02-20-2012 01:44 PM
My "personal opinion" after watching this evolve over the last year is that with the current ratio of users per IP address that this issue is never going to be totally eliminated.
It will be an ongoing effort on the part of the ISP relations folks but its a "Zero Sum Game".
Savvy users of this system need to create processes that will help identify when we are victims of the problem and try to work around it the best we can.
Users of this message board are lucky enough to now know there is a serous issue and have been given some ideas to help with it. The other 99% of users have no idea its even a problem.
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02-20-2012 02:17 PM
Tony, I hope you're wrong about it never being eliminated. I'll tell you what speaks agains it: it wasn't a chronic problem until sometime around the end of Summer 2011, at which point spamtrap addresses affiliated with SpamCop suddenly started being included among CC customers' lists, which means an instantaneous IP listing on the SCBL. It's not an "IP reputation" issue due to volume--this particular situation is entirely due to specific, secret addresses receiving email messages broadcast through CC.
Now, my suspicion is that some of those addresses have been compromised, and aren't as "pure" as SpamCop would have people believe (and I'm a SpamCop customer and long-time reporting member). I have recommended to CC that they go above the heads of SpamCop's "enforcers" (the few admins that maintain the blocking/reporting system) to higher-level contacts at Cisco, which owns IronPort, of which SpamCop is a part. There simply *has* to be a way to negotiate some sort of exceptions for huge ESPs like CC to the overly-rigid, late 1990's policies of SpamCop, which are way too black and white, IMO.
I think that CC needs the flexibility of allowing customers, in good faith, to upload subscriber lists on the condition that they affirm them to be permission-based and not harvested or purchased. SpamCop insists otherwise, that all subscribers have to be confirmed opt-in, which in the real world, isn't always practical. This is why behind-the-scenes negotiations must take place, in order to arrive at reasonable solutions for large, ethical ESPs like CC, but the anti-spam "community" is not known for their flexibility and practical nature (given that I've been one of them for a long time).
02-20-2012 02:57 PM
Will second the observation about last summer - there was a shift for us, too. We've been watching for over 6 months now and it's not getting any better - I would say, honestly, it's even gotten worse.
Because our organization only sends out emails by the hundreds, not thousands, we are probably going to go with a different provider altogether. And really, if this has been an issue for us, I can't imagine how many people are affected and don't know.
Thanks again for your responses to this ongoing issue.
02-20-2012 03:02 PM
re: "It's not an "IP reputation" issue due to volume".
Sorry you got that impression from my post. I meant that to mean as the population grows so do the bad guys. I've seen posters here ask questions that could only indicate they are buying lists and sending to non- opt in lists. It would be naive to think that all users of the system are following the terms and conditions.
Hey let's hope I'm wrong. I've love to be.
02-20-2012 03:25 PM
Tony, I wasn't sure if you implied "reputation" in your post or now, but brought it up, as IP reputation is indeed part of the bigger picture of deliverability and even specific to this discussion, in that IronPort (SpamCop) has a big IP reputation engine at SenderBase.org.
As for belief that *all* CC customers will dutifully follow the rules, no, I'm not that naive, but really, true spammers utilize much more efficient modes of transmitting their spew, and they wouldn't be likely to pay a reputable ESP like CC based on their list size. I have never, ever received a single piece of spam sent through CC, period. That's one reason I'm in favor of reputable ESPs being treated a little differently by the spam-fighting community. A "one size fits all" solution to fighting spam is silly, and I'm much more about practical compromises where everyone wins. Right now, many of us are losing.
02-21-2012 11:30 AM
Bad news! Today (Tuesday morning, 2/21), FOUR of the outbound CC servers are listed on SpamCop:
So, until those listings expire, our odds of having delivery problems are significantly increased. I'll warn my communications team not to broadcast anything until there are fewer servers affected.
02-21-2012 11:42 AM
Figures, I sent a newsletter out this morning and it has one the highest bounce rates I've ever had. I know that many of these people that are listed under Non-existant address really do have a good email address.
/me tosses money in the wind again.
02-21-2012 12:38 PM
Just to clarify--the issue with people being listed as "non-existent" (in a somewhat misleading manner, IMO) doesn't have anything to do with this SpamCop problem. If you can contact those people successfully outside of CC, then contact CC support, you can get them restored do being deliverable.
02-22-2012 03:08 PM
We just got bit by this yet again. We sent out a brief notice about the death of one of our retired pastors, and because it happened to get routed out through ccm27.constantcontact.com, one of the two servers on SpamCop's Blocklist today, an unknown number of our recipients won't know that this person has died, won't tell their church members, won't be able to send cards and flowers, and won't attend the memorial service. I guess we shouldn't be using CC for important notifications? Just frivolous marketing messages? Not happy here in Phoenix.
02-23-2012 02:29 PM
Update: My department wants to send out some announcements via CC today, but there are currently three CC servers on the SpamCop blocklist:
and I just dragged an announcement (broadcast using CC) from another church-based organization out of my junk folder because it got sent through one of those thrree servers. This situation has now officially gotten worse again, after being a bit better in December/January.
Please, CC, the house is on fire--call the fire department (or at least get in touch with Cisco/Ironport and see if they can get control over their rogue SpamCop operation).