rlsnyder asks: "I'm the inadvertant co-administrator of e-mail a for company that relies pretty heavily on it for daily business (e.g. sending confirmations of financial transactions). At one point in the not-too-distant past, our server was an open relay. I admit I'm a sinner for letting it happen, and I'm ready to do my pennance. Given the relatively low volume of mail our server moved that did not originate from inside, I doubt I was a major contributor to the world of SPAM. In any event, we've been blacklisted on a number of sites. Some lists have reasonable policies, and we've since been removed. Other places are a little more arbitrary as to removal policies, and although I can prove we're not a relay, we're still listed." While I approve of the basic concept of SPAM Blacklists, there are dozens of SPAM blacklists out there who are real keen on adding open relays to the list, but not so keen on taking rehabilitated hosts out. I would posit that SPAM blacklists that are not properly maintained are a part of the problem, not the solution. What are your thoughts on the subject?
rlsynder continues: "Am I way off base here, or is this self-appointed mail police thing going in the wrong direction? Given that I can't reliably deliver e-mail to a number of places due to being blocked, I've got a big exposure. Is this making spam less of a problem, or are we trading one problem (SPAM) for another (the reliablility of proper maintenance of SPAM Blacklists)?
I could draw a bunch of analogies here, but isn't the bottom line that no one owns the internet e-mail system? I realize no one makes ISP's subscribe to the blacklists, but basically, I'm trying to move data from one point to another, and some machines in the middle are discriminating against my data because a corrected, perfectly legal system configuration error. How is this helping? Has SPAM really decreased universally thanks to these lists?"