The Passing of J.D. Falk

I'm very sad to pass along the news that J.D. Falk has passed away after a year-long battle with cancer.

I feel like I've known J.D. forever, and I most definitely had come to greatly respect and admire him. Occasionally someone would ask me if I'm trying to sound like Seth Godin, when I loudly attempt to espouse a consumer-centric point of view, I reply that no, I'm channeling J.D. Falk. Helping to stop spam and improve the email ecosystem have been his day job for so many years, across Yahoo, Hotmail, the Mail Abuse Prevention System, and most recently, Return Path. That job occasionally involved hitting marketers with a stick, reminding them that the email universe does not revolve around them.

The world is a slightly less better place today without J.D. Falk in it.

What does Spamhaus think of email append?

Today I stumbled across SBL listing SBL120550, which says the following:

"Several IPs in this /28 are sending spam to spamtraps advertising the services of ADT Home Security. The IPs belong to InfoCanada, a division of InfoUSA, via their Yesmail ESP.

InfoUSA also sells purchased and e-pended lists. We do not know whether the purchased list that the customer is using is using came from InfoUSA, but we consider the sales of purchased and e-pended lists to be spam support by definition. Use of such lists is a reliable path to an SBL listing."
(Emphasis added.)

There you have it, straight from Spamhaus themselves, explaining exactly what they think of purchased and e-pended (email append) lists.

Laura Atkins of Word to the Wise has compiled some very helpful ISP Summary Information, showing that, for starters, the SBL is used as a spam filter at AT&T, Comcast, Cox, RoadRunner, and Yahoo. Meaning, use of email append can lead to a blacklisting by Spamhaus, which leads to blocking at those ISPs. And they're not the only ones who use Spamhaus; I think Hotmail and Gmail do, too. Not to mention, many other smaller ISPs and corporate sites.