Spam Filtering

Why Email Filtering Is Part of the Spam Problem, Not Part of the Solution

July 8, 2004

One could argue "why let them send us the message first, if they're in the rbl, thats good enough?" I knew someone who used about 8-12 different RBL's. Each was for a different aspect, one was dialup, one was mail relays, one was known spammer netblocks, one was the lack of abuse/postmaster addresses, etc. He said that all of them got about 50% of his 500 spams a day. The rest of his spam was blocked with spamassassin. Elliot Schlegelmilch, July 8, 2004

The problem you run into with this is that same problem you run into with any filtering method - the filters are unlikely to block more unwanted mail than legitimate mail. This is one of the MAJOR flaws in the YOU CAN-SPAM act of 2003 - the law, in order to supposedly reduce the costs of UCE on businesses and ISPs (and therefore indirectly on internet users) was to effectively require the businesses to continue to spend money to try to fight a two-steps-behind defensive battle by spending a lot of money and having no form of recourse against abusers. i.e. the Dishonorable Senator Conrad Burns, in his infinite wisdom, determined that the best way to protect businesses from having to spend a lot of money was to tell the businesses to spend more money and to expect no method of recourse. The paths of recourse that were being pursued previously are now closed by this law that in all meaningful ways LEGALIZES and encourages spam. Since this is an opt-out law, the requirement is that if you receive a request from someone who you already emailed that they do not want to receive email from you, you should not email them any more - note, this is not MUST not email them any more, just should not email them any more.