• United States

Mailbag: When you’re falsely accused of spamming

Feb 02, 20062 mins
Enterprise ApplicationsMalwareMessaging Apps

* ISPs and other e-mailing businesses respond to spamming article

My recent article relating the account of a small newsletter publishing company that was accused of spamming by its ISP generated a fair amount of response. Here’s a sampling of what I received:

* “From a service provider’s point of view, we have to enforce these limits because of the danger of being blacklisted. The common scenario is this: someone has signed up for a newsletter, forgets they signed up, they receive a copy a month later, and they report it to one of the ‘open source’ blacklists like SpamCop. If even one of our clients gets listed as a spammer on one of these ‘non-professional’ blacklists, it affects all of our clients, so in the end it isn’t worth the risk. We’ve had to terminate clients over these types of mailings in the past.”

* “What the newsletter [company] needs to do is employ the services of a real e-mail marketing services company. There must be a lot of them out there, because they cold-call me all of the time.”

* “Since I’m in charge of running an ISP here, it’s quite obvious that when you start generating far more e-mails than usual, you’d better not rely on a regular ISP account. I have some high profile customers in that situation, and I usually turn a blind eye to them (when I know it’s not really spam). However, I’ll be switching e-mail servers and having daily limits too.”

* “Fortunately we also use a business-oriented ISP for sending bulk e-mails (up to 10,000 at a time) from our office workstations for our customers. No problems. Why should there be? Spammers send hundreds of millions every day with little effort, why should legitimate businesses have it any different?”

* “I have now recently discovered the existence of a daily limitation which means I now have to split the notifications over two days. I feel very vulnerable. The ISP is not transparent about these limitations and I expect could increase their severity without notice or recompense. It looks like there’s a gap in the market to cater for legitimate operations such as ours. Why are no ISPs attempting to plug it?”

Thank you to everyone who provided their comments on the article.