Monthly Archives: September 2012

Thanks for your questions!

Thanks, everyone, who submitted questions to We’ve gotten some great questions to answer here on the blog. I’m working through the emails and contacting folks if I have questions. I’ll be answering the first question on Wednesday. I also did have someone harvest the address off the website and send me non-CAN SPAM compliant […]

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RFC-i blocklist shutting down

The RFC-ignorant blocklist announced on 9/15 that it will be shutting down service. I commend Derek and his team for how they’re handling the shut down. All too many blocklists have been shut down due to owner burnout with disastrous consequences. Most of these lists did things like listing the whole world or just pulling […]

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Ask Word to the Wise

One of the challenges of writing a blog for 5 years is making sure we’re providing information our readers really want. I figure the easiest way to do that is to have you ask us questions about the things you want to know. You can ask questions in the comments here, send them to […]

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Let them go!

Unsubscribing should be so simple. Even if someone signed up for mail, senders should let them go when they unsubscribe. Unfortunately, there are a lot of senders that make it difficult to unsubscribe. In fact, many companies are still hiding unsubscribe links behind login pages. Neither a sender nor any person acting on behalf of […]


Open Relays and Mail Sinks

Email is a “store and forward” protocol. The sender doesn’t connect directly to the recipient to send the mail with just one network hop, rather the sender connects to a mailserver (usually referred to as an “MTA”, short for Mail Transfer Agent) and sends the message there. Once that MTA has received the message it […]

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Questions about CAN SPAM.

In the US, the law governing the sending of commercial email is CAN SPAM. I’ve seen a number of questions about CAN SPAM recently. One came from twitter, where someone was asking if just having an email address meant permission to send to it. Clearly, just being able to dig up an email address doesn’t […]


Just Block It

I tend to go back and forth about reporting spam these days. On one level I know that it’s all a numbers game, and policy enforcement is more about the quantity of complaints than the quality. Knowing this I don’t often send in complaints. I do make a few exceptions: when I know the policy […]

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Equivocating about spamtraps

What is a spamtrap? According to a post I saw on Twitter: By definition, a spam trap is an email address maintained by an ISP or third party, which neither clicks nor opens emails, meaning it does not actively engage with the emails it receives. That’s not the definition of a spamtrap at all. A […]

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Dr. Livingston, I presume?

I linked to Al’s post about misdirected emails and how annoying it is for people who receive emails. I’ve previously talked about the problems associated with not handling misdirected emails properly. It’s really annoying getting email that you never signed up for. For instance, one of my email addresses gets quite a bit of misdirected […]


Misdirected email

Al has another post about another company sending mail to a customer that gave an email address that didn’t belong to them. The person receiving the misdirected email has no effective way to make it stop, and is getting more and more frustrated with the ongoing spam. (Consumerist article)

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