Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(May 2002)

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Subject: Re: large ISPs blocking mailing lists
From: Sharon Tucci <Sharon @ listhost . net>
Date: Fri, 17 May 2002 04:38:30 -0400
To: list-managers @ greatcircle . com
In-reply-to: <5 . 0 . 2 . 1 . 2 . 20020516080454 . 01cfc2c0 @ mail . earthlink . net>

At 08:26 AM 5/16/02, Sean Brunnock wrote:
I think it's odd that newspapers love to run stories about mailmen
who toss mail in the trash rather than deliver it, but you never hear
about ISPs that play games with email.

Have you folks had similar experiences? Should we do something
about it? Or am I venting in the wrong place?

Here are a few of my current pet peeves:

1. The services that are the most difficult for us to deal with
are NOT just in the ISP or mail service business, but also in the
content business.

Consider where things get sticky -- we handle news delivery for
one major network and a few other media outlets with wide reaches.
Can you say there is no conflict of interest when possibly the
largest ISP worldwide is under the same ownership as a major news
network AND this ISP is restricting mail delivery that its subscribers
have ASKED to receive?

The issue of anti-competition laws certainly come to mind.
Especially when there is no legitimate reason for the problems
other than that it is to "generally" combat spam.

2. Content blocking by ISPs is really getting out of hand.

We've seen some ISPs even block on the word "un$ubscribe" being
included in emails.

3. ISPs who black list entire quadrants of IP addresses.

Since we also host email accounts, I can fully understand the need
for ISPs to be proactive in anti-spam measures. We average about
3 emails being rejected because of blocks for spam in place for
every email that gets through. I estimate that overall, between
email accounts and lists, about 80% of our incoming bandwidth
usage is Spam.

Ironically enough, I've found that the same ISPs and mail providers
who take the most extreme measures in blocking or dropping legitimate
email are the ones responsible for at least half of the incoming
SPAM that doesn't get stopped by our filters.

Sharon Tucci

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