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Stauffenberg

Spam vs the Right to Communicate

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Sirs,

I have recently had my working relationship with a colleague in the Ukraine completely disrupted by Spamcop cancelling all emails from him to my server here in Canada. I quote a pertinent part of Spamcop's rationale here:

"Before you start getting upset just remember what brought you here. Your

email was blocked, not by Spamcop but the ISP of the person you were sending

your email to. Spamcop has no control over what they do with their servers."

This is a disingenuous argument for the simple reason that communication is being cancelled between clients of servers, without notice given. Without Spamcop blockage, innocent users like myself and my collegue would not have our right to communicate violated in the name of your "war on spam." Your service I believe will backfire insofar as people like myself on the receiving end have no recourse in dealing with a server in the Ukraine or wherever... what I have been active doing is contacting my server strongly urging them to drop your services as my right to communicate with a colleague, someone I work with on the internet as a fellow designer, is being interfered with, and as a corollary, my right to make a living using the net is being damaged by your interference. I urge all people in my situation on the receiving end of blocked emails returned to someone emailing you indicating they were "spam Blocked" by Spamcop, to contact their servers and point out the obvious: Spamcop's service and rationale for blockage causes a far more serious violation of individual rights than the inconvenience of spam. Fight spam some other way and leave the right to communicate untouched. This cannot be tolerated on the internet.

Stauffenberg

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This is a disingenuous argument for the simple reason that communication is being cancelled between clients of servers, without notice given.

Why is this disingenuous? The communication is being cancelled by the email administrator implementing the list (in this case your ISP). Your complaint should be with them, especially if they did not inform you that spam blocking was being used, that messages would be lost without notification to either party, and/or they do not allow you to allow messages from certain addresses through.

Spamcop recommends (and implements on it's own system) not blocking emails listed on the bl but rather segregating the mesages to a held mail folder to be manually inspected. http://www.spamcop.net/bl.shtml

In addition, it recommends that if blocking is used, that an appropriate error message be returned to indicate why the message was blocked. http://www.spamcop.net/fom-serve/cache/294.html

Please contact your email administrator and ask him to:

1. whitelist the sender you are trying to communicate with.

2. implement the spamcop blocklist in a way acceptable to his users.

I know that if I dropped email messages intended for my users without notification, I would lose my job. We have implemented a held mail strategy rather than a block strategy, but it does cost much more to do so.

On a personal note, spamcop does it's job efficiently and effectively. I use it for my personal email and it catches more that 100 messages per day to 3 different accounts and 4 aliases. After the first month of configuration of the whitelist, I rarely find false positive messages in my held mail folder. This method protects my inbox and more importantly does not impose on those trying to send messages to me.

I hope this helps.

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This is a disingenuous argument for the simple reason that communication is being cancelled between clients of servers, without notice given.

Reports are sent to those listed as responsible for the IP listed (in most cases)

Without Spamcop blockage, innocent users like myself and my collegue would not have our right to communicate violated in the name of your "war on spam."

Just as you have a right to communicate, other have the right to *not* communicate with those reported to be the source of spewage. Without spamcop (and other similiar services) I would be getting an extra 1000+ pieces of unsolicted email a day. Spammers ruin it for everyone.

Your service I believe will backfire insofar as people like myself on the receiving end have no recourse in dealing with a server in the Ukraine or wherever.

Your options are twofold. Either switch to an ISP that does not use spamcop or convince the personal managing the server in the Ukraine that they need to fix their spam problem.

what I have been active doing is contacting my server strongly urging them to drop your services

What I do not understand is why you are *not* strongly urging the server operator from allowing spam to come from his system.

my right to make a living using the net is being damaged by your interference.

Your rights are not being infringed upon. *YOU* have chosen to use a carrier that *CHOOSES* to take measures to eliminate spam. You have the right to *CHOOSE* an ISP that does not do that. Using the same logic the criminals should go after government for taking away their freedom to steal...

This cannot be tolerated on the internet.

Why should the rest of the internet be forced to deal with spam because *YOU* are unwilling to change providers and someone else is unwilling to secure their server?

Edited by Chris Parker

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It should have been clear from my post that I was advised of nothing from my server. It took days to get an ICQ link with my colleague in the Ukraine and get the Spamcop block confirmation of what was going on. Days of lost work programming. I have contacted my server today and expect to hear from them tomorrow. Apart from that I stand by all of my points made. Any network policing the net in collusion with my server without advising me of a damn thing obviously does not get a ringing endorsement from me. I find the situation obvious--individual rights to communicate are being disregarded. I find this idea that I should chase down every blockage and deal with my server to put so and so on a white list or whatever ludicrous. Most of the people on the net I know deal with spam without feeling they have to go on a crusade about it. Thousands a day? Tough. Find some way to deal with it that does not damage, block, or interfere with the right of others to communicate . I have lost two days, counting, of email work and was not advised my right to receive email was essentially being officially hacked. What assurances are there that these reccomendations that such and such an ISP is spamming are 100% authentic, or that it is not open to abuse? or simply wrong? spam isnt the problem for me right now--spam "cop" and my server is. I didn't vote for the net to be policed thanks.

S.

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I would agree that any ISP doing mail filtering should advise their clients what they are doing so. Hence the bazillion comments that will come down the line telling you to contact your ISP.

If you are willing to post the IP address here, myself, or others may be able to tell you the extent of the spam that is coming from the server in the Ukraine.

It's nice to know both sides of the story.

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You have two issues here:

1. Your ISP is filtering your mail without your consent. This may be a violation of your contract with your ISP.

2. The server in the Ukraine needs to have its spam-sourcing problem fixed.

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This is a disingenuous argument for the simple reason that communication is being cancelled between clients of servers, without notice given.

SpamCop is not blocking the message. It doesn't sit between clients and servers. SpamCop doesn't handle, block or forward messages. It's just a database service. In fact, SpamCop knows nothing about your message. Your ISP is only receiving information about known spammers from SpamCop and your ISP decides to block your message based on this information and not tell you.

Since SpamCop never sees your message, there is no way they could notify you about anything.

My ISP also uses SpamCop, but only as one factor in a much larger decision process about what is and what is not spam. Plus they give me the option both to whitelist senders, or to turn off the filtering altogether.

I would certainly criticize a service provider that blocks email, and gives you no option to opt out. You might criticize SpamCop if it proved inaccurate in the information it provides. However, you can't criticize them for blocking your emails, because they don't.

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Sirs,

[snip]

This is a disingenuous argument for the simple reason that communication is being cancelled between clients of servers, without notice given. Without Spamcop blockage, innocent users like myself and my collegue would not have our right to communicate violated in the name of your "war on spam." Your service I believe will backfire insofar as people like myself on the receiving end have no recourse in dealing with a server in the Ukraine or wherever... what I have been active doing is contacting my server strongly urging them to drop your services as my right to communicate with a colleague, someone I work with on the internet as a fellow designer, is being interfered with, and as a corollary, my right to make a living using the net is being damaged by your interference. I urge all people in my situation on the receiving end of blocked emails returned to someone emailing you indicating they were "spam Blocked" by Spamcop, to contact their servers and point out the obvious: Spamcop's service and rationale for blockage causes a far more serious violation of individual rights than the inconvenience of spam. Fight spam some other way and leave the right to communicate untouched. This cannot be tolerated on the internet.

Stauffenberg

SpamCop did NOT block the email, the receiving server did. SpamCop cannot tell them how to run their server or dictate policy to them, regardless of what you think.

As far as your claim about SpamCop violating individual rights, NO ONE IS FORCED TO USE SPAMCOP. Those who do have a right to make that choice. If your provider is using the list to bounce email and you disagree with that policy then you should find a provider that is willing to give you the service you expect.

If you have a better way of stopping spam than blocking the IPs that are sending it then put it into action. If it really is better you'll make a fortune. If you don't have a better way then quit trying to dictate to others how they should choose to manage their inboxes and/or mail servers.

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It should have been clear from my post that I was advised of nothing from my server. It took days to get an ICQ link with my colleague in the Ukraine and get the Spamcop block confirmation of what was going on. Days of lost work programming. I have contacted my server today and expect to hear from them tomorrow.

Ever heard of webmail services like hotmail? You're not restricted to using a spammer's mail server, you have lots of other options.

Apart from that I stand by all of my points made. Any network policing the net in collusion with my server without advising me of a damn thing obviously does not get a ringing endorsement from me. I find the situation obvious--individual rights to communicate are being disregarded. I find this idea that I should chase down every blockage and deal with my server to put so and so on a white list or whatever ludicrous. Most of the people on the net I know deal with spam without feeling they have to go on a crusade about it. Thousands a day? Tough. Find some way to deal with it that does not damage, block, or interfere with the right of others to communicate .

Please note that Spamcop is a blocklist. It is up to the ISP concerned as to whether they will utilize it or not. Spamcop does not force people to use its service because it is NOT a service. Using it is purely optional. If your ISP is utilizing a blocklist, it should have properly notified you. There are plenty of other blocklists out there, Spamcop is not the only one. When you're blocked by another blocklist, are you going to go to such lengths to post on their site as well?

My mail filtering using blocklists and software has not damaged me yet, nor has it caused me to lose mail. It could be because I'm utilizing both of them correctly.

I have lost two days, counting, of email work and was not advised my right to receive email was essentially being officially hacked. What assurances are there that these reccomendations that such and such an ISP is spamming are 100% authentic, or that it is not open to abuse? or simply wrong?

This is a serious issue that Spamcop cannot help with as it is not responsible. Users turn in the spam, no one goes out hunting, and abusers are taken care of appropriately. If an ISP's IP has been unfairly blocked, it is dealt with appropriately as well, sometimes resulting in the IP being removed from the blocklist.

spam isnt the problem for me right now--spam "cop" and my server is. I didn't vote for the net to be policed thanks. 

Please read the above posts carefully. You don't seem to be understanding how this all works. Everything is optional on the net, including the forced receipt of e-mail.

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