Lawyers enter fray in spam blacklisting dispute

Spews.org makes Island Networks sick


Island Networks, the Channel Islands domain manager, is threatening anti-spam blacklisting service Spews.org with legal action following the blacklisting of its IP address.

Spews.org blacklisted the block of domains 216.110.45.0 to 216.110.51.255 last month due to the activities of a group known as spammingbureau.com. Island Networks, which has no affiliation to spammingbureau.com and has a "strict anti-spam policy", uses IP address 216.110.45.73.

That's among the block of IP addresses targeted by Spews.org. Island Networks claims the blacklisting has hurt its business.

Through its lawyers, DL Legal, Island Network gave Spews.org until January 24 to remove the block or face further legal action. Its letter (posted here on news.admin.net-abuse.email) spells out the effects Spews.org's action have had on its business.

"The listing of the block (i.e. all 1536 addresses) rather than the offending IP addresses causes our client direct economic and commercial loss. Your listing means that our client's mail will be wrongfully bounced by ISPs using your service," writes Nick Lockett, a partner at DL Legal.

Linking Island Networks with spammingbureau.com in the blacklisting is defamatory, Lockett further argues. Neither Lockett not Island Networks returned our request for comment on the dispute.

Resorting to law over spam blacklisting is an unusual, though in the fractious world of anti-spam, not unprecedented move.

In this case it seems to have achieved to desired effect.

Island Networks is no longer blacklisted by Spews.org.

The threat of legal action against Spews.org has prompted a vigorous debate on the news.admin.net-abuse.email, with people weighing in on both sides of the argument (which is not for the faint hearted),

Spews.org is described as a vigilante and, in more reasoned postings, criticised for its blanket approach to blacklisting and difficulties in communicating with its volunteers.

Most people posting to the newsgroup, however, defend Spews.org and describe many of the organisations that complain against the blacklisting service as "Cartooneys" who fail to play their part in dealing with the spam tsunami.

Organisations choose to use Spews.org of their own volition, many also point out. ®

Related Story

Criminal case against ORBZ spam blacklist dropped
ORBZ shuts up shop, cites criminal charges
Junk mail costs lives
ORBS now split into three
Anti-spammers turn guns on each other


Other stories you might like

  • Screencastify fixes bug that would have let rogue websites spy on webcams
    School-friendly tool still not fully protected, privacy guru warns

    Screencastify, a popular Chrome extension for capturing and sharing videos from websites, was recently found to be vulnerable to a cross-site scripting (XSS) flaw that allowed arbitrary websites to dupe people into unknowingly activating their webcams.

    A miscreant taking advantage of this flaw could then download the resulting video from the victim's Google Drive account.

    Software developer Wladimir Palant, co-founder of ad amelioration biz Eyeo, published a blog post about his findings on Monday. He said he reported the XSS bug in February, and Screencastify's developers fixed it within a day.

    Continue reading
  • FTC urged to protect data privacy of women visiting abortion clinics
    As Supreme Court set to overturn Roe v Wade, safeguards on location info now more vital than ever

    Democrat senators have urged America's Federal Trade Commission to do something to protect the privacy of women after it emerged details of visits to abortion clinics were being sold by data brokers.

    Women's healthcare is an especially thorny issue right now after the Supreme Court voted in a leaked draft majority opinion to overturn Roe v Wade, a landmark ruling that declared women's rights to have an abortion are protected by the Fourteenth Amendment of the US Constitution.

    If the nation's top judges indeed vote to strike down that 1973 decision, individual states, at least, can set their own laws governing women's reproductive rights. Thirteen states already have so-called "trigger laws" in place prohibiting abortions – mostly with exceptions in certain conditions, such as if the pregnancy or childbirth endangers the mother's life – that will go into effect if Roe v Wade is torn up. People living in those states would, in theory, have to travel to another state where abortion is legal to carry out the procedure lawfully, although laws are also planned to ban that.

    Continue reading
  • Zuckerberg sued for alleged role in Cambridge Analytica data-slurp scandal
    I can prove CEO was 'personally involved in Facebook’s failure to protect privacy', DC AG insists

    Cambridge Analytica is back to haunt Mark Zuckerberg: Washington DC's Attorney General filed a lawsuit today directly accusing the Meta CEO of personal involvement in the abuses that led to the data-slurping scandal. 

    DC AG Karl Racine filed [PDF] the civil suit on Monday morning, saying his office's investigations found ample evidence Zuck could be held responsible for that 2018 cluster-fsck. For those who've put it out of mind, UK-based Cambridge Analytica harvested tens of millions of people's info via a third-party Facebook app, revealing a – at best – somewhat slipshod handling of netizens' privacy by the US tech giant.

    That year, Racine sued Facebook, claiming the social network was well aware of the analytics firm's antics yet failed to do anything meaningful until the data harvesting was covered by mainstream media. Facebook repeatedly stymied document production attempts, Racine claimed, and the paperwork it eventually handed over painted a trail he said led directly to Zuck. 

    Continue reading
  • Florida's content-moderation law kept on ice, likely unconstitutional, court says
    So cool you're into free speech because that includes taking down misinformation

    While the US Supreme Court considers an emergency petition to reinstate a preliminary injunction against Texas' social media law HB 20, the US Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday partially upheld a similar injunction against Florida's social media law, SB 7072.

    Both Florida and Texas last year passed laws that impose content moderation restrictions, editorial disclosure obligations, and user-data access requirements on large online social networks. The Republican governors of both states justified the laws by claiming that social media sites have been trying to censor conservative voices, an allegation that has not been supported by evidence.

    Multiple studies addressing this issue say right-wing folk aren't being censored. They have found that social media sites try to take down or block misinformation, which researchers say is more common from right-leaning sources.

    Continue reading
  • US-APAC trade deal leaves out Taiwan, military defense not ruled out
    All fun and games until the chip factories are in the crosshairs

    US President Joe Biden has heralded an Indo-Pacific trade deal signed by several nations that do not include Taiwan. At the same time, Biden warned China that America would help defend Taiwan from attack; it is home to a critical slice of the global chip industry, after all. 

    The agreement, known as the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF), is still in its infancy, with today's announcement enabling the United States and the other 12 participating countries to begin negotiating "rules of the road that ensure [US businesses] can compete in the Indo-Pacific," the White House said. 

    Along with America, other IPEF signatories are Australia, Brunei, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Combined, the White House said, the 13 countries participating in the IPEF make up 40 percent of the global economy. 

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022