Stop telling me how great Spamarrest is


Late last year, Al wrote a piece discussing how Spamarrest lost a court case. In the comments on that piece I described how much I really detest Spamarrest because of all the spam I get from Spamarrest users. Every few weeks, someone notices that post again and points it out to Spamarrest users who then come over here to tell me how wonderful Spamarrest is for them.
I Get It. You like Spamarrest because it keeps spam out of your inbox.
The problem is Spamarrest (and any other challenge response setup) contributes to spam in my inbox. I have addresses that get forged into spam all the time. When that happens, I get dozens of Spamarrest challenges, clogging up MY inbox.
I don’t want to do your spam filtering for you. I really don’t. And if you ask me if you should receive a piece of email, I am going to tell you yes. I did that for a while; when I got a challenge from someone I’d answer it in the affirmative. Eventually I got tired of it and sent all mail from to /dev/null.
Am I missing out on corresponding with some brilliant and wonderful people? Maybe. But from my perspective, 100% of the confirmation requests I receive from Spamarrest are spam.  I’m just thankful that Spamarrest makes it easy to identify and throw away their requests so I don’t have to handle someone else’s spam load in addition to my own.
This is a long way to say I’m closing comments on the older Spamarrest post, so don’t bother telling me what a great spam filter it is. The same thing that makes it a great spam filter for you makes it a total source of spam for me.

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  • Though the Procmail users mailing list is not nearly as active as it once was, one of the old-timers there (I guess now I’m an old-timer, after the better part of 20 years…) used to call this type of challenge/response spam filtering “Prove you love me” and had a rather eloquent explanation why it was the wrong approach. My Google-foo seems to be better today than last time I looked, as I was able to find it:
    David Tamkin, Jan, 2001:
    “The autoreplies that whitelisters use, whether they’re “you dirty spammer” or “prove you love me” types, generally have the wrong effect in all cases. A person who sends legitimate mail is insulted, while a spammer who uses a real return address gets validation of the whitelister’s address, and a
    spammer who victimizes someone else by using that person’s return address gets one more piece of mail bombarding the victim.”

  • Sending a legal declaration today, I got a spamarrest-request first time.
    Having it a better look:
    I am not going to agree with such a compagny in a position to take me to court in the USA ($2000) for email from Dutch to Dutch.
    Looking at their page I saw them recommend to use the same password for the spamarrest-account as for the emailaccount. I don’t think so !!!!

By laura

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