Joe Jared Wins

Joe Jared used to run an open-relay blacklist called Osirusoft. I respected what Joe’s intent was, though I was of the opinion that Joe ran things unwisely. Both of these things I mentioned way back in 2001, when an SF Gate Article slammed Joe (and blacklisting in general).

I recall that Joe has been defensive and combative in the past when people with affected/blocked mail reach out to him. He was also not very good at record keeping, something I knew from the past, and that fact came up in this case (Pallorium vs Jared).

Pallorium, a private detective agency, sued Joe, saying more or less that they weren’t running an open relaying mail server, they weren’t spammers, that Joe was careless, and that he offered no recourse to resolve the listing, because his website was periodically unavailable.

The court documents indicate that Joe admits that he had no idea how the server came to be listed, and that Joe’s tests after the lawsuit saga began show that the server was not actually an open relay. If records were kept showing where and why something was listed, I suspect it would’ve saved him some effort and perhaps prevented the lawsuit. It probably didn’t help that Joe was rude to the plaintiff on the phone about the issue, too.

Regardless, this case was clearly resolved in favor of spam blocking. I've always said that ISPs and anti-spam groups are pretty much free to block whatever mail they want, in their best efforts to block spam. The court and I seem to be in agreement on that point.

On one of the public anti-spam lists I’m, this spurred a discussion positing that this allows folks to probe for open relays and add them to a blacklist, as long as the person doing so has been receiving objectionable spam. Perhaps, but this isn’t quite precedent-setting. My understanding is that this would only apply in California courts, and that the decision is unpublished anyway. Not to mention, open relays (which I used to help people block myself back when I ran blacklists) are no longer the primary source of spam that they once were.

(If you don’t know what an open relay is, check my recent post on the topic.)
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