Mailing List Message #10243
From: Bill Cole <>
Subject: Re: Feature Request: Opt-In Blacklisting
Date: Sun, 17 Feb 2002 14:46:04 -0500
To: SIMS Discussions <>
At 6:51 PM +0000 2/17/02, Steve Linford  imposed structure on a stream of electrons, yielding:
From Michael Croft, received 17/2/02, 11:12 am -0600 (GMT):
 At 8:41 AM -0800 2/17/02, Robert Ameeti wrote:
Wouldn't it be nice if account owners could turn anti-spam filters
on and off themselves, remotely, just as they can change their own


 No, but for different reasons.

 In our test runs of various RBLs (more than a month for each), they stopped
 exactly two pieces of mail, both legitimate, from personal contacts of our

I assume you mean "in addition to stopping a truckload of spam, they also stopped 2 legit emails", if not I have to wonder which DNSBLs you were using.

It would not surprise me to see such a pattern from using just the MAPS RBL, given that it has often included bulk mailers who are sloppy about their list practices but include many actually opted-in addresses.

Currently there are a lot of new blocklists around, some of which are badly run, some of which intentionally want high collateral damage to force the ISPs customer to revolt, and some of which are actually people's personal lists put online and are so aggressive that even the person publishing the list doesn't use it... If you're not sure of a list then stick with the MAPS lists as they have a long track record of being responsibly run.

 RBLs have a history of being run by cranks and or kooks with personal
 agendas (that do not coincide with my own).  Non-spammers get added to the
 various lists for reasons that not even the list owners will explain.

You're referring to ORBS, which was one list only.

Note that MAPS has had some hair-trigger problems at times as well, mostly pre-2000. In addition, their standards can seem unreasonable to someone who doesn't understand the potential (and occasional reality) of massive abuse of unconfirmed opt-in.

I don't know of any cases where MAPS has listed addresses that are not actually associated with spamming on the RBL (using their definition of spam) or has refused to document an RBL listing, or has listed an unabused or non-relaying machine on the RSS or has listed anything but dialups on the DUL, except for cases of rapidly corrected typos in adding entries (for example, I know of a /23 block that got onto the DUL when it should have been a /25, a problem that lasted about a week.) Had I heard Michael's story when I was at MAPS I would have chased down details to figure out the problem and to assure that whatever went wrong was fixed, but all I can do now is attest that when I was there and for some time before and after, the lists were run with extreme care.

Bill Cole                        

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