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[Asrg] Partitioning of mail reachability due to spam

2005-06-09 18:10:05
Hi, folks.

I'm editing the writeup of my own anti-spam system based on subsequent
experiences with using and describing it.  I'll send a pointer when it's
ready.  But one interesting, and orthogonal, point has become more and more

Is anybody else noticing that, with no warning or system, decent sized
chunks of the Internet can't send E-mail to other decent sized chunks?  My
hosted system in the UK can't reach any Verizon customer, and recently has
started receiving a high spam score from Yahoo, such that mail is either
rejected, or dropped in a "bulk" inbox (depending on recipient spam options,
apparently).  Note this is a machine which is not a relay nor spam source,
and is hosted by an ISP who's diligent enough that they sweep hosts in their
racks to make sure there are no relays operating.

And I've had to help with another fellow who's up to three E-mail addresses.
Turns out he deals in Italian wines, and casually mentioned that he's had to
start noting which address to use to reach which of his customers.

With my own anti-spam system, I have found my incoming spam problem solved,
and was living in the fool's paradise that at least *I* was OK, even if
everybody else was still getting drilled.  But I hadn't counted on the
deployment of increasingly desperate (and, arguably, ill advised) filtering
impacting my ability to reach correspondents in the first place.  Running an
impeccable host from an impeccable address block is not enough, apparently.

So even if this message doesn't contain a proposal, I want to suggest that
the stakes are going up (thus the domain of solutions which may considered
might increase).  Annoying noise alongside a technology which still works is
a whole different game from a technology whose reliability is declining
I'm arguing that we're heading into the latter scenario.

Andy Valencia

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