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Comcast Blocks Yet Another ISPs E-Mail

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the i-can't-heeeeear-youuuu dept.

401

Nom du Keyboard writes, "Last week Comcast shutdown e-mail forwarding from NameZero entirely. People who have bought private domain names (i.e. yourname@yourdomain.com) and have e-mail forwarding to their current Comcast e-mail account through NameZero aren't receiving it any longer. No warnings — no e-mail. Now, again without warning, they've blocked out The Well, one of the oldest ISPs on the net. And nobody can get through to the Comcast people in charge of this to discuss the issue with them. Not the ISPs being blocked. Not the customers who pay Comcast to deliver e-mail to them. Comcast says they're protecting 10M customers from spam. I am a current Comcast broadband customer and I feel I should have the right to whitelist and receive e-mail from whomever I designate. I don't want as much protection as Comcast is giving me. Is it a basic right to be allowed to receive e-mail from whomever I desire, or does Comcast have the right to censor as they wish?" Last week Comcast was also blocking mail from alum.mit.edu. I (probably among many others) left a complaint on the phone line identified in bounce messages; the block was eventually lifted.

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I think I may have identified your problem... (5, Informative)

TripMaster Monkey (862126) | more than 7 years ago | (#16018064)



Mr. Anonymous sez:
I am a current Comcast broadband customer...


Not to be snarky, but there's your problem right there.

Hopefully, you have some sort of alternative broadband provider. I humbly suggest you show Comcast what you think of them with your dollars and avail yourself of one of the alternatives.

I myself put up with Comcast's antics for quite a while (longer than I intended, actually):
When I first resolved to switch to WOW, I waited all day for the installer, who was a no-show. When I called to complain, I was told that the installer had in fact shown up, and I was the no-show. I knew this was a lie since not only was I in the house the entire day, the installer failed to tag the door as a no-show (you cable installers out there know what I'm talking about). I was so incensed by this that I cancelled my order, and remained with Comcast for another three whole months. But, eventually, I was forced to switch, after Comcast upped its rates yet again, and tried to make me pay for a service call to replace one of their defective converters.

I'm with WOW now, and I haven't looked back. Service is far superior, and I'm paying $40 less per month. Ditch Comcast...you'll feel better.

Re:I think I may have identified your problem... (2, Insightful)

FictionPimp (712802) | more than 7 years ago | (#16018079)

I would switch, but I can not find a alternative in my area. I live too far for DSL, and nothing else compares in speed. I guess they own my service.

Re:I think I may have identified your problem... (4, Informative)

hodet (620484) | more than 7 years ago | (#16018190)

If email is so important to you then why not purchase email service from another provider? I have an account with Simplicato. for $2/month I get IMAP access and 25Mb storage (and ten email forward addresses to my main one). You can purchase more if needed but this is tonnes of space for what I do. I couldn't imagine ever using my ISP email address for anything. Of course you need to register your own domain but big deal.

Re:I think I may have identified your problem... (3, Informative)

dolson (634094) | more than 7 years ago | (#16018217)

There's also free services, like gmail, yahoo, hotmail, etc.

Re:I think I may have identified your problem... (4, Insightful)

AdamWeeden (678591) | more than 7 years ago | (#16018360)

I agree, and would add, that I've NEVER used an email address I've had with an ISP, and would not reccomend it to anyone. I like to keep my options open. Good thing too, because in the past 5 years I've had 3 unique ISPs and 5 different accounts. (Time Warner -> Verizon -> College network -> Verizon -> Time Warner)

Re:I think I may have identified your problem... (2, Insightful)

gid13 (620803) | more than 7 years ago | (#16018332)

Heh. I wish there was a "+1 stating the obvious that everyone else seemed to miss".

Personally I can't come up with a good reason to EVER use an ISP's e-mail address unless you're a total newb or an idiot that requires their tech support to explain how to use e-mail. I can see using their outgoing mail server, but that's a different story altogether. People, wake up: the main reason ISPs provide e-mail addresses is to make it more annoying for you to leave their service.

Re:I think I may have identified your problem... (2, Informative)

GreyPoopon (411036) | more than 7 years ago | (#16018387)

If email is so important to you then why not purchase email service from another provider?
Word to the wise: Never rely on your ISP for your email. It is so cheap today to own a domain and get e-mail only hosting that this is what you should always do. That way, if you are unhappy with your hosting provider, you can always change. If you are unhappy with your Internet connection, or if you have to move, you don't have to notify everyone about a new email address.

In this particular case, I think it would be a good idea to see if Comcast will forward email to another email address. That way, you never have to use your Comcast email service.

Re:I think I may have identified your problem... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16018245)

I live too far for DSL, and nothing else compares in speed.

So you do have options, but you choose to stick with Comcast because of the faster service that they offer.

Re:I think I may have identified your problem... (1)

chrismcdirty (677039) | more than 7 years ago | (#16018110)

In my area, I don't have an alternative broadband provider. Comcast is the only cable company in my county. None of the phone companies in the area will offer DSL to my house since it's too far from the end office. And fiber is being rolled out currently, but my neighborhood is not on the list. My only alternative is HughesNet, which is pretty much a non-option. I wish I could vote with my dollars, but I like my internets too much.

Re:I think I may have identified your problem... (1)

trogdor8667 (817114) | more than 7 years ago | (#16018111)

I had that exact issue with Comcast. Installer never showed up, they told me he had, he didn't tag the door (which he claimed he did), and they wanted me to re-schedule 4 weeks later. I called the local office's rep and got it done that evening. And I must admit, I've had nothing but problems with Comcast since.

I would switch in a heartbeat if we had any viable alternatives. As of now, our only alternative is BellSouth DSL, which is a quarter of the speed for $5 less per month. If I had a TV alternative, I'd have already switched (facing the wrong way in my apartment for a dish).

I really wish I had alternatives like you had, because Comcast has done nothing but give me grief since I've had the service.

If anyone out there in the southern states has any experience with the lower rated BellSouth DSL plans, let me know. I'd love some feedback.

Re:I think I may have identified your problem... (3, Insightful)

Thalagyrt (851883) | more than 7 years ago | (#16018260)

I switched from Comcast to BellSouth about 6 months ago and haven't looked back. Sure it's a bit slower, but honestly? It actually works. I've had almost zero downtime with it, as opposed to when I was with Comcast and had about 60% packet loss 90% of the time. No joke. It was an 8 year old modem, and Comcast refused to replace it. They couldn't believe the modem could possibly be going bad. They skipped out on all four appointments I made for them to come out, didn't even show up.

I called up BellSouth, got it all set up, and it's been wonderful. They had the package out to me within 4 days after signing up. My modem got a bit funky - the ethernet jack broke when I was moving it. I called them up, they had a new one out the next day. I get very consistent download speeds, it isn't like with Comcast when I'd get slower than 56k dialup speeds at night, if it worked at all... I easily had 2 second or higher ping times to just about everything.

BellSouth's tech support is much much better too, you call up and you can actually get yourself transferred to someone who knows what they're doing. After the initial install I had a few problems - I missed a filter on our DirectTV unit... They actually put me directly on the phone with the line tech who got it resolved in a very short amount of time.

Go for it, you won't regret it. Just my two cents!

Re:I think I may have identified your problem... (1)

trogdor8667 (817114) | more than 7 years ago | (#16018329)

If I could PM you on this I would, because I think you were responding to me.

Could I ask which plan with BellSouth you downgraded to? My speed with Comcast is actually decent, everything else is problematic, which is my main complaint, and I mostly want to get rid of anything from this horrid company that I can.

Sorry Mods, I know this is off-topic...

Re:I think I may have identified your problem... (3, Interesting)

Pontiac (135778) | more than 7 years ago | (#16018171)

Yet another guy here who had the same experence with Comcast installers.
I saw the comcast guy pull up so I go to the door but he ran upstairs to another apartment..
I'm thinking ok he'll stop by when he's done up there.

Nope.. 5 min later the van was gone..
I called comcast and they said I wasn't home.. ARGH!!
I finally got them to come back 3 days later and a free install..

Then to top it off, the install was on my bill the next month then a credit the month after..

Re:I think I may have identified your problem... (3, Interesting)

trogdor8667 (817114) | more than 7 years ago | (#16018289)

At least they credited you back for the install. When the rep came over, he didn't even hook anything up. He dropped the equipment at my door. I got charged for 3 outlet installs (over $100). Then, to top it all off, one of the boxes was DOA. When they came to replace it, they told me my TV was bad. I simply took the box to their office the next week and had it replaced there, and lo and behold, it worked again!

But as far as the charges, they've charged me 3 times my normal rate every other month since this happened, and I've actually been told by a tech support person that I was stupid, and that the billing problems are my fault...

Their network, they can block anything (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16018244)

Exactly. Their network, they block anything they want. Don't like it, use another provider.

It's a free market. You don't have to be stuck with Comcast. Don't like their choices with their network? Don't use it.

It's amazing how many people fail to grasp this very simple concept.

problem schmroblem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16018326)

I don't know what everyone's so upset about, from what I hear their service is nothing short of Comcastic!

Please (-1, Flamebait)

Sqwubbsy (723014) | more than 7 years ago | (#16018068)

Just pay the US$60 and shut up already.

No (1)

Sensae (961755) | more than 7 years ago | (#16018076)

They shouldn't. Oh well, blame it on trying to be nice for their customers.

So? (-1, Redundant)

vlad_io (983750) | more than 7 years ago | (#16018081)

Just change your provider.

Say What? (2, Insightful)

MECC (8478) | more than 7 years ago | (#16018085)

they're protecting 10M customers from spam

I'm all for blocking spam, but this doesn't sound like a way to reduce spam - it sounds like runaway stupidity. Spamcop makes a lot more sense. Maybe they do that already, and it wasen't enough.

They may want to adjust that "10M customers" figure in the near future.

Re:Say What? (2, Funny)

MECC (8478) | more than 7 years ago | (#16018121)

I normally wouldn't respond to my own comment, but in the spirit of 'slashback', I just now got spam from comcast, promising to show me how to 'enhance' parts of my life. Off to spamcop they go...

Re:Say What? (1)

Frymaster (171343) | more than 7 years ago | (#16018248)

I'm all for blocking spam

who isn't? the real question here, though, is are you all for your isp blocking spam for you... without your consent, approval or even, apparently, notification.

letting isp's make decisions for their customers' "own good" is a dangerous path to start on.

Re:Say What? (1)

MECC (8478) | more than 7 years ago | (#16018291)

letting isp's make decisions for their customers' "own good" is a dangerous path to start on.

True enough. I do think participating in spamcop blocking lists is good idea though.

Re:Say What? (2, Interesting)

gid13 (620803) | more than 7 years ago | (#16018417)

While you are correct, it is also a dangerous path if ISPs DON'T make decisions for their customers' own good. One example that I think most will agree is a very good thing is not being an open relay, requiring customers to authenticate on outgoing mail, and enforcing limits on them. Sure there are legitimate uses that are impaired by this, but overall I'd be upset with ISPs that didn't do this.

Re:Say What? (1)

arth1 (260657) | more than 7 years ago | (#16018299)

I'm all for blocking spam, but this doesn't sound like a way to reduce spam - it sounds like runaway stupidity. Spamcop makes a lot more sense. Maybe they do that already, and it wasen't enough.


I have cable through Comcast, and DSL through a different provider. The Comcast maildrop receives plenty more spam than the maildrop at the other provider, despite Comcast blocking so many different things that the service is near unusable. If they run anything like Spamcop or Spamassassin, it must be configured (and I use the term loosely) by someone who have no idea whatsoever what they're doing.
My guess is that they don't have any real sysadmins with any clout, and the decisions on what to do are made by management with no understanding of higher level protocols. Thus, the blocks are always done uninspected at a lower layer than they should be, which hurts the customers as much as helping them.

Regards,
--
*Art

spamcop; Re:Say What? (1)

jdunlevy (187745) | more than 7 years ago | (#16018320)

I gather both NameZero and alum.mit.edu are services for redirecting e-mail?

I've found e-mail redirection to be a huge problem with spam reporting when the users reporting spam don't understand how reporting works. In particular, a lot of people out there using spamcop don't set up any Mailhost configurations [spamcop.net] even when they're forwarding/redirecting mail across domains. This means users end up reporting their own ISPs in cases where that ISP is the last verifiable hop in the Received: headers before the account where users actually read their mail.

Things are much worse with AOL, where there's apparently no provision for customers' letting their system know that e-mail is being redirected to them from somewhere else.

Re:Say What? (1)

skoaldipper (752281) | more than 7 years ago | (#16018340)

I must be really bored since I just read over their "Acceptable Use Policy", and I don't even have Comcast for cable or even broadband.

* Basically, I see no explicit mention of forwarding emails as a violation (or abuse), which seems to be the issue here when receiving bulks of yourname@mydomain.com type TLD(s) emails through comcast POP(s).

However, there is a very vague catch all (viii - restrict, inhibit, interfere with, or otherwise disrupt or cause a performance degradation, regardless of intent, purpose or knowledge, to the Service or any Comcast (or Comcast supplier) host, server, backbone network, node or service, or otherwise cause a performance degradation to any Comcast (or Comcast supplier) facilities used to deliver the Service;) Or, in other words, we here at Comcast would need to add more server farms to deal with all these innocent emails chewing up our limited bandwidth, and quite frankly, Verizon and AT&T are tearing us a new on on price already.

So, I guess the real questions are: 1) Do I have some [legal] recourse to be compensated for their own breach of service agreement, if any? or 2)Can Comcast add some easy to manage Software filters which each user can add to a list of finite trusted forwarding domains, accepting those bulk mailings as a compromise?

And, the real answer is: censorship never had anything to do with it.

Re:Say What? (5, Insightful)

amuro98 (461673) | more than 7 years ago | (#16018416)

Protecting their customers from spam?

What about protecting the rest of us from spam being sent through zombie hosts on their network!?

I read an article about a year ago that said that over 60% of the mail leaving Comcast's network was spam, Comcast knew it, but said the problem was "too expensive" for them to fix.

I think they need to turn their spam filters around the other way. Block all outgoing mail. That'll fix the spam problem!

Gotta Love Comcast... (2, Informative)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#16018089)

Thank God I don't have them anymore. One time it took two weeks to convince them to send a technician out since they told me the problem was on my end and not the street. Turns out that the last technician who worked on the street box installed the part backwards. Go figure.

A list? (2)

jkabbe (631234) | more than 7 years ago | (#16018103)

Is there some way to find out who a specific ISP is blocking at any given time? I am thinking specifically of Comcast (since it affects me), but if there is a general repository of this information it would be nice to know about also.

No. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16018105)

Is it a basic right to be allowed to receive e-mail from whomever I desire --


No.

e-mail is not a 'right'.

You are free to terminate your service contract with Comcast and stop paying them, of course.

FYI (4, Interesting)

spiritraveller (641174) | more than 7 years ago | (#16018173)

A contract is an agreement whereby two parties exchange consideration. One party's consideration might be a promise to pay money now or in the future. The other party's consideration might be a promise to provide a service, such as email.

When you form a contract with another party, you earn a "right" to receive the consideration from them that you bargained for.

Amazingly enough, courts will actually enforce this right. I'll be around in case you need any more corrections of your obviously wrong assumptions. Thank you.

Re:FYI (1)

jfengel (409917) | more than 7 years ago | (#16018233)

In which case it's up to the contract to determine whether email delivery is guaranteed or not. Betcha it isn't. In fact, I suspect that the contract promises just about squat with respect to delivery of email, and probably has a specific exception for stuff that they think is spam.

Re:FYI (2, Insightful)

XenoPhage (242134) | more than 7 years ago | (#16018423)

A contract is an agreement whereby two parties exchange consideration. One party's consideration might be a promise to pay money now or in the future. The other party's consideration might be a promise to provide a service, such as email.

Unfortunately, most contracts with an ISP are merely to provide you with access to the ISP's systems. They own the systems, they decide what happens. On top of the "contract" (which is usually just a verbal agreement rather than a written document), they also require that you abide by their Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) and/or Terms of Service (TOS). The AUP generally states that you can't spam, transfer illegal material, etc., but, it also points out that the ISP isn't responsible for monitoring for that activity. The TOS usually outlines what services you can expect. Both documents generally include a clause that allows the ISP to change those documents, at will, without notice.

Amazingly enough, courts will actually enforce this right. I'll be around in case you need any more corrections of your obviously wrong assumptions. Thank you.

I think the courts will generally side with the ISP in this case, however. The ISP owns the service and they are not denying a customer that service, but denying non-customers from abusing that service. It's a fine line, but at the end of the day, the ISP owns the servers. A lot of it may also depend on the AUP/TOS that was applied to the customers service.

Not so quick (1)

raftpeople (844215) | more than 7 years ago | (#16018193)

Is it spelled out in the contract that they will block some traffic addressed to you?

Re:No. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16018220)

e-mail is not a 'right'.

Thank you, I was just about to post the same response. OP seems to be a little confused, or has been reading too much YRO lately...

Re:No. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16018362)

And what about snail mail? if someone else handles your post before it gets to you is it ok for them to just trash letters from certain senders who they consider to be unworthy of sending you post? Didn't think so.

What makes you think email should be any different?

Excellent! news for CLECs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16018107)

I am working for a CLEC here in NH.
You might know the type. Quality internet access with low latency.
Public IPs available for customers and no firewall to speak of.
A support staff that will support your linux gateway and be pleased
to see you using it. Yup, you can run your own dns and smtp servers.

Please comcast, keep screwing your customer base.
Drive away the power users to us.

thanks,
matt

on basic rights (2, Insightful)

nuzak (959558) | more than 7 years ago | (#16018120)

Is it a basic right to be allowed to receive e-mail from whomever I desire

No. Next question?

Awful idea (0, Flamebait)

elmedico27 (931070) | more than 7 years ago | (#16018123)

This is a terrible idea. Even AOL wouldn't do this to their customers.

Re:Awful idea (1)

fribhey (731586) | more than 7 years ago | (#16018212)

This is a terrible idea. Even AOL wouldn't do this to their customers.
i can't tell if you are just trying to be funny but this is EXACTLY what AOL does and has been doing for a while now. my ISP has been dealing with AOL blocking their IPs this entire year.

Dreamhost got blocked too (5, Informative)

Ambush Commander (871525) | more than 7 years ago | (#16018125)

I have a feeling [dreamhoststatus.com] that it's a lot more than just two ISPs.

Re:Dreamhost got blocked too (0, Redundant)

sjwest (948274) | more than 7 years ago | (#16018186)

dreamhost is used by many trojans for fake header provision

This is a problem with every ISP I've ever used. (4, Insightful)

dpbsmith (263124) | more than 7 years ago | (#16018127)

Ever since spam became a major nuisance, every of the ISP's I've used have instituted spam-blocking... and the nature of the block will vary from time to time, and they never tell you exactly what they're doing or what's being blocked or what you should do about it. Most of the time it's fairly reasonable, but I've suffered numerous multi-day "outages" during which overzealous spam filtering blocked messages from friends. Since the chances of learning about a blocked message is very small unless it's someone you're in regular non-email contact with, I'll bet that there have been a hundred valid messages blocked for every one that I know about.

What I don't understand is why ISP's can't send me an email every few days listing the subject lines and senders of everything they've blocked, with a link to click on to retrieve the blocked messages.

Re:This is a problem with every ISP I've ever used (1)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 7 years ago | (#16018204)

They can't send you the subjects of the e-mails because they don't have them. Blocklists are often IP address based. If a connection comes in to the mail server from a forbidden address, the connection is forcibly hung up without receiving any data.

Re:This is a problem with every ISP I've ever used (2, Informative)

realmolo (574068) | more than 7 years ago | (#16018213)

They can't send you a list of "blocked" messages, because they probably don't HAVE the messages in the first place.

Most of the really effective anti-spam systems rely on "blackhole" lists (like Spamhaus), and greylisting. Both of which simply drop the message before it is even delivered to your inbox.

I work for an ISP, and the spam problem is so bad that if you have to block a non-trivial amount of legitimate mail in order to block a HUGE amount of spam, then that's a more than fair trade-off. There is simply NO WAY to effectively block the junk without block quite a bit of real mail. At least, not on an ISPs e-mail server. "Private" mail servers are a different story.

Re:This is a problem with every ISP I've ever used (4, Insightful)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 7 years ago | (#16018230)


What I don't understand is why ISP's can't send me an email every few days listing the subject lines and senders of everything they've blocked, with a link to click on to retrieve the blocked messages


Because ISPs don't block IP blocks because they're trying to protect you from spam. They block IP blocks because they're trying to reduce the load on their incoming mail server (and save costs). Implementing a system that tags spam and sends you subject lines would cost money.

The real problem is that email is seen as a loss leader. Everyone expects an ISP to provide email, but they can't charge really anything for it as it's become a commodity. Thus many ISPs try to chince out and provide the bare minimum service. Basically if you want good email service sign up with a service that only does email. I run my own mail server, but I've had good luck with fastmail.fm. Let the ISP provide internet connectivity only and let someone that knows how to do email provide email service.

Re:This is a problem with every ISP I've ever used (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 7 years ago | (#16018322)

What about a tarpit? Or Teergrube, if you prefer?

Re:This is a problem with every ISP I've ever used (2, Informative)

King_TJ (85913) | more than 7 years ago | (#16018251)

Sometimes, this happens simply because ISPs are making use of automated blacklists downloaded nightly (or at least regularly) from the net.

The blacklists are good, but not perfect - and it can be really difficult to get your domain removed from one once it's mistakenly put there.

For example, my workplace started having problems with customers reporting their emails to us were getting bounced back as undeliverable. It turned out it was because the consulting firm that sells us our T1 line and spam filtering for our mail became a target of spammers. Spammers apparently got upset that they were being so efficiently filtered out by these people, so they started filing *their* IP address range as a source of spam with the blacklists. It took them weeks to get it removed again, so they had to route our incoming mail through other hosts in the meantime.

Re:This is a problem with every ISP I've ever used (1)

Babbster (107076) | more than 7 years ago | (#16018272)

The real question to me is why this kind of domain filtering happens at the ISP level. It's one thing to have good contextual filters but filtering domains, especially ones that are by in large legitimate, seems draconian. My ISP uses SpamAssassin to identify spam, tags e-mails as such, and sends a message through to me which tells me what has been filtered (and why), offering me a chance to view the message anyway if I so choose. It's not perfect, of course, but I don't think any spam filter can be perfect.

If a consumer (sysadmin or individual user) wants to apply domain filters to e-mail, that option is available in most e-mail programs and it's pretty easy to set up.

I might have to use Comcast when I move in about a month, and I dread that eventuality. I'd far and away prefer DSL+satellite to take care of my Internet and TV needs.

Re:This is a problem with every ISP I've ever used (2, Interesting)

naelurec (552384) | more than 7 years ago | (#16018281)

ISP's attempt to block spam before the spam arrives in their network. If they can block it (ie a specific mail server is a known spam source, so block the IP via a realtime blacklist) this reduces the bandwidth to receive the message, the cpu cycles to do a spam/virus scan and the resources to store the message.

For my private company mail servers, they end up averaging about 60%-80% of all incoming mail is SPAM. I'd expect with larger ISPs, such as AOL and Comcast, this ratio is even worse -- perhaps 4 spams or more for every 1 legitimate mail (or greater) due to being a much larger target for things like distributed mail campaigns, dictionary-based mailings, etc.

So this is a HUGE problem. Unfortunately it is getting worse with no real tangable solution available. As a result, spam filtering is getting more agressive and false positives are more common.

COMCast (3, Insightful)

stormcoder (564750) | more than 7 years ago | (#16018136)

I am a comcast subscriber (get over it. It's my only choice.) and as with all my past ISP's I've found their email service to be poor so I do the intelligent thing and use an email service that doesn't suck. That is why there are so many out there, lots of competition makes for good service. Go out and choose one.

Did anybody actually read TFA?? (2, Informative)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 7 years ago | (#16018148)

Is says that Comcast has blocked FORWARDING from the Well.

Williams said The WELL applies spam filters to e-mail that its members receive at their accounts on The WELL. But the organization doesn't see its role as sifting through e-mails that are merely transiting the site, in part because of the risk of deleting e-mail that a member may want to receive.

Moreover, why forward backwards? (2, Interesting)

wsanders (114993) | more than 7 years ago | (#16018302)

My ISP SBC/Yahoo's spam filtering sucks so utterly that I would find it pointless to forward mail FROM somewhere to my SBC/Yahoo account. No email sent to my SBC/Yahoo account is ever read. Apparently Comcast's spam filtering is run by morons too, so why bother to forward TO your ISP?

My mail gets forwarded via Godaddy to Gmail. Godaddy does a halfway decent job filtering out most of the junk and Gmail handles the rest. The idea being to forward TO the agent with the most effective spam filtering.

The Well has a pretty good reputation, and I would expect them to be fairly adept at spam filtering, and have decent customer support. Why forward backwards?

Easy Fix (1)

dieman (4814) | more than 7 years ago | (#16018151)

Find someone else to run your e-mail. pobox.com, for example, is fairly cheap. I run my own mail on a colo box and choose my own spam 'rules'.

Re:Easy Fix (1)

legoburner (702695) | more than 7 years ago | (#16018194)

I use webmail.us since they let me host domains elsewhere, http elsewhere and just forward the MX details on to their servers. Not had any problems yet but only been using them for 3 months. They have all the standard smtp/pop/imap/web access too.

Heh (1)

IHateAllofYou (962039) | more than 7 years ago | (#16018168)

Horseshit... I called Comcast to complain about the amount of spam I was getting from a single domain. Previously I had (or remember having) a method to block email as I chose. Now they're telling me to use filtering rules? Way to protect me there thanks. You can't whitelist you can't blacklist and your dynamic ip isn't so dynamic. Comcast doesn't care. The Abuse@spammers has been more helpful than my own isp. But thats okay because they blacklisted The Well whom Ive never recieved a normal message from let alone spam.

Dreamhost (1)

MBCook (132727) | more than 7 years ago | (#16018169)

Dreamhost (my hosting provider) is having the same problem. Check out the excellent summary of the situation in this blog entry [dreamhoststatus.com] .

Re:Dreamhost (1)

fribhey (731586) | more than 7 years ago | (#16018274)

dreamhost is my provider as well and they have been having the same issues with AOL for at least the past 6 months.....

dreamhost already has their own reliability issues to deal with and now they have to fight with comcast.

sigh.

Funny... (1)

Eggplant62 (120514) | more than 7 years ago | (#16018170)

I've been slowly blocking out Comcast's virus-infected customers using iptables. I receive spam, analyze it to find the IP address of where it came from, whois that IP address, and then simply block the CIDR address covering that range of users. Lately most of the spam I've been receiving is from Comcast IPs along with other large cable companies (RoadRunner, Adelphia, Cogent, Sprint, etc), and I'm very happy with the resulting reduced load on that machine.

Thanks spammers! You've helped me build a very effective spam firewall!

dreamhost.com has also been blocked (0, Redundant)

PCCybertek (915945) | more than 7 years ago | (#16018184)

Dreamhost.com, the company that hosts a website and e-mail for the bussiness I work for, has also had their forwards blocked by comcast this week. The funny thing is, gmail gets way more forwards from dreamhost and they don't have a problem filtering spam. Comcast said that the majority of the mail recieved from dreamhost is spam, which is not true. Here is the message dreamhost users recieved... Comcast forwards to be disabled, and AOL Update Posted 21 hours, 36 minutes ago (August 30th, 2006 at 2:40 pm PST) by Karl Today we have some good news, and bad news! We've been contacted by someone very helpful at AOL and I think we have that problem squared away, at least for now. There have been no further blocks and the AOL contact has indicated that our thresholds for blocking are much higher now. We're waiting for a bit to see whether this will solve the problem long-term, and are looking at implementing some suggestions they have made in the meantime to ensure that we can hopefully stay on their good side. We still won't be allowing new AOL forwards or forwards that have been removed to be re-added, but the existing ones won't be disabled for the time being. I still recommend setting up a local mailbox rather than forwarding any mail if possible, as forwards of any type add a potential failure point in your email's path. Now, for the bad news -- Comcast has become an increasing problem in the last two weeks and is now completely denying our unblock requests. As a result: In 7 days, on Wednesday, September 6th, we will be disabling all forwards to @comcast.net addresses. As a bit of background: Comcast blocks are atypical from the others that we've been having problems with in that they last indefinitely until unblocked manually. Unlike AOL blocks (which phase out automatically after 24 hours - though may reappear) someone has to flip a switch over there for any future mail to go through. The unfortunate part is that they have zero human availability and all we get from their blacklist email address are auto-responses -- either the IP is automatically unblocked, or the unblock is denied and the phone number of their abuse/security department is given. Unfortunately, this phone number is a completely unmanned voicemail drop-box. We've left no less than six messages on their voicemail in the last couple months, and despite numerous requests we have never received a phone call back or an email response. We're not even asking that they remove the blacklist -- we're simply asking for more information on why the IPs were blocked, and for a sampling of the typical spam they are supposedly getting from us! In fact, the only response we can get from them (if we get one at all) is an automated form message saying that "most of the email" received from our IPs is spam, which we know, in fact, is false. Again we regret that this decision had to be made, but we're currently wasting a great deal of time answering complaints regarding Comcast blacklists, not to mention calling and emailing Comcast to have those blacklists removed (unsucessfully) -- and they are a very small fraction of our total email forwards. For reference, our number of Comcast forwards is 1/12 of our GMail forwards, and GMail gives us zero problems while somehow managing to filter mail very well for its user base. For the people who have Comcast forwards set up, I recommend that you remove them yourself and set up a local DreamHost user where mail can be downloaded via client software or checked via webmail. You can edit the destination of an email address by going to "Mail" -> "Manage Email" on the left-hand side in the DreamHost control panel, and click on "Edit" next to the email address in question. If you have difficulty with this, please contact support. Next week, for those addresses that don't have an alternate recipient other than a Comcast forward, we will create a local email account for mail to be routed to, so that nothing is lost. Posted in Email Changes I will never sign up with comcast after seeing how much of this they are using. And to block The Well, that's too much. Besides pushing for the different levels of internet, this is one more reason to drop comcast.

Re:dreamhost.com has also been blocked (2, Insightful)

Araxen (561411) | more than 7 years ago | (#16018238)

They invented something called Paragraphs and it doesn't even have any patents on it. Next time I suggest you use some.

Paragraphs! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16018266)

I gave up a few lines into reading your magnum opus because it's just about impossible to read. If you want people to read your brilliant contribution to this site, split up your text into paragraphs next time you post.

Thank you...

Are they also blocking formatting tags? (1)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 7 years ago | (#16018408)

C'mon, dude. That's a LOT of text for no <br><br> or <p> to help out with the communication a bit.

Really. Try it! No extra charge.

If I had to wildly guess.... (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 7 years ago | (#16018191)

Completely uninformed guess based on absolutely no fact: that epicenter of smugness known as The WELL is too cybercool to block some moldy "netizen"'s Information Wants To Be Free open SMTP server.

(Speaking of smugness, could one of you irritating grammar dorks tell me whether the possesive apostrophe in ""netizen"'s" goes inside or outside the closing scare quote?)

Re:If I had to wildly guess.... (1)

jcrousedotcom (999175) | more than 7 years ago | (#16018282)

That would depend on if your referring to just one netizen or multiple!
:)
(outside for more than one, inside for just one). LOL
--jcrouse

Re:If I had to wildly guess.... (2, Informative)

TheGreek (2403) | more than 7 years ago | (#16018284)

(Speaking of smugness, could one of you irritating grammar dorks tell me whether the possesive apostrophe in ""netizen"'s" goes inside or outside the closing scare quote?)
It goes inside, along with the S.

Re:If I had to wildly guess.... (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 7 years ago | (#16018388)

I think you're right.

As with putting the closing quotation mark outside all other punctuation, the correct convention seems illogical when you're used to math or source code.

Re:If I had to wildly guess.... (1)

Nossie (753694) | more than 7 years ago | (#16018311)

funny that... no-one bites when you ASK them to fix your grammar :)

and no -- hehe I dont know.

Re:If I had to wildly guess.... (1)

smbarbour (893880) | more than 7 years ago | (#16018346)

The quotes would surround the entire word (since adding "'s" to a word forms the possessive form of the word except with "its")

Therefore the correct sentence would be:
Completely uninformed guess based on absolutely no fact: that epicenter of smugness known as The WELL is too cybercool to block some moldy "netizen's" Information Wants To Be Free open SMTP server.

Happy to oblige (even though they say, "Don't feed the trolls").

Re:If I had to wildly guess.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16018356)

I would tell you, but you irritated me, you ungrammatical swine. Knowledge has value, so make an offer if you want to know if your grammar's correct. You should have paid attention in school, when the instruction was free.

Simple Solution (1)

elmedico27 (931070) | more than 7 years ago | (#16018198)

GMail anyone?

ISP Based Email (1)

SirStanley (95545) | more than 7 years ago | (#16018209)

With the availability and increasing quality of 3rd party email services such as .mac (Pay for) and gmail (Free) (Not to mention yahoo, hotmail etc...) I can't imagine ISP based email for home/personal use remaining relevant in the comming years.

Ditch the Box (1)

BSonline (989394) | more than 7 years ago | (#16018210)

You should know something is up if their entire ad campaign is just mud slinging. I'm a current comcrap subscriber, and have every service they offer with the exception of digital voice. The voice plan, btw, is 40 bucks in my area. VOIP, however, is much cheaper.
I've had nothing but problems for the last several month, including with receiving the credits they offer me for my frustrations. I'm moving in 7 weeks, and I will never again be a comcrap subscriber.

A few examples of their misdeads:
Installer couldn't figure out how to hook up component video.
"on Demand" rarely works, and is slow when it does.
Three motorola boxes that didn't work.
Cable internet occasionally takes the night off, and frequently takes potty breaks (about ever 1-2 nights).

Ditch the Box before it's too late.

Your Rights (2, Insightful)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 7 years ago | (#16018211)

Is it a basic right to be allowed to receive e-mail from whomever I desire, or does Comcast have the right to censor as they wish?"

Comcast has the right to do whatever the fuck they want with their own network, as long as it is within the TOS contract you signed (which it probably was since it likely said they can change it at will with little to no notice). Also, you as a consumer have the right to ditch Comcast for any other ISP you want (assuming again you weren't locked into a TOS contract). Welcome to capitalism.

What you say? You have no other options for high speed in your area, or you have to keep your @comcast.com email address since it is not portable? Welcome to monopolies.

Re:Your Rights (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 7 years ago | (#16018350)

No TOS is binding until a court says it is.

They may not have the right to do that any more then power companies have the right to disallow other power companies from using 'there' grid.

How to use comcast without using comcast.... (3, Informative)

apl73 (306355) | more than 7 years ago | (#16018219)

I live out in the woods, too far for DSL, and comcast has the only wires capable of broadband (unless I want to get a T1 from Verizon).

But, Earthlink (which doesn't suck mostly :-) will provide your ISP services in place of comcast. So, my email isn't being filtered by comcast. BTW, since I only have broadband service, I'm paying something like $42/month (I own my own cable modem). The billing is all handled by comcast; but I have an earthlink IP address and name service.

The only problem's I've encountered were when Comcast "forgot" and (I assume) caused the DHCP server to give me a comcast IP address instead of a Earthlink one. Then, I couldn't connect to the earthlink email server...

BTW, I also have an alum.mit.edu email address that is set to forward to my
earthlink address; AFAIK, there were no bounces or glitches.

They blocked IEEE as well... (1)

nadamsieee (708934) | more than 7 years ago | (#16018225)

Comcast black listed IEEE accounts [ieee.org] as well for a while. Morons.

I'm on Comcast (1)

cptgrudge (177113) | more than 7 years ago | (#16018227)

Like others, I'm on Comcast cable, and I don't really have a choice for another broadband provider.

My question is this:

What geek (or even normal user) actually uses the email address that the ISP gives them? If I have to change providers and then change my email address, too, that's a ton of work. Why not just have separate entities for Internet access and email service? This really doesn't affect me, since I use Gmail.

Re:I'm on Comcast (1)

ealvar (999235) | more than 7 years ago | (#16018290)

Amen... I've *never* used the email accounts available from my ISP *ever*. Too much of a hassle if I ever switch ISPs.

Re:I'm on Comcast (1)

WebHostingGuy (825421) | more than 7 years ago | (#16018328)

Geeks, about 1%. Normal users--99%.

My father-in-law has a small DSL provider in another state and I literally got a domain name and setup a site for him so he could receive email like this: his_first_name@his_last_name.com. I totally scored on getting the domain name to be his last name. However, he uses his grke1956@heme.net as his email address. Can't get him to change even though I offered to set everything up. Normal users just have the mindset: I need to use the email they give me.

Flavor of the Day (1)

WebHostingGuy (825421) | more than 7 years ago | (#16018250)

This is just another blacklisting implementing the flavor of the day. This "flavor of the day" is now blacklisting not the origin of the spam but the last server/ISP/hop of the spam to the recipients.

Spamcop starting doing this a while back in their list. They, now, ban you not if you sent the spam but if the spam was forwarded from you or was the result of an autoresponder (spamcop therefore has said you should not use any autoresponders at all--"you should have a co-worker answer your email when you are gone" (How's that for privacy?)). Spammers send to email addresses with autoresponders or spam filters which bounce the email back to the return address--the return address--which is faked--is now the intended spam recipient. Therefore if your server/ISP/spam filter is setup to reject spam you will be targeted now and included in spam listings.

So, if you don't do anything and spam flows through you, you are on the list. If you actively reject spam, you might make the list. This is just going to get worse before it gets better. And good luck getting any information from a blacklist--they actively will not tell you the reason for the listing anymore because then (as they say) "spammers will use that information." Gee, doesn't help you fix any problems does it (if even you have a problem )?

Comcast (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16018269)

From personal experience the 'net needs protection from Comcast's virus-ridden customers more than the latter need protection from the rest of the net.

Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16018273)

We've been blocking comcast for 3-4 years now. One of our MX's has rejected over 120 mails with rdns in the comcast.net zone since logs rotated at 12 AM local on Sunday morning. This compares with around 90 rejected for having rdns in the verizon zone. The MX in question is our public facing departmental server, it only accepts mail for non-public email addresses and yet we reject around 3000 msgs a week with legitimate mail around 10% of the reject figure. It's pretty fucking hypocritical of witless spamming fucks like Comcast to block others when they can't even manage their own customers.

Comcast and Satan.... (1)

skeezix-the-cat (726758) | more than 7 years ago | (#16018297)

..... everyone knows Comcast and Beelzebub are bound at the hip. God, how I loath Comcast. My building in downtown Denver sports 'free internet'. Oboy. Gotta love those 2000ms ping times. Makes Qwest look positively angelic (btw, freakin' great service, Qwest. These days....). That's it. Dance w/ satan, and whaddayawant?? skeezix....

Blockbuster (1)

fusto99 (939313) | more than 7 years ago | (#16018298)

I recently found out that all of my emails coming from Blockbuster (for the monthly subscription service) were being blocked as spam. I ended up logging into my comcast webmail and noticed that a new spam filter was turned on and set to automatically delete any message that it thought was spam (instead of moving it to a folder). I have since turned off the filter completely but it sounds like I still may not be getting all of my mail if there is a higher up block.

Comcast problems (1)

grasshoppa (657393) | more than 7 years ago | (#16018338)

While critism of comcast's current antics are certainly warrented, as an ISP they have provided the most reliable and high bandwidth service in my area, out doing AT&T's t1s as far as reliability ( with a sample of 2 years ).

Sure, they are also damned expensive ( at 50-60 bucks a month ), but there is no reasonable alternative otherwise. AT&T/sbc/mabell doesn't count as reasonable.

Why use the Comcast account anyway? (0)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 7 years ago | (#16018347)

I have Comcast, but I've never used their email account, so this isn't a problem. All my email goes to a variety of gmail accounts. I can't think of a good reason why I would want to use the Comcast account anyway.

They're blocking Yahoo mail for godssakes (2, Interesting)

cephyn (461066) | more than 7 years ago | (#16018366)

My dad just got his first email address (i know, i know) with yahoo mail, and excitedly emailed his brother, a comcast member. Bounce.
Comcast is blocking a whole range of yahoo IP addresses. I've emailed them three times asking them to open up the whole block, but they won't do it, they'll only open up each IP i send them individually.

Simple solution to these situations (4, Interesting)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 7 years ago | (#16018367)

and with net neutrality issues. If they are not blocking it for a bonafide technical problem like DDoS or spam, they lose their common carrier status until everything is resolved to perfect legality. Then, let the lawsuits and prosecutions of the ISP commence in the mean time.

That will teach them to play king maker.

Don't Rely on Provider Email Services (1)

duplo1 (719988) | more than 7 years ago | (#16018371)

For those unfortunate souls who would be relegated to dialup if it weren't for Comcast, I suggest that you do not rely on Comcast's email services. Free mail services, such as Google mail, while not particularly privacy-oriented (can one expect privacy of emails??) offers pop3 over SSL and doesn't appear to suffer from blockages as of yet. I can't remember if the SMTP service supports SSL, but if it does, it may not be blocked by Comcast. Otherwise, you can still use Comcast's SMTP service.

Send your ISP a message by not relying on their email service. If enough people do this and complain, they will certainly get the message.

How Ironic... (1)

Beefslaya (832030) | more than 7 years ago | (#16018376)

They like to protect their customers from spam, yet they allow spammers to constantly use their servers and IP's to spam people.
 
Sounds like someone there needs to read the RFC standards and rules on email systems.
 
I don't know about your spam filters, but if mail comes in from comcast to our mail servers, it's an automatic 2 point tic on their spam scores...that's the default.

This sort of thing really pisses me off (3, Interesting)

fretlessjazz (975926) | more than 7 years ago | (#16018379)

As the sysadmin of an outfit who provides email news letters for sports teams and leagues, the blockheaded nature of "spam control" major ISPs implement these days is quite frustrating. On a daily basis, we deal with Subscriber Subset A who decide they no longer like their hometown's minor league baseball team and click the "This is Spam" button in their pretty little ISP-GUI inboxes (AOL, *cough*). This, in turn, causes ISPs to freak and rate limit us until the cows come home. Meanwhile, Subscriber Subset B missed last nights game and is irate that they did not receive the Game Notes and Box Score. While we are dealing with our clients complaints, the ISP has already contacted our upstream provider who is now threatening to unplug not only our SMTP box, but our entire WWW pool.

And, hell if I'm going to pay GoodMail for beans. Sigh...

Pretty easy to get this fixed (2, Interesting)

m00nshadow (963362) | more than 7 years ago | (#16018392)

I run a small web host and one of our users complained about their mail no longer forwarding last week. I contacted comcast at the address provided in the bounces and got a response within half an hour.

From: abuse-noreply@comcast.net
Date: August 22, 2006 12:10:25 PM EDT
Subject: Comcast.net Blacklist Removal Response

Please do not reply to this message.

This is to notify you that your request for removal from the
comcast.net blocklist has been received.

The following IPs were found within your request. Below each one,
we've included the results of our research.

38.xxx.xxx.xxx

The IP you previously provided has been removed from the
Comcast.net blocklist.

After review of the blocking, the IP you submitted was found to
have been blocked due to the fact that the majority of the traffic
from that IP contained content indicative of spam. If you are not
aware of the traffic that could have caused this, we recommend a
review of your outbound mail logs and ensuring that all computers
connecting to through the submitted IP are clear of any security
exploits.

Thank You
Comcast Network Abuse and Policy Observance

White-List (1)

pkcs11 (529230) | more than 7 years ago | (#16018406)

As a professional spammer and a comcast member, I feel I have the right to white-list whomever I want for whatever reason I want too. But I guess thats why I (and the author) aren't in charge of security at Comcast.

Basic Right? (1)

hummdinger02 (997602) | more than 7 years ago | (#16018409)

|Is it a basic right to be allowed to receive e-mail from whomever |I desire, or does Comcast have the right to censor as they wish?"

I am not sure we have a "right" to broadband but I wont get off track on that. . .

Good grief! With all the solutions out there the best thing they can come up with is this? Sounds like they need to get some different people on the spam team!

Not Alone (1)

RalphSouth (89474) | more than 7 years ago | (#16018419)

My Son-in-law runs a political web site, AfterDowningstreet.org. He found that all of his emails were being blocked because he included a link to the web site in his signature. Subsequent investigation showed that Semantic had been hired by Comcast to do filtering. They were invoking filtering on very flimsey compliants. There were no warnings or indications that mail had been blocked, other than people called him and told him that they had not received expceted communications. Eventually the block was removed; but, not before they had caused plenty of trouble.

This is Symantec/Brightmail again. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16018425)

It should be pointed out that Comcast uses the Brightmail/Symantec system
for spam filtering. So if they're dumping legit mail, so are probably all of
Symantec's other customers: Hotmail, Earthlink, MSN, etc.

If you do not like it. (1)

Boap (559344) | more than 7 years ago | (#16018429)

Do not pay Comcast any money and move your ISP to another provider.

"Big Brother" knee-jerk reaction (1)

ArchAbaddon (946568) | more than 7 years ago | (#16018431)

If one of their 10M customers requested a stop to spam from certain senders, then by all means, the ISP should block those senders for that particular customer.

However, when they block those senders for all of their customers, without prior consent, then they are overstepping their bounds.

I fail to understand why ISPs have taken it upon themselves to dictate who is a "legitiamte" sender, and who is a "spammer". There are many 3rd party anti-spam services whom people pay to do that. Provided, they don't catch everything, but most people will agree that some false postives are better than getting cut off completely because their contact's address falls within a certain sender domain determined (by who knows) to be a "spamming" sender.

I can understand ISPs protecting their bandwidth, but blocking entire email domains is the worst way to do it. Invest some infrastructure in smart technology, etc. Otherwise, you might as well start with "aol.com" if you plan to stop spammers the old-fashioned way.

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