SpamCop fills the paddy-wagon

And again, its GMail users in the shackles. SpamCop recently added several Gmail servers to its blacklist. The reason: some spam came from those servers, and Google doesn’t pass the originating IP address of the email user. They prefer instead to push their own IP in place of the standard “X-Originating-IP” header line delivered from competing webmail providers, so SpamCop added the whole server(s).

I am not sure what Google’s beef over privacy is here, but it makes little sense to me.

First, it is extremely difficult to learn much about a sender from their IP address, other than the general locale that particular email was generated from. But why would a legitimate user care about that? The good guys aren’t going out of their way to remain anonymous (at least not yet). It’s the bad guys altering their headers, bouncing emails off open proxies, and using privacy tools to mask their real locations that you have to worry about, and an IP address in plain site is not going to bother them too much. In fact, it is a boon for them – one less thing to worry about.

On the alternative side, Brian McWilliams noted that the Gmail servers in question are not on other big blacklists, which makes you wonder how SpamCop is making decisions on their own account.

Like the AOL/MAPS problem some time ago, Gmail will likely get this straighted out. But the question remains – does the fault lie with an overzealous blacklist or an email service with some funky privacy policy?

Comments

Wazoo says:

How SpamCop.net makes the call;
http://www.spamcop.net/fom-serve/cache/297.html
Note the math involved.

Note also that even SpamCop.net does not recommend using their BL in a blocking fashion, even the SpamCop.net filtered e-mail accounts side of the house uses it as either a Tagging option or part of a filter set which moves suspected spam e-mail to a “Held” folder (option selectable by the user) … and also pointing out the obvious .. SpamCop.net cannot block any e-mail itself, this “action” being due to the configuration of the ISP using the BL in their e-mail management toolset.

As Brian McWilliams also noted, there is a huge discussion at http://forum.spamcop.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=3973 .. which includes some snippets of dialog with Gmail “techs” … and the demonstrated issue with their “privacy” stand … the lack of the appropriate data in the headers only occurs from the web-based interface. Use of the POP/SMTP feature/function results in “correct” headers.

Spamcop is blocking Gmail Users Again

from a great summary at Techworld.com – Spamcop and Gmail lock horns again,
“Google has once again had to lock horns with Spamcop, the service which blocks unwanted e-mail on behalf of many mail service providers, following the blocking of sever…