Ask Al: Blacklisted by Spambag?

David Writes, "I was informed that (a company's domain) was being blacklisted by spambag.org which from my understanding is a dead listing. We are not able to receive emails from the company, and according to our email provider, 1&1, it is because of this dead blacklist. How can that be and how can it be fixed?"

Ask Al: Checking email addresses against URIBLs?

Scott writes, "I use URIBL lists in SpamAssassin, and these are configured according to their documented purpose (URI checks). I am getting a lot of spam now which spamvertise email addresses, rather than a URI. The bad domain might be in the From: field, or it might be in the message body. Example: 'Contact me at this address xyz@example.com'. These domains are already on RBLs such as URIBL_BLACK. The first question is, do you think this is a valid strategy, and how 'safe'? I can not see any negatives with the spam examples I have received. Second question is, how does one take advantage or URIBL etc to validate email address strings? Google for "spamassassin rhsbl" and you get no useful information."

Postini: Google's take on e-mail security

Multiple friends have forwarded a long this very detailed CNet News article on email filterer Postini (now owned by Google). Lots of good detail there, and it's definitely worth reading.

From my perspective of helping senders, Postini has always been a bit of a disappointment to me. Some of their filtering choices seemed pretty random and we often used to run into issues where somebody was filtered by Postini, but not by anybody else. And the mail being filtered would be order confirmations, details about your upcoming flight reservation, etc. When they were acquired by Google, I was hopeful that some of Google's good sense would trickle down on to Postini. Gmail has great spam filtering, and they do it while rejecting much less amounts of mail than other ISPs and webmail providers tend to. It's hard to say if my wish came true, standing here on the outside looking in.

Usenet.com Gets Ass Handed To It By Court

Nate Anderson reports for ARS Technica: "A federal judge yesterday found Usenet.com liable for just about every copyright infringement claim on the books: direct infringement, inducement of infringement, contributory infringement, and (just for good measure) vicarious infringement. Not content to be loud and proud about its pro-pirate agenda, Usenet.com also resorted to stonewalling legal questionnaires, sending employees to Europe to avoid depositions, wiping hard drives, and failing to turn over e-mail after being sued in 2007 by the music labels."

Hey, wait a minute. Isn't Usenet.com Jerry Reynolds? The guy who went after anti-spam activist David Ritz for using common spam fighting tools like "host" and "whois"? (Note to self: Don't try to acquire or use free, legal and common unix utilities in North Dakota.)

Why yes
, yes indeed.

I've been eagerly awaiting the outcome of this case ever since I first heard about it. All I've got to say now is: Karma can be a real bitch sometimes, huh?

Find the court documents here.