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Why Blacklisting Spammers Is A Bad Idea 396

Posted by timothy
from the painting-with-machine-gun dept.
Roland Piquepaille writes "For the last two months, an eternity in Internet time, I was unable to reach -- and to contribute to -- Smart Mobs, the collective blogging effort around the next social revolution initiated by Howard Rheingold. Why that? Because an unknown customer of Verio decided it was a spamming site and asked the company to blacklist the site. Verio complied -- probably without even checking it -- and my problems started. It took me dozens of e-mails and phone calls and two visits to the headquarters of my french ISP, Noos, to fix the situation. More about this horror story is available here."
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Why Blacklisting Spammers Is A Bad Idea

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  • Just (Score:4, Funny)

    by SargeZT (609463) * <pshanahan@mn.rr.com> on Sunday November 09, 2003 @06:20PM (#7430335) Homepage
    Break into the lobby of the ISP, guns in hand, and force them to remove the site from the blacklist. It's what I do when I'm pissed.
  • Pot/Kettle (Score:3, Funny)

    by AndroidCat (229562) on Sunday November 09, 2003 @06:22PM (#7430349) Homepage
    Verio blocking HTTP access to other people's spam pages? I have I wandered into another universe again?
  • Re:ORBS (Score:3, Funny)

    by John Paul Jones (151355) on Sunday November 09, 2003 @06:30PM (#7430380)

    I don't necessarily think it's astroturfing; it's a legitimate problem, and will continue to happen. OTOH, there are possible solutions, not only to this problem, but others as well. DBP, anyone? [jpj.net]

  • by Sun Tzu (41522) on Sunday November 09, 2003 @06:35PM (#7430405) Homepage Journal
    I have an earthlink.net account and a couple of weeks ago I was issued an IP address in the dreaded slashdot BANNED! file. Pity poor me, getting the big orange screen telling me about the terms of use and how, as a BANNED! IP addy, I was unable to even read them. Fortunately, the evil orange BANNED! page quoted me a few of the offenses that might have gotten 'my' IP banned. I must have spammed the input queue or posted a PWP (page widening post) or somesuch.

    Of course, it wasn't me. It was some other Earthlink customer who, sometime in the past, was issued that same dynamic IP address and committed the unpardonable offense. That customer has moved on to a new IP, but /. never forgets.

    It was hell. I spent *hours* unable to access /. -- can you imagine the suffering that such a fate would cause *you*??!

    Eventually, I was issued a new IP address from earthlink and was back online as the ageless Sun Tzu once more. But I still live in fear that someday, perhaps when I least expect it, the evil orange BANNED! page will return to haunt me. This is the personal hell that I inhabit and it is here that I shall remain, until I get a clean static IP address of my very own. I live for that day.
    --
    Send us your Linux System Administration [librenix.com] articles
  • I dare you to try and contact the Earthlink Network Abuse department. At my work, we are a (legal) online betting site and were getting pounded by several Earthlink IPs grabbing our free odds.

    With megs of apache logs for each IP address, Earthlink network abuse must have taken the week off. 17 Emails and 8 calls. With NO answer, NO response on anything.

    We cannot just block all of Earthlink's dynamic numbers because of ten insipid users. I wish death on all the sysadmins at Earthlink and I curse their children with webbed genitailia.

    ((Before replying with suggestions to do on my end, they have been tried. mod_throttle wasn't an option, dynamic temp bans had to be watched, blah, blah, blah.))
  • by orthogonal (588627) on Sunday November 09, 2003 @07:31PM (#7430653) Journal
    I believe that generally blacklisting still works, heck I'm filtering out all emails from Russia, and Hong Kong, places I know that I won't get email that I care about.

    Dear GOPWillC,

    I'm so, so, sorry! I hope you'll be happy to know that I've realized the error of my ways. I love you GOPWillC, and I want us to be together forever.

    I know I was so cruel to you by breaking up without a word of explanation, and rejecting all your attempts to get us back together. So I'll understand if you don't want to get back together. I know it would be only fair if you never even wrote me again.

    So if you don't respond to this email, I'll know that you have moved on, and that you can't forgive me, and I'll honor your wishes and never contact you again. And I'll go ahead and marry Richard.

    Yes, Richard jetted me here to Hong Kong to propose to me. And as soon as Richard proposed to me, I knew I really loved you! So I ran off, and ran right to this web cafe in the hotel in Hong Kong where I'm sending you this email.

    Please GOPWillC, please let me know you want us back together!

    Love,
    your pookie-wookie!
  • by commodoresloat (172735) on Sunday November 09, 2003 @08:29PM (#7430919)
    "Why Blacklisting Spammers is a Bad Idea: It Takes Up Valuable Time that Could Be Spent Tracking Them Down and Killing Them"
  • by fleener (140714) on Monday November 10, 2003 @02:01AM (#7432335)
    Better a million spammers go free, annoying billions of people, rather than temporarily inconvenience a handful of innocent domains? I'll take that inconvenience as acceptable risk for living in a world populated by asshats.

    Mr. Spock had it right.
  • by BrokenHalo (565198) on Monday November 10, 2003 @05:19AM (#7432802)
    Spam is a tough problem, and it's going to take more than just vigilante action to deal with it. What's needed is a two pronged approach.

    So I should find a spammer and spear him with a pitchfork?

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