Spamcop: Friend or Foe?

Spamcop does a noble service: It keeps the IP addresses of the sites that send spam, so that all the other servers reject emails from that server. On paper, this looks great.

Now imagine that you have a large server, a school perhaps, or a large company, or some poor ISP with a single server, and hundreds of domains on it.

Even if you are very diligent about spam and system management, there is always the possibility that some dork will upload some PHP code and send out its spam, until you notice it.

In fact, the bigger the server you have, the more chances that you will end up on this “blackhole” and your server will be denied by the entire world.

In such cases, you see Spamcop’s ugly side, perhaps the CISCO-big-corporation side: They will not remove you from their database, until their 24-hour punishment period is over, regardless of what you or what prevention measures you take.

But who are they punishing? Or who are they protecting? What about the rights of the users on those banished systems who can no longer send email out? Do the few really need to be sacrificed for a “greater good”, or isn’t there a more sensible approach?

Currently, spamcop punishes thousands of users for the wrongdoing of one. Their unresponsive staff refuse to remove sites before the full 24-hours is up, even if the problems are solved 12 hours ago.

Whenever I now see that sites are denied access to the servers I manage, I now wonder how many are wrongly accused of sending out spam due to a generalization on the part of spamcop.

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