that ISPs would get involved and put a stop tho this crap. That "free user" demand created the need for more horsepower, more bandwidth, etc., etc., etc. did result in something no longer running on Julian's kitchen table .... and again, apparently stupidly, I'm still at the volunteering to help stage...

spam won't stop until we take back the DNS system. Period.

Interesting thought, but .... "we" somehow take "control" of DNS ...???? I'm missing some interesting news items on that for sure ....

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I forward as attachment faithfully, follow through. I've even donated. The spams keep on coming (not too many but the same type, over and over). Is there, REALLY, any point for me to keep reporting or shall I just start deleting and save time/money?

(I spent about 10 minutes looking for info to cover this, then another 10 trrying to find a forum which was me - spamcop people rather than peer to peer, no joy)

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I forward as attachment faithfully, follow through. I've even donated. The spams keep on coming (not too many but the same type, over and over). Is there, REALLY, any point for me to keep reporting or shall I just start deleting and save time/money?

Hi BarryBURBS!

First of all I want to thank you for taking time to report. I certainly benefit from the reports that are made so I'm very grateful to you, and anyone else, that assists with the process of maintaining the block list. As a result I trap hundreds of incoming spam messages each week. I receive perhaps 10 a month in my inbox.

Now to your question... is there any point in reporting? Well I suppose the answer has to be that it depends on whether you then take advantage of the block list to filter your incoming mail.

You don't say what processes you use to filter incoming Email but if you aren't filtering against the SpamCop DNSBL then you aren't getting the benefit of the effort you are putting into the system.

Reporting feeds the BL and you then you need to use that information to filter your mail. By the sound of your question you aren't filtering in this way.

I certainly hope you'll keep up the effort. ;)

Andrew

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you can get direct benefits from reporting here if you download (free software) and install spampal...that tool integrates into your e-mail client and sorts out spam based on several block lists..including SCBL!

http://www.spampalforums.org/phpBB2/

Edited by dra007

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(I spent about 10 minutes looking for info to cover this, then another 10 trrying to find a forum which was me - spamcop people rather than peer to peer, no joy)

As it has been brought up elsewhere, please explain the issue of "spamcop people" as compared to "peer to peer" (which is actually extended to 'meaning users helping users' .. and found under a Title line of 'User to User Support Forum') .... I'm tryig to respond to issues raised but trying to ask myself how "user to user" could be skipped twice and "peer to peer" ending up meaning something beyond 'user' in the item described ......

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'peer' means someone who is on the same level with you. So one could look for 'people who are posting who are the same kind of person as you' - that's the way I took it.

'users helping users' - if you are assuming that 'peer users' are helping their peers - would mean that, for instance, admins help admins; spamcop email users help spamcop email users, reporting users are helping reporting users - all in the proper forums.

In actuality, the different forums are 'used' by all users and, though usually the admins answer posts from other admins, they also answer posts from users of spamcop and from people who are blocked. So, as another poster pointed out, the forums are not truly peer-to-peer.

I assumed that peer-to-peer meant just people interested in the subjects of the forum, but not everyone apparently assumes the same thing. What is it about 'assume' that makes you and me?

Miss Betsy

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'peer' means someone who is on the same level with you. .....

I assumed that peer-to-peer meant just people interested in the subjects of the forum, but not everyone apparently assumes the same thing. What is it about 'assume' that makes you and me?

My assume mode:

No one here is talking to or getting feedback from Julian.

No one here is talking to or getting feedback from IronPort.

No one here is getting the Engineering reports that Don mentioned a while back.

No one here is being observed or generally getting the attention of the Deputies / Staff (on a regular basis)

That to me makes "us" all peers ... users of the SpamCop.net system .... and I'll even own up to not even doing that beyond troubleshooting other folks' issues ....

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No one here is being observed or generally getting the attention of the Deputies / Staff (on a regular basis)

Customers of spamcop and people who are blocked by spamcop do get the attention of the Deputies if they contact them directly. Rarely does anyone come to the forum for answers if they have also contacted the Deputies.

That to me makes "us" all peers ... users of the SpamCop.net system .

Not everyone, particularly those who have been blocked, are users of spamcop. The 'helpers' generally are users, but not always. Since there are several aspects to spamcop, there are several different kinds of users. Most of the 'regulars' understand a little something about all aspects, but only 'use' one aspect. There is also a wide range of technical knowledge from people who are technically non-fluent to experienced server admins.

The only common ground people who come to this forum have is that they are interested in anti-spam techniques, but for different reasons.

Since Julian, Ironport, and the Deputies, in general, ignore the effort that regular 'users' of the forum give to make the spamcop system intelligible to users and those who are affected by the bl, people who frequent the forum on a regular basis are 'peers' However, most of the regulars would deny that they are your 'peer' - experience-wise or forum-administratively-wise.

Just as you insist on knowing the precise meaning when a non-technically fluent person posts using the 'wrong' word (as in the recent post about the use of 'website'), wordsmiths want the precise word to be used in their area of expertise which is communication.

Miss Betsy

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