[Nottingham] Tux Games Antispam - Your message is being held

Michael Simms michael at tuxgames.com
Mon Dec 10 13:43:18 GMT 2007

On Mon, 2007-12-10 at 12:48 +0000, Alexander Lewis Jones wrote:
> Andy Smith wrote:
> > My point was that simply saying "don't allow spam sources to connect
> > to you" doesn't get us anywhere because the next question is "how do
> > we identify a spam source?"  Which is pretty much the same as "how
> > do we stop spam?" - it's brought us back to the beginning.
> > 
> > (this is not a invitation for people to tell me their favourite ways
> > of guessing which sources will be spam, I too have my favourite
> > ways, and all our ways are imperfect)
> Complain to your ISP. Humans are the only ones who can really judge, 
> anyway. If there's less spam, it shouldn't be a time consuming process 
> to select it and click on a button marked "Complain to ISP". It's then 
> their job to verify the sender and take appropriate action.
> Alex

Even that doesnt work well though. My companies run a couple of mailing
lists. Genuine opt-in mailing lists that you have tio enter your email
address to get onto and you have to verify your email address with a
link click in the acknowledgement email.

The opt-out is the same system as the opt-in, so NOBODY can get into the
mailing lists without being able to get out, and yet, we've been put on
blacklists, ISP's have blocked our emails, because some people find it
easier to complain than to unsubscribe. And for all the ISP knows it IS
one of the unpleasant mass-mailings that people didnt want. How can they
tell without ging to the hassle of signing up, examining the processes
of each and every complaint.

This has then lead to - when a big ISP blocks us, genuine customers not
getting the emails they DO want cos one annoying sod decided to be a
PITA. Thus leaving us with 3-4 hours work each time to convince the ISP
to let our emails through.

I wish I could think of a perfect system for stopping spammers. I just
can't, so, I live with what I can do. I dont consider an extra 20
seconds ONCE for someone to contact me as enough overhead to get excited
about. One mis-hit in three years, and roughly 800,000 emails in those 3
years, damn I think thats VERY good at not giving overhead to who
shouldnt have it.

As a note to the rather rude email from earlier.

a) The system is scalable. It handles as many emails as you need it to.
b) The system copes with other peoples C/R - it whitelists,
automatically, anyone I mail to. It sends the antispam from the
recipient, so that if someone with C/R mails me, the response will go
back to them and their system should have whitelisted me as they mailed
c) It actively looks for mail loops and refuses to send more than one
challenge per 24 hours SPECIFICALY to stop it spamming people who may
have had their addresses compromised. If you send me a million spam
emails you get ONE response.

Michael Simms, CEO - Tux Games

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