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2 day rule


Nlive
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Hi,

I was wondering if it is possible to report spam that is older in special circumstances.

My son is autistic and a mere eight years of age. He was part of an online forum that was shut down. He received an email back in april that stated if he wanted to know when the new forum was to be opened, etc to reply to the email. I understood this to be an opt-in request. He did not respond to it.

Last month they set him a "Click this link to join our forum" email out of the blue. We only saw it today as the email address isn't check often since the leaving of the forum (gmail btw, so it caused no end of fun trying to submit it). I tried to report it, but got the "older than 2 days" message.

Now, I would hate for them to get away with knowing spamming children. In this case they knowing spammed a mentally disabled child. When he originally registered to their forum (the first one that they shut down due to "child protection issues") they took our details so they were more then able to contact us directly. Education Otherwise (registered charity so we thought they would follow the laws on this type of thing) basically refuse to talk to me about anything.

Is there any way to report it still? Or is there someone else that we could contact about it.

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I was wondering if it is possible to report spam that is older in special circumstances.
Hello and welcome to the forum. As you may have read before posting, we are all SC users (with occasional look-ins by SC administrators) giving user-to-user assistance.

I personally don't know of a way to get around the 2-day rule; there are reasons why it is in place (mainly involving the fast-changing nature of spam networks). However, there's nothing to prevent you filing your own reports outside of SpamCop. To get the info you need for this, you can paste the mail into the SpamCop parser (as you evidently have already done) to get the e-mail addresses that SpamCop would use for its reports, and then send your own e-mail to them. You can explain the circumstances of the mailing, but you should in any case include the full header and body of the message.

Post again if any of this isn't clear to you.

Probably not the answer you wanted, but I hope it helps.

-- rick

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... Or is there someone else that we could contact about it.
Have a look at SpamLinks (link), see if there's anyone there who looks like they might be appropriate. I note there's an "Exploitation of Children" section for instance.

In general, and assuming that forum is 'above board', I would think a direct complaint to the admin of the forum in question should be the most productive course of action. Followed by "manual" reports to the ISP at the email source should the response be inadequate (follow Rick's suggestion, above), also similar to the abuse address of the forum host (which might also fall out of the parsing process though it is not the first priority for parser processing).

The difficulty for you here is the 'prior association', notwithstanding that you never accepted the offer for advice on re-opening. The abuse desks might see some mitigation in that (assumedly poorly-managed membership lists being a different thing to outright solicitation). What has been done is hurtful in your son's situation and if you are convinced it was deliberately exploitative then you will naturally be inclined to 'go for the throat' of those concerned. But, as they say, "Never assume malice when incomptetence provides an adequate explanation." Especially if you can get more satisfaction by thrashing it out at the source of origin, that forum (more particularly its administrator). Of course you are the best judge as to whether that might apply in this case.

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If I understand correctly, the organization that runs the forum is the one sending you emails and refusing to talk to you about it. I also think that you implied that you originally signed your son up to a forum that this organization ran, but closed down due to child protection issues.

If this organization is a volunteer organization, then the likelihood of not knowing exactly how forums work and what is proper procedure for signing up members is very high. Especially since they apparently already had problems with members who signed up fraudulently.

I don't understand why you want to report this email via spamcop. Do you want the ISP to shut down the forum? Do you want to get the IP address on the blocklist? Do you want the organization to take this email address off their mailing list? Do you think that they are responsible for the child protection issues?

Miss Betsy

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Last month they set him a "Click this link to join our forum" email out of the blue. We only saw it today as the email address isn't check often since the leaving of the forum (gmail btw, so it caused no end of fun trying to submit it). I tried to report it, but got the "older than 2 days" message.

snip...

Is there any way to report it still? Or is there someone else that we could contact about it.

Others have answered the specific question about the 2-day rule. But bear in mind, too, that unless a good number of other reports are also submitted that your report would really not be terribly effective given that the message doesn't appear to fit the profile of the more typical spam items.

I wonder if you might be in the UK... If so, the laws in relation to spam Email might allow you to submit a report via the Information Commissioner under the circumstances you describe. That approach is much more likely to see action taken and a proper response achieved in this circumstance. There is a useful page on the ICO website with links to the reporting form.

Andrew

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