[Techtalk] opinions on RBLs, please

Brenda Bell k15a-list-linuxchix at theotherbell.com
Mon Feb 17 17:07:05 EST 2003

Quoting Carla Schroder <carla at bratgrrl.com>:

> In my never-ending quest for good spam-fighting tools, I've been
> pondering 
> using RBLs. However I'm concerned about blocking legitimate emails,
> they seem 
> rather cavalier about the possibility. "If your ISP is a spammer,
> get a 
> different ISP." Anyone have experience with them? There won't be
> any relaying 
> issues for my clients, no downstream servers, just how will their
> own mail 
> delivery be affected.

I've been using a couple of RBL's with qmail for several months with a
great deal of success.  I managed to bounce three legitimate emails: 
all three from dial-ups that got themselves temporarily listed for
being open relays with one of them being my own ISP!!!

The amount of control you have depends somewhat on your mail server: 
qmail lets me override RBL checks for specific IP's... so I was able
to accept email from specific ISP's without disabling RBL entirely.

I believe the likelihood of bouncing legitimate emails really depends
on the RBL's you choose.  You'll need to research the rules used by a
particular blacklist and make a conscious decision as to whether you
think they're appropriate.  FWIW, I use list.dsbl.org,
multihop.dsbl.org and bl.smapcop.net


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