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elvey

Complaining re. Earthlink's C/R spam Challenges

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Ah, well. I tried. (It's funny when their customers get all flustered when I respond to challenges to spam I didn't send.) Hopefully they're smart enough to at least not intermingle the challenges with normal mail.

Then again, they can't spell 'cannot', so I doubt it...

Just sent to abuse[at]abuse.earthlink.net:

On 11/2/06 8:17 PM, EarthLink Abuse Department wrote:

> Hello,

>

>

> The email you reported is an automatic challenge by our SpamBlocker email filter. It is intended to prevent unsolicited emails from being received by our customers.

Yes, I know that.

> It is not spam or unsolicited, it's an automated response.

>

It's spam, it's unsolicited, and it's an automated response, actually.

> If you didn't send email to our customer, then your email address was used, probably fraudulently by a spammer to send UBE/UCE/unsolicited email.

That's what happened.

> EarthLink can not selectively block your domain from receiving the challenge/responses messages.

>

Since you refuse my request, your spam will be reported as spam to spamcop, per

http://www.spamcop.net/fom-serve/cache/14.html

>

> Regards,

>

>

> EarthLink, Inc.

> Network Abuse

> abuse[at]abuse.earthlink.net

> ====================================

>

>

> *ATTN: Earthlink administrator

>

> Do not send challenges to the domain domain.dom or it subdomains.

> domain.dom is frequently forged in the From: of spam, i.e. the subject of joe-job attacks.

> (NOTE: domain.dom was NOT thusly munged in the actual email to Earthlink.)

> If you ignore these instructions, your spam will be reported as spam to spamcop, per

> http://www.spamcop.net/fom-serve/cache/14.html :

> *

>

> *"Messages which may be reported:...*

>

> 4. Misdirected challenges from challenge/response spam filtering systems"

>

> C/R is a BAD IDEA. STOP IT! *

> This includes

> From: <anything>[at]domain.dom

> including

> **From: <anything>[at]matthew.domain.dom

>

> Got it? *

>

>

>

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Ah, well. I tried. ...
You did indeed try elvey. Perhaps other victims of misdirected challenges and rejections might use your approach as something of a template in the ongoing battle to educate the superabundance of conveniently clueless admins.

I say "conveniently clueless" in the belief that the ISP's selection of policies and tools, even inappropriate ones, is ultimately a financial decision and any contrary pretense is , not to put too fine a point upon it, a lie. Their (perfectly valid) aim for is the cheapest possible solutions consistent with the attraction and retention of customers prepared to pay just a fraction more than the service is worth. Thus they are vulnerable, when the "worth" is reduced because the service has become less reliable (than that of similarly-priced competitors). IMO.

Corporate perpetrators (non-providers) are a different matter, genuinely rather than conveniently clueless and possibly less resistent to change when they "get it". Though we have seen the odd exception to *that* hopeful portrayal.

Well done. I note the link you provide them includes, in turn, a link to Why are auto responders bad? which is very good.

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Thanks. Happy to have anyone use my msg as a template. I hereby GPLv3 it.

I'm sure I'm far, far from the first complainer; their response suggests that they are willfully ignorant, indeed.

They're much like 0spam:

http://forum.spamcop.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=2527

and MailBlocks:

http://forum.spamcop.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=96 .

I just wanted to show/publicly document that someone's gone the extra mile in attempting to educate them first. I'm documenting for the record how/why Earthlink sucks. They refuse to be a good netizen - to stop knowingly sending spam in the form of bogus C/R Challenges. :(

(I've been getting Joe-jobbed far more than usual for the past month or so, so I'm getting lots of challenges from Earthlink.)

Edited by elvey

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At least Earthlink does not force its users to make use of the C/R system. By default it is turned off, but is one of the tools it does provide to its users.

By the way, Earthlink does happen to be my primary email provider and I use their spam filter prior to forwarding all my mail to my SpamCop account for further filtering.

I find that their phone tech support to be very bad, but their online chat tech support is fairly good. (Just my personal experiences incase anyone is interested.

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