[svlug] Outbound email and MAPS and RBL and AOL and ugh!

Walt Reed svlug at linuxguy.com
Fri Dec 17 13:13:31 PST 2004

On Fri, Dec 17, 2004 at 11:08:31AM -0800, Mike Castle said:
> On Fri, Dec 17, 2004 at 01:04:06PM -0500, Walt Reed wrote:
> > On Fri, Dec 17, 2004 at 09:34:49AM -0800, Mike Castle said:
> > > If you just configure exim to always forward your mail through your ISP,
> > > then you don't have to worry about maintaining a moron list.
> > 
> > Several issues with this including:
> > * Many ISP's email servers are not reliable
> Then get a different ISP.  And be sure the let the ISP you're leaving know
> why.

I just KNEW someone was going to bring up that tired old line!

Many of us do not have the luxury of having 150 broadband ISP's to
choose from. We have our local ILEC, cable company, or we have to shell
out $900+/month for a FT1 / T1. The first options sucks, the second
sucks more, and the final is only an option for businesses large enough
to justify the cost.
> > * You lose the ability to actually track what happened to the email
> >   completely. ("my email to you is stuck in the spool because your email
> >   server isn't accepting connections...") This is huge actually. Many
> >   times you won't know that an email can't be delivered for DAYS while
> >   the relay continues to retry.
> Email was never intended to be an instaneous communication.  Any
> expectations otherwise are unfounded.

Instantanious and  half a day to several days are very different
things. I DO expect that email sent be delivered within an hour at
the most. For a properly configured, loaded and functioning network, 
there is no excuse for a day or more delay. But you missed my whole
point about the ability to track what's going on. Would you rather send
an important letter standard US mail or FedEx overnight? Sending an
email through some big ISP is tossing it to the winds and hoping it gets
there which is very different than being able to see in your logs that
it at least got to their corporate mail gateway. 
> > * You and the recipient support TLS yet the relay does not
> Again, vote with your pocket book and get a different ISP.

If you are willing to pay for it, sure! It's VERY easy to spend someone
elses money. We are not talking about a $10 / month difference here.
It's more along the lines of $10K / year. Shall I expect a check in the

> I've seen these arguments over and over.  They've always been bogus.  

I've seen yours too, and it is more bogus. You are telling people that
they are second class net-citizens because they are unable to afford or
find a "perfect" ISP. Many of the ISP's I have used over the years have
grown and become unreasonable, unreachable, and impersonal. You use what
you have available. That means paying more for a business line and
getting a static IP, but still not being able to control reverse DNS. 

The reality of the situation is that many of the anti-spam techniques
that ISP's are rolling out are poorly thought out and poorly
implemented. They do more damage than good. You are free to choose
whatever anti-spam / blacklisting you want on your own servers. It's a
little different for AOL, Earthlink, SBC, Verizon, Comcast, RoadRunner,
etc. to put their personal beliefs and opinions before their customers
needs.  Flat out rejections based on what type of electrical connection
you use to connect to the internet is just wrong. I do understand
blocking dynamic addresses due to the lack of accountability, but
blocking just because you use DSL or cable modem technology? Nope. There
are better ways of filtering spam and malware, but many are too lazy to
implement it, instead being willing to cause massive collateral damage.`

It's the arrogant BOFH attitude that is the problem here - not the
choice of net connection technology or ISP.

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