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pwhaughey

What is this? & please stop messing w/ my email...

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Who are you people? And will you please stop messing with my email?

In the last 24 hours I've had 4 people tell me their questions to me have been bounced by spamcop.net because: "Delay reason: SMTP Error from remote mailer, host mail.questliving.com. 451 blocked. See spamcop.net"

They were from: rainbowgrace.com, fairnessproject.org, and william.jewell.edu. I don't know how many more have been bounced - I cannot see a way to look up whether they are on your blacklist or not.

None of these were spam emails - they were notes from friends and customers.

I've never heard of spamcop before. I never subscribed, I don't want this, I've read through your discussion boards and it sounds horrible. How on earth are you able to disrupt my email service?, and who gave you the right?

My web host is ipowerweb.com --- is this something they subscribed to? PLEASE HELP! This is really unnerving.

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A quick reply and I'm sure you'll hear from others. Spamcop does not block e-mail. Spamcop publishes a list of IP addresses that are known to have sent spam. This list is dynamic and at most an IP will remain on the list for 48 hours after the last spam is sent. Whomever you receive your e-mail through has decided to use the Spamcop list in order to reject mail. Spamcop does not recommend this, it recommends using the list to tag mail as possible spam, not reject it.

You need to speak to your e-mail provider. They should be able to "whitelist" the addresses of the people from whom you are seeking to receive mail. Even better, they should be able to give you the ability to do this yourself.

--Louis

A Spamcop User

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Spamcop does not list domains as domains can be forged, but IP addresses. The blocking message from your ISP should have a comment see spamcop net followed by an IP address. Now mail.questliving.com is 12.129.237.57 this is not listed in the SC list, but it is in others see:

http://www.dnsstuff.com/tools/ip4r.ch?ip=12.129.237.57

I suspect that your ISP's mail server is blocking the mails based on a number of lists, but have not taken the trouble to setup their responce properly and only list Spamcop.

I suggest that you contact the senders who have been blocked to see if the responce they received did contain an IP address (it's a set of numbers in the above format). If they did, then posting that will allow the people here to give you more help.

Just to pick on the point, SC does not block e-mails it is your ISP that is doing that. ISPs use lists such as SC to determine if a sending IP address has been sending spam. Your friends may not have been but their ISP is is mixing their mail with othere users who maybe sending spam.

Rob

A SC member not Admin

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My web host is ipowerweb.com --- is this something they subscribed to? PLEASE HELP! This is really unnerving.

14104[/snapback]

ipowerweb used SpamCop earlier this year, and may well do so today -- here's a brief excerpt from an article which mentioned someone else who's had problems due to a specific configuration issue on ipowerweb:

My brother, who is searching for a VP/director position, managing a customer support department for a high tech company, discovered recently that ipowerweb.com's mail filtering was bouncing all his incoming mail. His incoming mail was forwarded to his ipowerweb.com address by your-site.com, and your-site.com had mistakenly been placed on spamcop.net's black list. Although spamcop.net removed the listing soon after your-site.com contacted them, the "bad guy" label was far harder to clear up at ipowerweb.com. Weeks later my brother was still having intermittent problems.

Comcast, as far as I know, hasn't ever blocked any of my mail that wasn't spam, and Comcast subscribers are able to check through the mail Comcast labels spam. My brother's incoming e-mails were bounced back to the sender and all trace vaporized by ipowerweb.com. He couldn't tell who had contacted him during the mail fiasco.

I don't know if this helps: at least it confirms that your ISP may well be the SpamCop-using party (as previous posters have said).

ipowerweb provide instructions about how to enable (and presumably disable) their spam filtering system, including a screenshot walkthrough on their ipwhelp.com site:

http://helpcenter.ipowerweb.com[/url]]Step 1: Log into your vDeck Control Panel and click on Email.

Step 2: Click on Accounts.

Step 3: Click the (spam filter) link next to the email address for which you want to enable filtering.

Step 4: First, be sure to read the instructions on that page. Next, click the (on) button to enable filtering. Choose to either tag the message as spam or delete it on arrival. Then click update filter settings.

Step 5: Note: If you choose delete, and real mail is marked at spam, you will lose that email forever. It is not recoverable. You will see a message that the spam filter was updated.

For a screenshot walkthrough of these settings, please visit www.ipwhelp.com, click vDeck, then choose Email, and click Enabling spam Filtering.

I really hope this is useful to you.

Cheers, Nick

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I've read through your discussion boards and it sounds horrible.

Obviously you didn't read very far. What is horrible is that spammers are being allowed to intrude into people's inboxes because legitimate senders like your friends and receivers like yourself are not willing to choose responsible and competent email service providers who do not allow spam and respond quickly to reports that a spammer has infiltrated. Also, because you get hysterical if there is a glitch in receiving mail due to your email service provider using the only effective method against spam - using a blocklist that rejects at the server level so that your correspondents know that there is a problem. Spamcop is not the only blocklist available, but competent ISP's are using blocklists in order to stop spam from entering their system.

The people who should be yelling about poor service are the people who sent the email. And the people they should be yelling at are their email service providers. If it was just a short outage due to a customer being infected, then reporting it is a service to the internet because a competent ISP will stop the spam. If it is because their service provider is incompetent or irresponsible, then why would you want to receive dozens of spam in order to get one email from them? Wouldn't you expect that they would find a spam-free way of communicating with you?

It is not your problem to solve. It is your correspondents' problem. If they can't convince their ISP to be responsible, there are free email services available.

Miss Betsy

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Thanks for the replies - some were helpful, but I still don't know what to do to fix this.

Re: Nick - ipowerweb makes it obvious how to turn on/off the spam filters...and they have never been turned on. There is no mention in the ipowerweb site of spamcop, how they use it, when they use it, how to opt out (if that is the offending party). I'm still waiting for replies from my ISP and web host.

Re: Miss Betsy - Not spamcop's fault? The sender's problem? No, it's *MY* problem if my customers can't access me. I'm sorry, but DUH! That's terribly ignorant. Guilty until proven innocent, and impossible to prove your innocence? When alerted, my friends/senders ARE outraged and yelling at spamcop, blars, and others...to deaf ears. Miss Betsy please stay off the board if you're not going to contribute anything to the discussion.

Who appointed them, and where's the accountability? I've been using my-site.com email through ipowerweb for barely a week, and have only sent & received 20 or so emails. I find out yesterday that roughly 30% of my incoming emails have been bounced, from absolutely innocent parties. Then I look in my catchall email box and find 100+ spams. Yeah, the spamcop list works great (sneer).

Re: Robert - thanks for the link to DNS-stuff...but I find out my own IP is listed on 2 of these self-appointed cop services. How the hell did that happen??? And one of them told me he'd take my name off for $500. This is BLACKMAIL! What a scam...

Anti-spam measures that don't stop any spam but blacklists innocent parties??? Who is responsible? I'd like to hear from Spamcop administration.

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Thanks for the replies - some were helpful, but I still don't know what to do to fix this.

Then call ipowerweb. From what I understand, you or they are bouncing incoming email as spam. The strange part is that none of the domains you mentioned (rainbowgrace.com, fairnessproject.org, and william.jewell.edu) appear to be listed by Spamcop.

Who appointed them, and where's the accountability?

They have, and they're accountable to themselves.

Miss Betsy please stay off the board if you're not going to contribute anything to the discussion.

Getting snitty isn't going to help your case any.

I've been using my-site.com email through ipowerweb for barely a week, and have only sent & received 20 or so emails. I find out yesterday that roughly 30% of my incoming emails have been bounced, from absolutely innocent parties.

If you are bouncing emails, but have your spam filtering turned off, the problem is with your configuration or your ISP. Talk to them.

Then I look in my catchall email box and find 100+ spams. Yeah, the spamcop list works great (sneer).

You've already said you have spam filtering turned off, so I wouldn't expect your inbox to look any differently.

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Who appointed them, and where's the accountability?

The administrator that is bouncing the message is responsible. If you are not receiving your email, you need to speak with the people responsible for getting it to you.

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I'm still waiting for replies from my ISP and web host

One would hope that you've constructed better questions for them than you've done here. It has been explained that the issue is that your clients/freinds/family are using tainted e-mail servers for their outgoing and your incoming e-mail ISP server has elected to use the SpamCopDNSbl as a tool in managing the incoming spew. Beofre continuing the ranting here, you really ought to wait until you here from them about your situation.

Guilty until proven innocent, and impossible to prove your innocence? When alerted, my friends/senders ARE outraged and yelling at spamcop, blars, and others...to deaf ears

First of all, if the conversations go as this is going, one could see why there is little positive response. The "guilt" thing, hard to say who is guilty of what, back to that you've yet to provide anything of substance that can be researched. Perhaps sending all these outraged folks to http://forum.spamcop.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=972 would be a start (and noting that your idiotic rant against Miss Betsy shall be proven as just that when they or you take a minute or two to read the results of her work) .. This is just the SpamCopDNSbl explanation, you'll have to visit the other BLs to see what there listing requirements are.

I'd like to hear from Spamcop administration.

If you'd provide something to go on, there might be some specific answers provided. At this point, there is nothing for a SpamCop Administrator to do .... your incoming e-mail apparently is coming from tainted servers, the admin of your incoming e-mail server apparently had chosen to use the SpamCopDNSbl, so one can point out that all these issues are based on the decisions made by others .. so yes it is your problem and it looks as if you're the one that's going to have to find a way to work around those decisions made by others ....

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Re: Miss Betsy - Not spamcop's fault? The sender's problem? No, it's *MY* problem if my customers can't access me. I'm sorry, but DUH! That's terribly ignorant. Guilty until proven innocent, and impossible to prove your innocence? When alerted, my friends/senders ARE outraged and yelling at spamcop, blars, and others...to deaf ears. Miss Betsy please stay off the board if you're not going to contribute anything to the discussion.

It is true that those who have customers do not like to have blocklists that reject spam at the server. I did not understand from your first post that these were customers. A friend or a business that is contacting you should be horrified to learn that they are using the same IP address as a spammer and it is their problem. I agree it is a little bit difficult to explain to potential or established clients of yours.

Most people in your position use the 'tagged' version of different filters (including spamcop). Many prefer other filters than spamcop, though there are different combinations that other people have posted that are work even better.

Until you accept blocklists as a fact of life because of the spammers, you and your 'friends' are going to have a difficult time using the internet. Perhaps you, in your great wisdom, have a better approach to controlling spam than the hundreds of server admins who have found that blocklists are the most effective way of dealing with spam.

Yelling does nothing. It only ups your blood pressure. Understanding how email works and how to best to use it for business would help your blood pressure immensely.

Miss Betsy

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<snip>

the admin of your incoming e-mail server apparently had chosen to use the SpamCopDNSbl

<snip>

...Really? I don't see that even that conclusion is justified. All I've seen on that subject is:
In the last 24 hours I've had 4 people tell me their questions to me have been bounced by spamcop.net because: "Delay reason: SMTP Error from remote mailer, host mail.questliving.com. 451 blocked. See spamcop.net"
and we don't know if that message is accurate. The blocking could be for an entirely unrelated reason or it could be due to a completely different blocklist or even one the original poster's provider invented.

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This is very simple. If other persons cannot get email to you it is their problem. Have them post their entire block message here and someone will track that IP to find out why.

If their email to you is blocked then you can surely not provide the necessary info.

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Although an ISP does provide email service, the email service provider a person may be using may different from that person's ISP. For sake of simplicity, I'll use the term ISP to represent any email service provider (though it's highly confusing to do so).

I'm one of the correspondents whose email to pwhaughey has bounced by pwhaughey's ISP. I don't blame pwhaughey's ISP. After all, they are using the only effective method against spam. (A rather arrogant statement designed to justify the raison d'etre of a spam block list company and to stifle any development of a better method.)

We all hate spam. We all want effective methods to stop spam. SpamCop's listing and removal process is significantly more fair than BlarsBL. The email server I used to correspond with pwhaughey was removed from SpamCop in 48 hours. I doubt it will ever be removed from BlarsBL who is an arrogant _____ out to block anyone and everyone on a whim (word directly from his website). BlarsBL won't listen to any innocent party affected by his BL unless that party chooses to pay $1000 deposit and a minimum of $500 at a rate of $250/hr. I'm sure my ISP has received the report from both SpamCop and BlarsBL and is working on resolving the problem. It would be expedient if these self-appointed spam police would provide some better reason to the affected party other than "your email server has been blocked for some mysterious reason that we can't tell you" and "don't ask to be removed before 48 hours because we're too busy to hear from you" (read "we won't get any money from you"). Again my only caveat is that my email server is automatically removed from SpamCop after 48 hours. I don't have any kind of hard evidence to give to my ISP to encourage them to remove the offending website (who also may be a victim of an accidental security breach).

Direct quotes from SpamCop's pages

This blocking list is somewhat experimental. This system and most other spam-filtering systems should not be used in a production environment where legitimate email must be delivered.

...followed later with

However, it should be noted that SpamCop is aggressive and often errs on the side of blocking mail - users should be warned and given information about how their mail is filtered.

The facts are:

  • SpamCop is used in production environments where legitimate email must be delivered.
  • Any warning to users is always vague and mysterious.

Here's the exact bounce message (masking the email server name and IP addresses because I don't trust you people to not be malicious):

This message was created automatically by mail delivery software.

A message that you sent has not yet been delivered to one or more of its

recipients after more than 24 hours on the queue on emailserver.xyz.com.

The message identifier is: 1XxXxx-1111Xx-11

The subject of the message is: New Private Message has arrived

The date of the message is: Mon, 26 Jul 2004 xx:xx:xx -0500

The address to which the message has not yet been delivered is:

xxx[at]abc.com

Delay reason: SMTP error from remote mailer after RCPT TO:<xxx[at]abc.com>:

host mail.abc.com [###.###.###.###]: 451 Blocked - see http://www.spamcop.net/bl.shtml?###.###.###.###

No action is required on your part. Delivery attempts will continue for

some time, and this warning may be repeated at intervals if the message

remains undelivered. Eventually the mail delivery software will give up,

and when that happens, the message will be returned to you.

As you can see, the email "bounced" back to me from pwhaughey's ISP. It gave a reason that it was blocked (see red above) and that SpamCop knows something about it. This is the first time I even heard of SpamCop. Naturally I started investigating. Apparently, my email server has been added to SpamCop's database somehow. The indication was that they really didn't know why it had been added and that they really didn't care. After 48 hours of no further reports, my email server would be automatically removed. In any case, it was futile to pursue asking to having my email server removed because SpamCop would ignore any requests within 48 hours of a last known report. I deserve a better explanation. I deserve a better recourse for investigation into how I could be mistakenly added to their database.

SpamCop introduced me to ORDB (open relay database). That website informed me that there are many such spam block list databases in existence. It provided me with a way to search all of them. The result of my lookup was that my email server has been listed on SpamCop and on BlarsBL. (Note that at the time of this posting my email server is no longer on SpamCop but is still on BlarsBL.)

BlarsBL's user website is confusing and insists that the confusion is my fault. (The blame always lies with the innocent by block list providers.) In spite of my confusion, I plod through all the links to get the information I need to properly jump through BlarsBL's magic hoops. I eventually decipher BlarsBL's cryptic mathematical jargon to learn that my email server is listed in the BlarsBL's database with a code of 127.1.0.33 (the 33 is the only meaningful number and corresponds to 32 for hosting a spammers website plus 1 for being a domain that sends spam). That's all fine. It certainly doesn't apply to my website. I don't even know how to find out how that applies to anyone else that might be hosted by my hosting provider. How can I even be sure that code is valid? It doesn't say "32 because my ISP is hosting xyzspammer.com" or "1 because xyzspammer.com is sending spam"). Why am I punished because my ISP allegedly is hosting a spammer? Why can't BlarsBL tell me which spammer is being hosted so I can complain directly to my ISP?

Then there's all that talk about how BlarsBL blocks an entire range of IP addresses. That's like blowing up an entire neighborhood because a kidnapper is found in one of the houses. Again... why am I being punished?

In all my research, I've noticed a few major problems with these self-appointed block list databases:

  1. Email servers are blocked by IP addresses. Why can't you simply block mail.xyzspammer.com?
  2. This entire category of self-appointed spam police have been secretly sneaking around behind everyone's back.
  3. There's no detail records provided to someone like me who wants to know how my email server got blocked.
  4. Reporting a problem to a block list provider is futile and may result in my email server being permanently blocked.

Other problems (which may only affect SpamCop and BlarsBL):

  • IP addresses seem to be added either randomly or on a whim.
  • There's no direct recourse for resolving the problem.
  • The user of an email server is declared guilty until proven innocent (and in BlarsBL's case even checking for innocence requires a $1000 deposit).

As you can read, I have far more issues with BlarsBL. Maybe BlarsBL is the only bad seed among you. Somehow I doubt it. SpamCop's pages are filled with arrogance and self-righteousness. The idea portrayed is "Block lists exist because of spammers. It's a shame that innocents get punished but shut the ___ up. We are protecting you. Go talk to your ISP. Maybe if they are good people they will acknowledge the problem and resolve it. In either case, we don't ____ care."

It wouldn't be so bad if I had a work-around while block list providers and/or my ISP fixes the problem. I checked the email server for my other ISP and they are listed as well. I've received spam from all kinds of sources. There may be no simple solution to the problem of spam. I know that this block list solution is not even a fair solution.

I've got one solution provided by my email client software. If the sender's name isn't in my address book, drop it in my suspect folder. This has been my best defense against spam. Until there's a better method, this is the only method I want. At least I get to choose whose email gets through.

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...and I looked at the email headers for an obvious spam email I received. The originating IP address isn't on anyone's block list.

Received: from ir4.sepxrsb.com ([66.54.93.245]) by mc2-f37.hotmail.com with Microsoft SMTPSVC(5.0.2195.6713); Wed, 28 Jul 2004 18:07:58 -0700

Received: from nfw.tmvrt.com (10.0.1.12) by ir4.sepxrsb.com with QMQP; 28 Jul 2004 18:07:56 -0700

X-Message-Info: 6sSXyD95QpVYnO2y1zk1IVSPdficTlFB

Message-Id: <31t0ti$16fbtu3[at]ir4.sepxrsb.com>

X-X-Sender: 30085188

Return-Path: hgbn101839eaav[at]nfw.tmvrt.com

X-OriginalArrivalTime: 29 Jul 2004 01:07:58.0669 (UTC) FILETIME=[7CC4FFD0:01C47508]

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...and I looked at the email headers for an obvious spam email I received. The originating IP address isn't on anyone's block list.

Received: from ir4.sepxrsb.com ([66.54.93.245])

14168[/snapback]

Well, yes, actually it is listed in the SpamCop DNSBL..I just checked. And I looked it up at "openrbl.org" and it's listed not only by SpamCop, but also by FIVE other sources, such as AHBL, SPEWS, and others.

Here's the bottom line....it is indeed the recipient's ISP that has decided to use SpamCop in a production environment, not to simply flag or filter messages, but rather to block them. The SMTP error message you quoted was not from SpamCop, but was coded by the ISP, and I can see how that can be confusing.

You're barking up the wrong tree. It may well be that your own IP was listed due to some sort of error or one-time situation, but don't tar SpamCop with the same brush as Blars...from your own description, they obviously operate quite differently.

David T.

Edited by DavidT

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well, all i can say is, if you're not happy with the service you're getting, either change ISP or run your own mailserver (provided your ISP allows packets through smtp ports)

> why can't the spammers be polite?

that's like saying "crime should be illegal".

Edited by delt

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I will agree that you are barking up the wrong tree

You state:

Apparently, my email server has been added to SpamCop's database somehow. The indication was that they really didn't know why it had been added and that they really didn't care.
yet you list the following

Delay reason: SMTP error from remote mailer after RCPT TO:<xxx[at]abc.com>:

host mail.abc.com [###.###.###.###]: 451 Blocked - see http://www.spamcop.net/bl.shtml?###.###.###.###

Since you deleted the IP address I can not reply to the reason it was blocked but checked another address using the link

http://www.spamcop.net/bl.shtml?61.121.37.158

The following is displayed:

SpamCop Blocking List

Was your email blocked?

SpamCop's blocking list works on a mail-server level. If your mail was blocked incorrectly, it is most likely not because of anything you did wrong, rather it is probably due to the actions of other users or problems with the mail-server you use. You should contact your system administrator for help resolving the problem which led to your mail being blocked.

Specific information about the reasons for blocking your mail server ( 61.121.37.158 )

The most common causes for blocking otherwise-legitimate systems:

You may be attempting to send mail from a system which is being blocked for a cause. System administrators should consider the current most common causes of blocking:

Misdirected automatic email: Due to the rise in forged email (spam and viruses), most automatic email is misdirected. This leads to blocking of the sending (replying) system responsible. Often systems sending these misdirected emails are also used for legitimate, non-spam email. Vacation messages, auto-responses, challenge-response systems and virus-notification messages are some examples of the type of email which can fall victim to this sort of problem. These automatic emails should be disabled to avoid this problem. They are unsolicited and unwanted in most cases. More details..

Microsoft Exchange: servers are often used by spammers looking for security holes, incorrect configuration and/or weak passwords. Today, the holes found by spammers are much more subtle than the traditional "open relay." More details..

SpamCop Blocklist Details & Description

This blocking list is somewhat experimental. This system and most other spam-filtering systems should not be used in a production environment where legitimate email must be delivered. Many end-users and administrators have decided that risking the loss of legitimate email is worth the benefit of blocking most spam. As a result, this list is now used widely and it's reputation for blocking spam while reducing the risk of erroneous blocking is growing.

However, it should be noted that SpamCop is aggressive and often errs on the side of blocking mail - users should be warned and given information about how their mail is filtered. Ideally they should have a choice of filtering options. Many mailservers can operate with blacklists in a "tag only" mode, which is preferable in many situations.

The description of the algorithm used for deciding whether to block a host may be out of date, and is subject to change without notice.

There is no warranty associated with using this system. It is provided as is.

More details/specifics..

Powered by djbdns

Copyright © 1998-2004 SpamCop.net, Inc., All rights reserved.

HTML4/CSS2 - We suggest Firefox Privacy Policy

Did you bother to look at the link:

Specific information about the reasons for blocking your mail server ( 61.121.37.158 )

If you had would have seen a reply simliar to the following:

61.121.37.158 listed in bl.spamcop.net (127.0.0.2)

Causes of listing

System has sent mail to SpamCop spam traps in the past week (spam traps are secret, no reports or evidence are provided by SpamCop)

SpamCop users have reported system as a source of spam about 30 times in the past week

Additional potential problems

(these factors do not directly result in spamcop listing)

Listing History

It has been listed for 4.2 days.

Other hosts in this "neighborhood" with spam reports

61.121.37.161 61.121.38.5

It clearly states why it was listed.

System has sent mail to SpamCop spam traps in the past week (spam traps are secret, no reports or evidence are provided by SpamCop)

SpamCop users have reported system as a source of spam about 30 times in the past week

Whats not clear about that?

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1. Nothing is unclear about it. It's just WRONG. It doesn't refute anything lereveur stated previously.

2. It's still very clear it shouldn't be the responsibility of the innocent receiver (me) or the sender to learn about all this BS, decipher it, study it, prove our innocence to some self-appointed meddler... we're not computer experts or IT people! We're just two business people trying to send a simple email and it's being subverted by spamcop & similar services.

To assert otherwise is nuts! I've already wasted more than 10 hours of my life trying to get to the bottom of this. I'm trying to receive emails from my customers, and at least 3 have been blocked by spamcop. They're not going to bother learning about all this BS...they're just going to give up on me & email someone else. We're all completely innocent victims of this crap!

To assert this is not Spamcop's problem is NUTS! Like Charles Manson's claim that he was innocent because he just gave the orders, he didn't actually pull the trigger... They are responsible but not accountable!

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DavidT... Perhaps I misread the email headers. I know that the IP at the top of the headers (the final email server) is on the block lists. It's the other one that's more important. It's the IP of the spammer. That's what should be blocked. If SpamCop was really a legitimate policing service, SpamCop would be targetting that IP address. If that's the spamming computer's IP and not it's email server, then send the real police to arrest the fool. Oh wait. It's not actually illegal. It's only annoying. Stop arresting the entire neighborhood! The spammer's ISP (this time I mean his actual ISP) should be notified.

dbiel... Yes, when my email server was actually blocked, I looked at the link and read all that ______

It clearly states why it was listed.

System has sent mail to SpamCop spam traps in the past week (spam traps are secret, no reports or evidence are provided by SpamCop)

SpamCop users have reported system as a source of spam about 30 times in the past week

Whats not clear about that?

Let me translate for you. It says "SpamCop is operating under surveilance trapping email. SpamCop cannot tell you why or how because SpamCop would have to kill you. SpamCop used the office shredder to destroy any evidence. Another thing some 30 users (probably 130 year old grandmothers who forgot they signed up for email from their favorite store) have managed to file some report. So as long as there are forgetful people in the world, kiss your email goodbye." Yes. It's quite clear. Clear that SpamCop doesn't provide any useful information to get the job done. What's the job again? Oh I forgot. Stop the spammers. Silly me. Here I thought it was to stop email for coming from a suspicious neighborhood.

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I'm one of the correspondents whose email to pwhaughey has bounced by pwhaughey's ISP. I don't blame pwhaughey's ISP. After all, they are using the only effective method against spam. (A rather arrogant statement designed to justify the raison d'etre of a spam block list company and to stifle any development of a better method.)

SC does not stifle development of other methods. There are currently several proposals for how to deal with spam which would involve some form of sender identification. All have their problems in that a clever cracker could work around the system and send spam anyway. Others have problems in that they are proprietary solutions and are not suitable for the net. The main problem is that there are millions of mail servers on the net, most of which are valid, but all of which would have to be updated in order to make any new system work.

That's going to take a while, and that's after we get past the politics of standardization.

...Ken

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In all my research, I've noticed a few major problems with these self-appointed block list databases:

I am not an employee of spamcop. I found spamcop in looking for solutions to spam that I received. In my research, I discovered problems with various spam filtering methods and decided that blocking was the most effective.

I've got one solution provided by my email client software. If the sender's name isn't in my address book, drop it in my suspect folder. This has been my best defense against spam. Until there's a better method, this is the only method I want. At least I get to choose whose email gets through.

You are entitled to whatever method you want. Actually if spamcop is used to tag email, it works much better than what you are describing since the 'suspect' folder has very few false positives.

Letting the end user (recipient) choose the method of spam filtering after accepting all the email has its problems also (read the pinned FAQ on cost of spam) plus if you had missed your friend's email in the 'suspect' folder, she would never have gotten an email telling her that it had not been read and why.

Unfortunately, people like you who rant and rave without knowing what you are talking about make ISP's wary of using blocklists and perpetuate the problems of spam. People should be able to choose what blocklists their ISP uses - by knowing the differences between blocklists and choosing the ISP who uses one or gives choices of whitelisting, etc. Or in the case of businesses, be able to pay extra to receive all the email and filter it with their method.

1. Email servers are blocked by IP addresses. Why can't you simply block mail.xyzspammer.com?

2. This entire category of self-appointed spam police have been secretly sneaking around behind everyone's back.

3. There's no detail records provided to someone like me who wants to know how my email server got blocked.

4. Reporting a problem to a block list provider is futile and may result in my email server being permanently blocked.

If you had really done research on blocklists, you would know the answer to Item #1. There is nothing secret about blocklists. I have known about them for more than 2 years.

The detail records are meaningless to most people - the server administrator is the one who can read them. He is also the one who can take action. The IP address where your email comes from was added to the SpamCop blocklist because spam was reported by other email users as coming from that IP address. It can be added to other lists for any reason that the blocklist owner wants to add that IP address - usually it is for spam, but it can be any reason.

Nothing happens when an IP address is added to a blocklist unless someone uses the blocklist to block email from that IP address. Very few, if any, use the BLARS list because of his criteria for blocking. Quite a few people use the SpamCop list because, although the incidence of false positives is higher, spam is blocked and the sender (if innocent) is notified. The SpamCop list is also automatic. Reports of spam put the IP address on the list; when the reports stop, the listing stops. That makes it easier to get off than other lists since all the administrator has to do is stop the spam. It is also easy to remove if there is an error in the listing. As you point out, other blocklist owners do not remove IP addresses from their lists. You can rant and rave at SpamCop or be as sweet as honey - it will make no difference - when the spam stops the listing will stop. Other blocklists also do not notify the administrator - which SpamCop does in most cases.

Other problems (which may only affect SpamCop and BlarsBL):

    * IP addresses seem to be added either randomly or on a whim.

    * There's no direct recourse for resolving the problem.

    * The user of an email server is declared guilty until proven innocent (and in BlarsBL's case even checking for innocence requires a $1000 deposit).

For most of the blocklists that are used by administrators to block email, IP addresses are only added when there is spam coming from that IP address.

For SpamCop, there is a direct recourse for resolving the problem, but it is one that you won't take - complain to the ISP who is providing your email service and if you don't get satisfaction, switch to an ISP who is competent and honest

No user of an email server is declared guilty. Ignorant, maybe, but not guilty. The server administrator is not even presumed guilty of being in cahoots with the spammer. Incompetent, maybe, but not guilty of spamming.

It wouldn't be so bad if I had a work-around while block list providers and/or my ISP fixes the problem. I checked the email server for my other ISP and they are listed as well. I've received spam from all kinds of sources. There may be no simple solution to the problem of spam. I know that this block list solution is not even a fair solution.

There are workarounds (which if you had done your research, you would have found). Life isn't fair. The working of the internet is based entirely on netiquette. Miss Manners advises people offline to give the 'cut direct' to those people who contravene etiquette's rules. Blocklists are the internet equivalent.

Miss Betsy

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Let me translate for you.

And allow me to return the favor.

It says "SpamCop is operating under surveilance trapping email.

No, no it's not. If you'd spent as much time reading as you've spent making snippy comments to people who are trying to help you then you might have learned that spamtraps are unpublished, unused email addresses that are obtainable only by the automated programs that spammers use to harvest email addresses to abuse. If a compromised system (oh, let's say... yours?) sends email to a spamtrap then that is very damning evidence that a system is relaying spam.

SpamCop cannot tell you why or how because SpamCop would have to kill you.

SpamCop doesn't give out reports on spamtrap hits because saying "you sent spam to frt4873nX[at]spamcop.net!" just might allow a spammer to stop using that secret address. Instead of, you know, not spamming any more.

SpamCop used the office shredder to destroy any evidence.

SpamCop isn't in the habit of assisting spammers in listwashing. Lucky for you we have an open-door policy for know-it-alls.

Another thing some 30 users have managed to file some report.

Hmm... more than thirty people just randomly decided, out of the blue, and with absolutely no provocation of any kind, to report your system as a source of spam. Wow! What jerks! And I bet if thirty people called you in the middle of the night to tell you that your roof was on fire then you'd call the phone company and complain about the abusive phone calls, wouldn't you...

(probably 130 year old grandmothers who forgot they signed up for email from their favorite store)

Yep. A bunch of forgetful, senile, half-sleepy old grandmothers who forget absolutely everything they do... and yet have somehow managed to convince thousands of independent mail administrators and the sysadmins of some massive isp's and the sysadmins of a few hundred businesses and at least one sitting member of the US judiciary that what we do is accurate, trustworthy, and extremely beneficial.

Not bad for a bunch of old ladies, hm?

Edited by Ralsky's Fatal Tumor

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2. It's still very clear it shouldn't be the responsibility of the innocent receiver (me) or the sender to learn about all this BS, decipher it, study it, prove our innocence to some self-appointed meddler... we're not computer experts or IT people!

It's the responsibility of your ISP! Why don't you or "lereveur" get that? If mail can't get from point A to point B, you need to be talking to the people responsible for point A ("lereveur's" ISP) and point B (YOUR ISP), and not SpamCop. The mail is NOT being processed by SpamCop at all. SpamCop simply maintans a "lookup" service that contains a big list of suspicious email sources, including that of "lereveur." It his server is on the list, your ISP doesn't HAVE to block the message...but they've chosen to do that. Also, your ISP should be providing you with a way to "whitelist" the messages from "lereveur" and others....dont' they do that? It's probably time for you to get a new email provider!

I've already wasted more than 10 hours of my life trying to get to the bottom of this.

And the users of this forum have been trying to help you and "lereveur" but the two of you don't seem willing to accept our answers, so now WE'RE wasting our time...it goes both ways. We have giving you logical answers, and yet the two of you keep coming back with additional garbage that shows that you're not really willing to listen.

Here's a term I'll bet you're not familiar with......PLONK! (go look it up)

DT

Edited by DavidT

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DavidT... Perhaps I misread the email headers.

Yes, you did, so that takes the wind out of your sails, in that the spam example you gave was indeed in multiple block lists, including SpamCop, thus showing that the system works.

I know that the IP at the top of the headers (the final email server) is on the block lists. It's the other one that's more important. It's the IP of the spammer.

Nope. That's not a "routeable address" -- it's either fake or it's an internal network IP, before the spam actually left the source system.

It's not actually illegal. It's only annoying.

BZZZZZZZZT....WRONG! Ever hear of the new "Can spam" legislation? spam is a LOT more than "only annoying" -- it's stealing bandwidth from every service provider and driving up their costs, thereby making the Internet cost more for ALL of us. Therefore, spammers are stealing money from MY pocket, so, as a reporting customer of SpamCop, I'm not only receiving far less spam, I'm also helping to identify the sources of spam by reporting the sources through the SpamCop system, which not only maintains the SC Blocklist, but also sends targeted complaints to the ISPs involved in both the spamming and in hosting the spamvertised websites. I'm donating my time to do something about the problem.

The spammer's ISP (this time I mean his actual ISP) should be notified.

They were.

Clear that SpamCop doesn't provide any useful information to get the job done.

BZZZZZZZZT....WRONG AGAIN!

Here I thought it was to stop email for coming from a suspicious neighborhood.

14180[/snapback]

BING, BING, BING! I guess you can't be wrong all the time. Yes, until there's a reliable method to authenticate each sender of email, blocklists will include the "neighbors" of spammers. But again, it's how the blocklist is being used in this case that is causing your messages not to reach their destination, so you're yelling at the tool, instead of yelling at the people who are using the tool (the recipient's ISP). In other words a classic case of barking up the wrong tree.

Oh, and BTW, both you and your friend have now been idntified as "Trolls" here...people who are posting just to rant and rave, who aren't here to get actual answers, so most of us are now going to simply ignore your posts...there's an "ignore" function on this forum software, and I'd recommend that everyone put the users "lereveur" and "pwhaughey" into your "ignored" list, as I've just now done (simply click on their user names). We won't even see you....rant away....or better yet....go away.

DT

Edited by DavidT

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