[Techtalk] opinions on RBLs, please

Akkana akkana at shallowsky.com
Mon Feb 17 22:08:42 EST 2003

Carla Schroder writes:
> 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 

If you do decide to use an RBL, please leave a few addresses, including
"postmaster", that are not blackholed, so that users who are unfairly
blacklisted can contact you.  Also, please bounce an informative
message stating that the message didn't make it, why, and who
to contact to fix the problem.

I used to run a mailing list hosted on an ISP that did blackhole
spam blocking, and I got a lot of complaints from users who were
blackholed because of some far-upstream provider (such as uunet) 
over which they had no control.  Often these were people living
in areas where they only had one choice of ISP.  Yet all they knew
was that messages they sent to the list never got there, and messages
they sent to me to ask about it never got answered (since I was
also on that ISP).  A couple of them happened to know my work address,
and mailed me there, otherwise I might never have known.

I eventually moved off that ISP largely because the blackholing
was such a pain.  But it wouldn't have been a problem with proper
bounce messages and a few non-protected addresses.


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