Re: Why are you blocking my mail?

[ Message initially sent to postmaster - replying to infrastructure list
by request of Olav Vitters, snipping some offensive chunks ]

Em S� 2007-02-03 �12:53 +0000, Darryl Luff escreveu:
> As expected, you blocked my mail to postmaster too! Very below-par and not 
> what I expect from gnome. Please see my bleat below.

Starting with this, it is obvious that we would like to keep postmaster
open to any kind of posting in order to be made aware of any problems
with our mail infrastructure more easily, but it is also true that
spammers also target postmaster (although probably not intentionally :),
and either we get the number of messages we receive at this address down
to a reasonable number or we end up having to simply dump it
to /dev/null at once and read no complaints at all.

> Hi. I'm subscribed to evolution-list. But when I try to send
> perfectly legitimate mail it's blocked by the gnome servers (see below).
> I use spamhaus myself, but I only use the SBL/XBL lists. The PBL list is
> blocking me because I am using a dynamic IP, not because I've been
> spamming (which I haven't). Why should I send my mail through my ISPs
> mail server if I don't want to? Blocking on the basis of someone using a
> dynamic IP is not only discriminatory, it's definitely against the
> spirit of the Internet (if there is any left).
> What would happen if I had a car park and blocked your car entry because
> I decided that people with your colour car were more likely to graffiti
> the walls? Blocking my email because I use a dynamic IP is effectively
> the same. And it obviously makes being subscribed to the list a waste of
> time.

Unfortunately, only a tiny portion of mail originating at dynamic IP
addresses is legitimate. We are well aware that we may be preventing
valid uses of e-mail, and although we struggle to avoid that kind of
situation because we wholeheartedly believe it to be far from ideal,
that is a risk one is willing to run when setting up any kind of content
filtering - even manual verification, as bravely managed by our list
moderators, is prone to mistakes.

There is a point here which makes it all a bit less dramatic than your
car-colour hypothetical situation, though: routing mail through a mail
server is quite easier than changing your car's colour. On one hand, we
have the choice of getting tons of junk from dynamic IP addresses every
day, overloading our servers, overloading our scarce man power with
manual spam filtering or decreasing the level of productivity of our
mailing lists, used by our developers who already have little time to
write code, let alone erase spam from their mail boxes. On the other, we
have the choice of not accepting messages directly from dynamic IP
addresses, which, despite any marginal inconvenience, is possible to

As you might have noticed, we have made our choice for now. If it turns
out to be a huge problem we did not previously perceive it to be, and
that is why this is being taken to the gnome-infrastructure mailing
list, we are of course open to changing the way our mail infrastructure
works. At the moment, this does not seem to be the case.

In the hope that this has been useful,

  Guilherme de S. Pastore
  The GNOME Sysadmin Team

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