TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Anti-Spam Tool Going Out of Business

Re: Anti-Spam Tool Going Out of Business

DevilsPGD (
Mon, 01 Jan 2007 03:26:29 GMT

In message <> Gordon S. Hlavenka
<> wrote:

> Anick Jesdanun wrote:

>> The Open Relay Database, a tool e-mail service providers used for
>> years to help curb the spread of spam, is ceasing operations

> ... And good riddance too.

> ORDB and various blackhole databases have been the bane of my email
> existence since they were invented. Much as I hate spam (and I do) I
> hate having strangers filter my email even more.

> Many times I have had emails I sent bounced, just because someone else
> at my ISP had an open relay or was infected with something, or perhaps
> was actually evil. But why is that _my_ problem? Yet these lists
> make it my problem; I get my emails bounced back, through no fault of
> my own. I don't choose my IP address, nor do I choose my IP
> neighbors.

> And it breaks in the other direction, too -- emails sent to me may
> simply never arrive, just because some sanctimonious so-and-so decided
> to "fix" spam. Bleah. A pox on them all.

> Before various ISPs decided to help me with my spam problem, I used to
> get around 300 to 400 emails daily, about 50 of them legit. Today,
> thanks to the efforts of misguided do-gooders worldwide I get about 50
> emails daily, with maybe 6 or 10 of them spam. At first blush this
> seems to be an improvement, but in fact I'm losing a handful of emails
> _every_ _day_ which did not happen when I was getting all the spam.

> Spam? Sucks, no question about it. But let ME decide what is spam for
> myself; the rest of you keep your paws out of my mailbox.

You seem to be a bit confused, so I'll see if I can help here.

You DO have the choice, no one other then you can choose what mail you

When you choose to use a mailbox operated by someone other then
yourself, you delegate part of that responsibility to the operator of
the mail server. Since spam is a huge complaint at virtually every
ISP helpdesk on the planet, ISPs invest huge amounts of resources in
filtering spam.

DNS blacklists are a large part of this.

If you don't want your ISP to filter your mail, ask them to stop. If
thqey won't or can't, then find an alternative mailbox elsewhere.

As far as DNS-BLs go, there is a wide range. ORDB had a zero false
positive rate (false positive, meaning a listed mail server which was
not an open relay, and never had been), and open relays haven't been
acceptable since the 90s, so any mail admin still running an open relay
deserves to be listed -- So in this sense, it's a shame to see it go.

However, in reality, the open-relay problem is largely solved now, there
are simply much bigger fish to fry with zombies being the current
largest issue. As a result, very little mail was actually blocked due
to ORDB anymore, largely because of it's success in the past.

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but whips and chains excite me.

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