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Frontier Bouncing My Reports To SpamCop


tacoma43
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I do not have a SpamCop account; I only report to SpamCop, as well as to Knujon and the FTC.

I'm trying to transition from dial-up service with Earthlink to DSL service with Frontier and continue my reporting activities, but I've encountered the problem explained in the following message I sent to Frontier's Postmaster:

Postmaster,

I am trying to report received spam emails to various spam-fighting organizations using my new Frontier email account, but the spam filters on the Frontier SMTP servers bounce my reports.

The problem seems to be due to the "ru" Country-Code TLD.

If I had not modified the following link by changing "ru" to "com", this message would not have passed Frontier's overly-vigilant filters:

www.next-vip-casino.com

Please make the necessary changes to allow me to continue my modest spam-fighting effort.

To which I received this reply:

I understand your concerns and I believe that you mean well, but it's important to understand an ISP's perspective on this type of issue. E-mail security is something that Frontier takes very seriously, and unfortunately you may encounter "false positives" from your perspective when attempting to report this type of activity. Many of those that report spam do so from servers that are dedicated to that practice. A relay server that is dedicated to the use of hundreds of thousands of subscribers is like a goldmine waiting to happen for the average spammer and because of that, ISPs need to take certain precautions in terms of what type of e-mail is allowed to be sourced from their servers.

When it comes to scanning outbound content for spam, there's no good way of differentiating between a legitimate piece of spam or one that is being reported to spam-fighting organizations since the body of the message and various pieces of header information are being examined to make the determination. "Russian spam" is relayed from many places, including your average American ISPs such as Frontier. Like almost any ISP in this day and age, we require our subscribers to utilize SMTP authentication when sending e-mail.

Even with SMTP authentication in place, subscribers of all ISPs are targeted for their credentials in phishing attempts so that these spammers have the means to relay over their servers. We quickly address this on the rare occasions that it occurs, but any ISP needs to have certain safeguards in place. We perform outbound rate limiting to control how many messages our subscribers can send per hour and per day, but having a content based outbound spam filter in place is absolutely essential in order to prevent our relay servers from appearing on various RBLs.

All that being said, if reporting spam is an important priority for you, you may wish to consider looking into obtaining a static IP address and operating your own relay server for these purposes.

I hope that this information helps and that you can see this complicated issue from our perspective as an ISP. Please let me know if you have any further questions.

I invite your comments about a security-conscious ISP that forces anti-spammers to jump through so many hoops to address the threats to the same security that the ISP claims to be protecting.

Do any of you "report spam...from servers that are dedicated to that practice" or own "a static IP address and [operate] your own relay server for these purposes"?

Are there any free reporting options or work-arounds? I don't mind spending my time, but I like to keep my money in my pocket.

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I do not have a SpamCop account; I only report to SpamCop, as well as to Knujon and the FTC.

[snip]

Are there any free reporting options or work-arounds? I don't mind spending my time, but I like to keep my money in my pocket.

My rule and recommendation is NEVER use an ISP for email they nearly always really suck at it.

Suggest Gmail as an effective free service that has very effective spam blocking, allow 25 meg file transfers and 100 meg email storage.

Just use this ISP's email to fade out and ask for a discount if you stop using their crap disservice. The reason ISP's scam you into taking their email is they hope to trap you into never leaving

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[at] petzl: Frontier has incoming spam blocking which I've disabled. I never had a problem reporting spam with Earthlink — my first ISP which I've had for >10 years.

[at] SpamCopAdmin: I've already requested white-listing of my reporting addresses at SpamCop, Knujon, the FTC and VirusTotal but have yet to receive a reply. Carefully rereading the Postmaster's message I see the invitation to let him/her know if I had any further questions, but nothing about whether my questions would be answered!

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[at] petzl: Frontier has incoming spam blocking which I've disabled. I never had a problem reporting spam with Earthlink — my first ISP which I've had for >10 years.

Thanks for the "wrap-up" not many reply to a "finish".

Seems like your ISP mindlessly blocks anything outgoing/send with the word "spam" in it

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I don't have the patience to thoroughly investigate the outgoing filter right now. Some addresses like google.ru have been white-listed, and the words "viagra" and "cialis" cause no problems.

The policy of blocking outbound traffic based more on content than behavior effectively means "What arrives in your Junk Folder, stays in your Junk Folder; the spam problem will go away if we just filter and ignore it".

I wonder if the policy makers at Frontier lock their doors and windows, then sit back and do nothing while they watch burglars openly go door-to-door at their neighbors' houses searching for unsecured entries?

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