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Memo to Users: SpamCop Winding Down Webmail Service

timothy posted about 2 months ago | from the not-the-whole-company-mind-you dept.

Spam 44

LuserOnFire (175383) writes with word that on Saturday SpamCop users received an email that says in part: "For over 12 years, Corporate Email Services has been partnering with SpamCop to provide webmail service with spam filtering via the SpamCop Email System for our users. Back then, spam filtering was rare. We heard story after story about how our service rescued people from unfiltered email. Nowadays, webmail service with spam filtering has become the norm in the general public. As such, the need for the webmail service with SpamCop filtered email has decreased. Due to these reasons, we have decided to retire the SpamCop Email System and its webmail service; while SpamCop will continue to focus on providing the World's best spam reporting platform and blacklist for the community. As of September 30, 2014 (Tuesday) 6pm ET, the current SpamCop Email service will be converted to email forwarding-only with spam filtered by SpamCop for all existing SpamCop Email users."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

I asked for a refund (2)

vilain (127070) | about 2 months ago | (#47645283)

I've been using their paid email service for years and they cancel it three months after I paid for my next year of service. I'm owed a refund, IMO, for only three months of that service. I still haven't heard back yet...

Re:I asked for a refund (2)

vilain (127070) | about 2 months ago | (#47647989)

As a follow up, Slashdot got back to me. "we're not offering refunds." It's only $23 but that sucks. Anyone else out there burned by this decision? Care to join forces and maybe find an attorney who'll rub their hands avariciously at going after these guys. They're owned by DICE who've got deeper pockets than just a bunch of guys in a garage.

Re:I asked for a refund (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47648549)

Chargeback. This is exactly what it was designed for.

email still exists? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47645291)

Seriously, I thought spam would have completely killed off email by now. Hell, these days I only ever use email when I need a password recovery address. It's totally useless as a communication medium. Just let that shit die already.

Re:email still exists? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47645331)

Well, since you don't need it, let's just all stop using email, just because you don't need it. Nice of you to tell us, so we don't waste anymore time with it. Let's just put everything in facebook.

Re:email still exists? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47645429)

I just am a FutureMan, that's all. Abandon optical disks, swap files, low-resolution screens, hard disk drives and manually-driven cars!

Re:email still exists? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47645735)

I just am a FutureMan, that's all. Abandon optical disks, swap files, low-resolution screens, hard disk drives and manually-driven cars!

Maybe if everyone drove manual transmission vehicles the roads would be safer.

Re:email still exists? (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 2 months ago | (#47646503)

How would you text without a free hand?

Re:email still exists? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47647877)

Siri. Or Google Now.

Re:email still exists? (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 2 months ago | (#47648235)

Because bats all ways twerk so weld.

Re:email still exists? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 2 months ago | (#47645363)

I switched to encrypted email and a few whitelisted services that cannot be assed to encrypt. What's not on the whitelist or encrypted ends up in the trash.

Even if people that I regularly write with get infected by some pesky trojan I won't notice it, cause these critters don't encrypt (and hence end up in the spam bin). The only "risk" where I could possibly get to see some spam is when one of the whitelisted companies get infected for some reason.

Re:email still exists? (4, Insightful)

BitZtream (692029) | about 2 months ago | (#47645419)

Great for you and all 6 people you communicate with. In the real world, that doesn't work, you know for those of us who have to communicate with all sorts of random people who aren't computer dorks. I use the term specifically because you're acting like a computer dork rather than a geek.

Re:email still exists? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47646545)

While his policy is probably not very good for himself, it benefits the community that pressure is applied on people to encrypt. We should thank him for his sacrifice.

Re:email still exists? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 2 months ago | (#47650725)

Everyone I need to communicate with is in one of two groups:

1) A very short list of companies that send me important information.
2) People who accept that communication with me requires encryption.

I'm in the fortunate situation that I can actually enforce such behaviour. Mostly because usually when people send me mail they want something from me, not the other way around. You know the old saying, if you don't pay to be at my party, you dance to my tune (it loses a bit in translation, but I guess you get the idea).

Re:email still exists? (2)

BitZtream (692029) | about 2 months ago | (#47645445)

And the useful alternative is?

Twitter because you can't be bothered to complete a thought so you think 140 characters is enough?

Facebook or G+ because you think everything should be public?

Random message boards/forums scattered all over the Internet with no central repository because you like using an infinite number of services to accomplish what we solved 35 years ago with one?

Or is it just that you're such a douche that no one communicates with you, so you truly have no need for it?

Re:email still exists? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47645469)

I'm an emonk on a vow of esilence.

Re:email still exists? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47645733)

We build a berlin-wall style antispam system, outside our wall the spam is still flowing and the second you take the wall down all hell breaks loose. We only care about us self and leave the rest to deal with the problem the best they can. Remove the wall and its back to spam.

Out of sight out of mind. And you are far far far from normal in your email routines.

SpamCop Winding Down Webmail Service (-1, Offtopic)

susan369 (3689185) | about 2 months ago | (#47645295)

thanks for giving usefull information........ Digital Marketing Company In India [protangent.com]

Re:SpamCop Winding Down Webmail Service (0)

BitZtream (692029) | about 2 months ago | (#47645421)

Fuck off spammer, no one on this site is going to use services of leeches like your sorry ass

Re:SpamCop Winding Down Webmail Service (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47646035)

Thanks for bringing attention to the spam post (which is at -1) with your +1 post. That *really* helps.

spam is gay (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47645315)

real gansta ass niggas don't get spam cuz real gansta ass niggas pop caps in spammer asses

Re:spam is gay (2)

vilain (127070) | about 2 months ago | (#47645323)

In english, this means "Spammers make a lovely crunchy sound when you step on them. Just like tribbles."

Re:spam is gay (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47651209)

But petting tribbles can give you sweet buffs!

in7o8mative HomoHomo (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47645399)

OF AMERICAA) 7oday,

Cutting Edge For The Time, But Outdated For 2010's (5, Interesting)

rsmith-mac (639075) | about 2 months ago | (#47645517)

It's a shame to see the service go, but I can't say I'm surprised.

When it was introduced the SpamCop email service was cutting edge for its time, offering extremely reliable spam filtering at a time when most other email services were capable of no more than a token effort. With the ability to utilize RBLs and even select which RBLs to use, and later features like greylisting, it was far more effective of a server side solution than anything else. Heck, some spammers wouldn't even hit spamcop addresses due to the fact that it just increased their odds of being quickly reported and added to the SpamCop RBL.

However it's generally outgrown its usefulness, which is reflected in the fact that the service has so few users and now is shutting down. Most email services are utilizing RBLs these days in some form - if only through SpamAssassin - and the largest services such as Google and Hotmail see so much email that they are second-to-none in their ability to identify spam based on heuristics alone. This means the SpamCop email service no longer has the large advantage in spam prevention it once held, and in some ways it may as well be worse since it can't rival Google's heuristics.

Plus the service has generally grown stale. The Horde webmail interface is functional, but badly out of date and lacking the functionality of Google & co's webmail interfaces. And the service itself has grown into disrepair; there have been repeated hardware failures and CESmail (the company that actually provides the service) has been slow in repairing them and responding to user support tickets.

Anyhow, the SpamCop email service lived a good life, but as is the case for many Internet services it has failed to adapt with the times and is now justifiably on its deathbed. The good news is that the SpamCop RBL itself is unaffected (it has been owned and operated by Cisco for several years now), so naming confusion aside the all-important RBL will continue offering spam protection for users world-wide.

If they really want to help the situation... (2)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about 2 months ago | (#47645923)

They need to stop encouraging filtering. Filtering email will never resolve the spam epidemic. Filtering only encourages spammers to craft ever-more-obfuscated spam to drive down the signal-to-noise ratio and improve the chances of their spam getting through.

Spamcop and others, if they actually want to perform a valuable service, need to put their profits elsewhere. Namely, they need to start working on disrupting the flow of money to the spammers themselves. Spam is an economic problem. Treating it otherwise is just stupid. Spammers don't do what they do to piss you off (regardless of how some may feel otherwise), they do it to make money. You also cannot solve the problem by exposing, jailing, or murdering spammers (regardless of whether or not it makes you feel better) as it does not resolve the profit motive.

There are demonstrated avenues where one can disrupt the flow of (often illegal) money. If Spammers don't get paid, they don't send spam.

Re:If they really want to help the situation... (1)

davecb (6526) | about 2 months ago | (#47646031)

Yes: it's a problem that needs to be attacked from several directions at once, including psycological: what drives people to read and buy products from spammers?

Re:If they really want to help the situation... (1)

dskoll (99328) | about 2 months ago | (#47646125)

This [youtube.com] is why people buy from spammers.

Re:If they really want to help the situation... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47646659)

No one buys anything from spammers. Spammers are paid by the companies they convince that spam works.

Every advertiser's a spammer then (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47646223)

Nobody likes ads on TV (hence HBO's success for decades) or the web. They slow you down, interrupt you, get in your face (unwantedly), infect you with malicious script, and consume memory, cpu, and other forms of I/O as well. Websites, in particular, would survive just fine minus ads. They did and have before for the sites serious and passionate about what it is they do and are about, so no amount of crap about "ads support websites" works as a counter-argument. They support those profiting off of ripping off the speed and bandwidth you paid for out of pocket to be online, and psychologically attack you to take your money that way too trying to sell you crap you do NOT really need (ala "if you drink this beer, you will have this car, these women, and these clothes and tons of 'friends'" when the truth is, that lifestyle will take all of that from you). Why do you think marketing budgets are larger than R&D ones in corporations? This form of psychological attack, works. Imo, it is outright stupid to give more monies to advertisers than R&D departments actually working to create better physical (key) products, not intangle b.s. in ads!

Re:Every advertiser's a spammer then (1)

j_rhoden (214320) | about 2 months ago | (#47646681)

Richard Stallman is that you?

No: It's Joe & Jane Q. Public (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47648105)

An unsilent majority putting you in your place (the bin) mr. advertiser & you've got = b.s. in your reply vs. proving the points you replied to incorrect (which you clearly can't).

Re:If they really want to help the situation... (2)

naff89 (716141) | about 2 months ago | (#47646361)

I agree, but the problem with spam is that it is just so goddamn cheap to send.

It's not an economic problem like drugs are, because it doesn't require the massive resources a successful drug empire does: it can be one guy, a huge botnet, and virtually cost-free spam messages. Add to that the difficulty in tracing a message back to an individual computer (let alone a computer running a botnet), and it's almost impossible to keep these guys down.

Re:If they really want to help the situation... (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about 2 months ago | (#47646687)

I agree, but the problem with spam is that it is just so goddamn cheap to send.

That is part of it...

It's not an economic problem like drugs are

I will argue that at the root they actually are the same. A spammer and a drug dealer have in common the motivation to make money. A spammer cares no more - or less - about the condition of the customer than does a drug dealer. For that matter, plenty of spammers effectively are drug dealers, spamvertising for sites that sell (often counterfeit) drugs online.

because it doesn't require the massive resources a successful drug empire does

While spam does not require much for resources, it does require an economic motivator. Spammers very rarely are webmasters themselves, they usually are paid by other companies to send out spam.

it's almost impossible to keep these guys down.

That's not entirely true. As I mentioned before, spammers do what they do for money. If they don't get paid, there is no incentive for them to send out spam. Disrupt the money enough and the spam rapidly drops. When we instead keep trying to come up with alternative hardware and/or algorithms for spam filtering and detection, we just encourage the spammers to find new ways around it so they can get paid.

Re:If they really want to help the situation... (2)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 2 months ago | (#47647829)

I will argue that at the root they actually are the same. A spammer and a drug dealer have in common the motivation to make money. A spammer cares no more - or less - about the condition of the customer than does a drug dealer. For that matter, plenty of spammers effectively are drug dealers, spamvertising for sites that sell (often counterfeit) drugs online.

Actually, that's less likely the case these days.

More likely is the three actor scenario - you have the spammer, the customer, and the victim. The customer is the person buying "marketing services", while the victim is you and I, the recipient.

In this case, the customer buys "10 million emails" for around $100 or so. Spammer makes money sending out the message, and the customer gets the emails sent. To the spammer, it really doesn't matter - he's made his money even if 99.99% of them are filtered. And if the customer isn't happy, well, there's another one around the corner needing "marketing services".

As for online drug stores - it turns out for whatever reason most don't actually do anything. A study ordered from around 20 spam online "pharmacies" and found 95% of them didn't take the money and run - they just didn't send anything, didn't charge anything, didn't do anything. The last one well, actually did ship them the items as described.

Turned out well, between credit cards and mail fraud, it's not really a profitable business to be in. Doesn't matter if you're overseas, either since a reversed charge is still a reversed charge.

Re:If they really want to help the situation... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47646719)

You can't fix stupid. Companies like Cisco have no jurisdiction or power over people who send stupid pointless annoying messages. People WILL click on links in SPAM messages, and that's that.

Re:If they really want to help the situation... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47647135)

So you want SpamCop to magically convert themselves into some sort of police force? I think "they" to you is some malleable collective that can do whatever it wants at any time, but lacks only your direction and insight.

Re:If they really want to help the situation... (1)

physicsphairy (720718) | about 2 months ago | (#47650545)

You also cannot solve the problem by exposing, jailing, or murdering spammers (regardless of whether or not it makes you feel better) as it does not resolve the profit motive.

Increasing the expected cost reduces the expected profit.

Filtering only encourages spammers to craft ever-more-obfuscated spam to drive down the signal-to-noise ratio and improve the chances of their spam getting through.

Which takes resources, thus increasing costs, thus reducing the expected profit.

Spamcop and others, if they actually want to perform a valuable service, need to put their profits elsewhere. Namely, they need to start working on disrupting the flow of money to the spammers themselves.

While we're discussing profit as the be all and end all, I'm curious how Spamcop is supposed to monetize this? And does preventing people from seeing spam not "disrupt the flow of money"?

It's great to say there are other ways to go about fighting spam, but anything which makes the spammers' efforts a little bit more difficult or a little bit less effective contributes toward minimizing the industry.

Re:If they really want to help the situation... (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about 2 months ago | (#47652393)

You also cannot solve the problem by exposing, jailing, or murdering spammers (regardless of whether or not it makes you feel better) as it does not resolve the profit motive.

Increasing the expected cost reduces the expected profit.

And which of those actually increase the expected cost to the spammers? Most spammers are in second and third world countries that have no enforced laws against this anyways. In the highly unlikely event that one is actually jailed or killed, there are plenty more in the same country who aspire to follow in that person's footsteps.

Filtering only encourages spammers to craft ever-more-obfuscated spam to drive down the signal-to-noise ratio and improve the chances of their spam getting through.

Which takes resources, thus increasing costs, thus reducing the expected profit.

The investment for the spammer is trivial.

And does preventing people from seeing spam not "disrupt the flow of money"?

In many cases, no. Spammers are often paid for the number of messages they send out, regardless of how many turn into sales or are even read. The destination addresses generally need to be only valid for the spammers to get paid.

anything which makes the spammers' efforts a little bit more difficult or a little bit less effective contributes toward minimizing the industry.

If that were the case then why does the volume of spam - and the wealth of the largest spammers - continue to rise with every passing year? The only times that spam volumes have ever gone down are when botnets are disrupted (which causes a few days' stagnation) or when payments are interrupted (which causes a much longer stagnation).

bummer; spamcop was perfect for DNS contact (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47646375)

I use a spamcop.net address as my DNS contact (and also for my linode billing), including the domains where I host my own email. Sure, I can "point to myself," but part of the value of spamcop.net was to have an address that doesn't depend on my DNS or linode being up, exactly what I need in the rare event of dealing with a problem.

Anyone got recommendations?

Re:bummer; spamcop was perfect for DNS contact (1)

OverlordQ (264228) | about 2 months ago | (#47647225)

gmail?

I am a spamcop user and didn't get that e-mail. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47647393)

Also, this news has no reference at all other than the spamcop.net website, which says nothing of this news. Definitely, quotation needed.

Re:I am a spamcop user and didn't get that e-mail. (1)

stevel (64802) | about 2 months ago | (#47649905)

I am also a SpamCop user - have three accounts with them. All three got the email. You are quite correct that there's nothing on the web site, but this doesn't astonish me as the email service has been running on autopilot for a few years now. Note that the blocklist and reporting system are now owned by Cisco, but the email service was not part of the purchase and has been increasingly unreliable. There is discussion on the SpamCop user forum at http://forum.spamcop.net/forum... [spamcop.net]

I moved my main personal account to Gmail quite a while ago. The other two accounts will also move to Gmail. It was nice while it lasted.

It is sad but true that this happens. (1)

Joop van der Snap (3783395) | about 2 months ago | (#47660835)

Yup, I received that e-mail also, we are going to stop but the mail filtering remains. So you can still use www.spamcop.net and submit the mail that you don't like, but you have to find another mail provider. Google is actually a nice provider, gives 15 Gb of space, has a reasonable imap interface that works well with apple mail and thunderbird.
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