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Domain in email stops at ISP. Need Direction.


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Side Note:

I have looked around on this forum and the spamcop main website and I am not finding the information I need. There is such a vast array of info and I do not know what my situation is called in technical terms so I am at a bit of a loss. If someone could point me in a direction or help me with an answer I would be very grateful.


I work for a web development company and we developed a short url service (like tinyurl and shorten.ws) for our own use as well as leaving it public for our clients. At one time we thought about marketing the site, but this is no longer the case.

On Friday our host shut down the website because of a warning from SpamCop. Monday when we came in the office we added a captcha, a new terms of service & removed the offending redirect. Now we are also building a process to quickly moderate all offending redirects as well as skim the database for spam internally.

At the same time we are adding noindex and nofollow to the meta data and we are going to block the site somewhat with a robot.txt file. We want to get the site out of major public use without password protecting it. We want our clients to be able to use it without any extra steps.

The site is used internally to help keep urls in emails short.

So now that we have fixed the site and everything is back to normal... the host is happy and our company is happy.

My Problem/Issue:

At my work station I use CA Security Suite. And all emails have to go out through my ISP's SMTP server. Incoming emails come in through our company server. I have no issues with my incoming email.

When I send an email that has the domain in question as a link, the email just sits in my outbox. It never gets sent. When I remove the short url and replace it with the long version the email goes through fine.

This issue has only started to happen AFTER we got the warning from our host. I need to figure out how to fix this issue.

As I have stated, this is a site that we use internally and have a lot of company related redirects for our payment page, for our terms of service attached to contracts, etc.

My Conclusion:

Seeing as the issue started when we got the warning, we are left to believe that the domain is listed with SpamCop and that emails are being checked against this list at my ISP level. I have read that once an infraction is fixed, the problems resolve in around 18 hours. However, we are now 3 days in and it is still an issue.

Another point to note:

No emails were ever sent from our short service domain. And no spambot type bots are attached to our site. The spammer that used our site did so manually and sent the emails out from a web based email service unattached in any way to us.

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Quick answer: Besides the fact that SpamCop doesn't actually block *anything* (that's all done by ISPs, sometimes involving the use and/or misuse of SpamCop-related resources), the SCBL doesn't list any domains, so your premise is entirely without foundation.

The SCBL lists only the IP addresses of actual sources of spam messages. I think you're barking up the wrong tree. I'm guessing that your problems have more to do with some sort of a URL-blocking list, such as the SURBL or URIBL.

Now, copies of user-generated SpamCop complaints/reports sometimes are sent to the responsible parties for the URLs found in the spam, and those URLs might have included your domain. However, those complaints don't lead to the blocking of any email messages. That's what doesn't make sense about your situation.

Please obtain a copy of one of the supposed SpamCop reports and post some information here. And it would help if you identified the domain in question.


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Hi BSmithTTS,

I wonder if I might suggest that you take a look at the FAQ entries that deal with the SpamCop service in general...

Here you'll be able to get a full understanding of how the service works. In brief, however, SpamCop's reporting service collects information about mail servers that are identified through reports from users and 'spam traps' as being a source of spam. A list is compiled of such servers.

Reports are also gathered and forwarded to ISPs when Emails refer to specific URLs. It would sound like this is the situation you face. However, there is no SpamCop list of such URLs. These reports are sent to ISPs as a courtesy.

So your outgoing Email server could be listed in the SCBL (SpamCop block list) but this would block mail regardless of content of the message.

Since you are suffering a block because your messages contain specific URLs it would seem like your own ISP has implemented a filter to block Email from you which contains your short URL.

There is no means for SpamCop to block your outgoing Email. Since the messages seem to be dropping at your outgoing SMTP server that would be the place to start.


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Thanks for the input it has given me the info I needed to get down the road on this.

It never sounded to me like spamcop was doing anything to me personally, but could never find where spamcop tied into other systems, thus my listing about CA and my ISP.

I am actually thinking it is CA at this point, as it sits in my outbox instead of making it past my computer and being rejected at the ISP.

I guess I will go research what ties CA has with the list at SpamCop.

And as for posting the email and other details, I don't want to drive traffic to my site so I will not be posting it. But the email was basicly two lines. One with a link through our service to a spam site and one with a link elsewhere to opt out.

As far as reporting to my ISP, it wouldn't matter, I didn't send the spam and the domain is not attach to me or my work station.

Thanks again for your responses.

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I am actually thinking it is CA at this point, as it sits in my outbox instead of making it past my computer and being rejected at the ISP.

CA could be using the SURBL since it is the link causing the issue. Again, SURBL is not directly related to SpamCop. They acquire SpamCop's public data and use it for their own purpose.

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