Email Blacklists

One Part of the Spam Problem

January 28, 2004

Generally, I don't like blacklists. For many reasons. If you're maintaining one yourself, then you can keep track of why things are added, when, what you want to do to check back, how you want to go about removing people, how you want to handle complaints about being listed, etc... However, when someone else is doing this, you have to wonder about them and their policies regarding the aforementioned. some black hole lists block things arbitrarily, or based on single offenses. Others, like spam cop will not remove an accused violator once they are on the list, unless spamcop decides to remove you - and if you ask to be removed, you get marked to not get removed! (unless you can prove that you use double opt-in and have the verification and validation email).

Though not as bad of a problem as email/spam filtering, blacklists, especially those that do not have a clear definition of the requirements to get listed or do not have an automated means by which listed individuals, IPs or domains can verify their compliance and get removed, are not part of the solution to the spam problem, they are part of the spam problem.