I must be a spammer because SORBS say I am. I didn’t realise it until today when I tried to email the administrators of a Usenet Peer and the message bounced because their Mail Server uses SORBS (Spam and Open Relay Blocking Service).
SORBS have a good website so it didn’t take long to find out that my host had been listed because it relayed an email to a SpamTrap. I had to ponder this for a minute before it occurred to me that the server in question runs a Nymserver. This means that any user of that service could have maliciously or accidentally emailed one of these SpamTrap addresses.
Okay so it’s a mistake on the part of SORBS, I’m not really a spammer and one email sent to an address certainly doesn’t qualify me as one. Unfortunately that’s not how SORBS see it; it’s my fault I got on their list and it’ll cost me $50 to get de-listed. That’s funny! They want me to pay to get off their spam list. What a lucrative little venture, no wonder they make it so easy to get on their list in the first place.
So to sum up:
- I’m listed on SORBS and I’m not going to pay to get off it. Internet blackmail is distasteful.
- People who rely on nothing but SORBS to vet their email will be dropping legitimate email, mine. Serves them right for letting a third-part like SORBS control their services.
- It seems that Spam, (like Viruses) is now a lucrative business, not just for the perpetrators but also for those who claim to cure it.
Update 25th Dec 2008
This morning I got a email reply from SORBS, I’ve been de-listed! The single email to the Spamtrap that caused the listing has expired and subsequently my enquiry was enough to warrant a de-listing. Very kind of SORBS but it doesn’t really make their practises any more palatable to me.