Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(April 1997)

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Subject: Re: LSOFT.COM Spam Fest? / IP filters
From: Eric Thomas <ERIC @ VM . SE . LSOFT . COM>
Date: Fri, 25 Apr 1997 14:20:33 +0200
To: "List Manager's Digest (E-mail)" <list-managers-digest @ GreatCircle . COM>, Todd Day <today @ di . com>
In-reply-to: Message of Fri, 25 Apr 1997 03:42:28 -0700 from list-managers-owner @ GreatCircle . COM

On Fri, 25 Apr 1997 03:42:28 -0700 Todd Day <today @
 di .
 com> said:

>I keep  getting *TONS* of  misdirected e-mail  from bulk lists  having a
>return address of Most recent is VISTOOLS @
>(this is a  Microsoft software tools mailing list, as  best I can tell).
>Despite several  requests to get them  to stop sending their  junk, they
>just keep on sending it.

Actually, VISTOOLS is a brand new list,  and there has only ever been one
posting to  that list.  Whatever you  may think  about Microsoft  and its
products,  this is  not  a  basement outfit  with  nothing  to lose  from
advertising the  latest MLM scam  using the  6M free addresses  that came
with SUPER-BULK ULTRAMAIL(TM). They are actually very careful about their
public image, and they only send  to addresses that they have gathered in
a  legitimate way,  usually from  a  web subscription  form although  the
old-fashioned  SUBSCRIBE  method is  often  also  available. The  problem
though is  that they are  commonly used  by pranksters to  play practical
jokes on,  for instance, unix programmers  :-) People go to  the web page
and type  the victim's  address and presto!  Free subscription  to VISUAL
BASIC news  with guaranteed  blood pressure increase!  :-) If  you accept
that  for  this type  of  list  and  the  intended audience,  the  cookie
mechanism is just not an option, you also have to accept that people will
be playing pranks and there is very little you can do about it.

At any  rate, we  only do business  with legitimate,  reputable companies
(and it's not for the lack of  spammers calling to use our services, they
have actually  gotten good enough  at lying  that we sometimes  came THAT
close to  delivering spams  on their  behalf :-( ).  In every  large list
there are going to be a number of addresses of people who were added by a
third party and  are convinced that they have been  spammed, however from
the provider's point of view these are legitimate subscriptions that were
received  in the  same  manner and  through the  same  channels as  other
bona-fide subscriptions.

Finally, I am not sure whom you asked to be removed, but in my experience
mail sent  to postmaster @
 microsoft .
 com does  not necessarily result  in a
prompt answer. There  should have been some kind of  mailbox or Reply-To:
address or  URL in the  newsletter saying how  to unsubscribe (this  is a
requirement  for using  our  services for  one-way  lists, although  most
customers can post to their lists directly and sometimes we find out that
the  signoff instructions  were omitted).  I am  not trying  to say  that
postmaster @
 microsoft .
 com  shouldn't also  work, I'm  just saying  that in
practice it  doesn't. Complaints sent to  postmaster @
 lsoft .
 com are passed
on to the customer so that they  can update their database. Most of these
big lists  are linked one-way from  the database to LISTSERV  for various
technical or non-technical reasons and L-Soft does not have the authority
to sign people off.


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