[linux-elitists] AOL says goodbye to AT&T/Comcast and residential mail spools

Shawn McMahon smcmahon@eiv.com
Mon Apr 14 06:53:36 PDT 2003

On Mon, Apr 14, 2003 at 12:28:38AM -0400, Aaron Sherman said:
> I'm not being blocked because my IP is dynamic. I'm being blocked
> because I'm at home, and AOL's Internet doesn't want to talk to the
> little guy.

AOL doesn't want to get spam.  The VAST majority of email that comes
directly from IPs inside the "dynamic" ranges of ISPs is spam, because
the vast majority of people with IPs in those ranges use their ISP's
SMTP server for outbound mail, and because spammers send their mail
directly instead of using their ISP's server.

A tiny fraction of people in those ranges are legitimate.  You're one of
them, I'm another.  I faced this problem for all of five minutes,
because I didn't irrationally refuse to use a smarthost.

> This may sound petty on my part, but I've been sending mail for over 15
> years now. I've been doing it from my own domain for 7. Why is it that
> SUDDENLY the Internet is only for the corporate big-boys? Because
> they're more responsible?

No, because spam has become a really tremendously huge problem over the
last few years.

> My vote is we blacklist the bastards that try to break the net like this
> for now, and then implement a system of identity, trust and
> responsibility.

If you want to blacklist the entire anti-spam community, go right ahead;
but that's not going to make your mail go through to them.  Go ahead and
blacklist your parents; that's your right, just as it's AOL's right to
blacklist you.  If they made the wrong decision, their customers will
vote with their feet.

Or you could just set the smarthost line in your SMTP server config.

> That should be easy enough to write and then hack into the major
> mailers....

I look forward to hearing how your coding turns out.  When it's
implemented in sufficient servers that I can use it instead of blocking
dynamic IPs without significantly increasing my spam, I'll use it.  AOL
may be a tougher nut to crack since the volume of spam involved in a
small percentage increase is much higher, but I wish you luck.

Shawn McMahon     | Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill,
EIV Consulting    | that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any
UNIX and Linux	  | hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, to assure
http://www.eiv.com| the survival and the success of liberty. - JFK
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