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Spam Fighter Hit With $11.7 Million Judgment
engine

WebmasterWorld Administrator engine us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month Best Post Of The Month



 
Msg#: 3084641 posted 5:53 pm on Sep 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

The nonprofit group behind a popular blacklist used to block spam has been hit with a multimillion-dollar judgment, but the order may not be enforceable.

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois ordered Wednesday that Spamhaus must pay $11,715,000 in damages to e360insight and its chief, David Linhardt, who sued the U.K.-based organization earlier this year over blacklisting.

The court also barred Spamhaus from causing any e-mail sent by e360insight or Linhardt to be "blocked, delayed, altered, or interrupted in anyway" and ordered Spamhaus to publish an apology stating that Linhardt and his company are not spammers, according to a copy of the order.

Spam Fighter Hit With $11.7 Million Judgment [news.com.com]

 

iJeep

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3084641 posted 6:46 pm on Sep 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

Good.

Spam filters are becoming too aggressive. It costs companies money to put up with it.

We get constant complaints about not sending order confirmations and not replying to e-mails. When the customer calls and complains they are usually using Comcast, AOL, Earthlink or another that has way too aggressive of spam filter. It costs us money to answer the phone and explain this to customers and it costs us money from not getting return business.

The odd thing is that we don't spam and I haven't been able to find our servers on blacklists. It seems the knobs are just turned too high for most of these companies.

I'd rather look through spam in my inbox than look for legit e-mails in my spam box.

FalseDawn

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3084641 posted 6:55 pm on Sep 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

Another ridiculous travesty - the courts clearly have no idea what Spamhaus is about if they think that they are responsible for the blocking of E-mail. All they do is provide the lists - no-one is forced to use them.
And just where do they think a non-profit organization is going to get $12million?

[edited by: FalseDawn at 6:55 pm (utc) on Sep. 15, 2006]

glitterball

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3084641 posted 7:05 pm on Sep 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

Makes me wonder when someone will go after AOL.
They block way too aggressively - we have had lots of problems communicating with customers that use AOL.

jtara

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jtara us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3084641 posted 7:51 pm on Sep 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

When the customer calls and complains they are usually using Comcast, AOL, Earthlink or another that has way too aggressive of spam filter

Ironically, Comcast is on the Spamhaus blacklist - because they are not agressive ENOUGH about filtering OUTGOING spam from their customers...

mcavic

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3084641 posted 7:58 pm on Sep 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

Spamhaus didn't seem to care that we are an opt-in email marketing company.

What is an opt-in marketing company, anyway? Why would anyone opt in?

e360Insight (E360) is a marketing solutions company specializing in highly effective, multi-channel direct marketing. E360 helps companies increase performance of email, direct mail, web and telemarketing channels by combining data, analytics and technology services in innovative ways. By extracting insight from a comprehensive, 360-degree view of customers and prospects, our clients can lower acquisition costs, increase customer productivity and profitably grow revenue.

And why do I think they're not opt-in?

kektex

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3084641 posted 8:04 pm on Sep 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

The judge clearly has no idea how spam blocking lists work. They are not blocking anything, they only provide the list.
Good thing this judgement isn´t enforceable in the UK and they can just ignore it.They didn´t even try to defend themselves in court.

Murdoch

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3084641 posted 8:06 pm on Sep 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

e360Insight (E360) is a marketing solutions company specializing in highly effective, multi-channel direct marketing. E360 helps companies increase performance of email, direct mail, web and telemarketing channels by combining data, analytics and technology services in innovative ways. By extracting insight from a comprehensive, 360-degree view of customers and prospects, our clients can lower acquisition costs, increase customer productivity and profitably grow revenue.

Dilbert anyone?

mcavic

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3084641 posted 8:10 pm on Sep 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

The judge clearly has no idea how spam blocking lists work. They are not blocking anything, they only provide the list.

That's not true. They provide the list, but when they deliberately add someone to it, they are deliberately blocking that person's emails, because they know people are using the list, automatically receiving updates, and trusting it to be accurate.

DamonHD

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3084641 posted 8:12 pm on Sep 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

Hi

I use SPAMHAUS to weed out 99.9?% of the 10,000+ SPAMs aimed at me personally every day.

I *choose* SPAMHAUS because they have clear policies, very few false positives, and are free and fast. SPAMHAUS is not forced upon me.

If some random (and clearly ignorant and/or unworldly: "That's the one with the real hair, you know!") Illinois judge thinks that it's reasonable to force me to read 10,000 SPAMs a day then I suggest that s/he manually weed them out for me for, oh, a few minutes, until they give up. I very very very nearly lost a critical mail today that went out with the residual trash. I would have been very sorry to have lost it.

Rgds

Damon

kektex

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3084641 posted 8:15 pm on Sep 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

That's not true. They provide the list, but when they deliberately add someone to it, they are deliberately blocking that person's emails, because they know people are using the list, automatically receiving updates, and trusting it to be accurate.

How does providing a list make spamhaus responsible for this? Spamhaus isn´t forcing their blacklist on anyone.

DamonHD

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3084641 posted 8:18 pm on Sep 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

Hi mcavic,

No, that's not logical or right.

There's a gap between someone making something available (for free, too, note) and it being forced on anyone.

A point that SPAMmers miss.

Let's hope that EFF or ACLU or someone encourages the judge concerned to understand this issues, or appeal this as a SLAPP case.

A SPAMmer's self interest in wasting my time does NOT make SPAMHAUS's actions in any way deserving of censure.

"The law is an ass—--a idiot. If that’s the eye of the law [...] the worst I wish the law is that his eye may be opened by experience—by experience.”

Rgds

Damon

jtara

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jtara us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3084641 posted 8:31 pm on Sep 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

They provide the list, but when they deliberately add someone to it, they are deliberately blocking that person's emails,

You are missing the point. THEY are not blocking anybody!

They are simply publishing a list, and making it available via DNS. An unconventional channel for publication, but it is simply publication, nevertheless.

The only basis I can see for a lawsuit is for libel. They should at least get the right statute...

bcolflesh

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3084641 posted 8:32 pm on Sep 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

...specializing in highly effective, multi-channel direct marketing

Aha, spammers - I thought so. The good news is that nothing will happen to Spamhaus - another bad precedent though.

webprofessor

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3084641 posted 8:48 pm on Sep 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

I'd be interested to hear what an attorney says about this.Seems to me having your name on that list could be seen as a libel.

paging webwork

Demaestro

WebmasterWorld Senior Member demaestro us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3084641 posted 8:49 pm on Sep 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

Spamhaus said...

Linhardt and his company are indeed spammers and remain on the Spamhaus blocklist.

"Posting a note that e360insight was inaccurately labeled as a spammer would be a lie"

I beleve them.

Here is what e360insight has to say on the subject, just goes to show how delusional they really are about their activity. I am just going to highlight the comments that shows they really are a email spammer and some claims that are humurous to me.

From e360insight website itself


Today a US Federal Court Ordered Spamhaus.org to pay $11.7 million in compensatory damages to e360insight for illegally listing their network on Spamhaus' blacklist. In addition, the Court issued a permanent injunction against Spamhaus from doing anything to interrupt e360insight’s lawful transmission of email messages.

Not lawful in the UK.


This ruling confirms e360insight's position that Spamhaus.org is a fanatical, vigilante organization that operates in the United States with blatant disregard for U.S. law.

Spamhaus clearly does not operate in the USA, I will keep to myself what I think of their fanatical comments.


In addition, e360insight has proven that Spamhaus routinely exposes their customers and volunteers to extreme legal risk by continuing to engage in illegal blacklisting, defamation, extortion and blackmail in the name of fighting spam.

They actually didn't prove anything, Sphaus didn't even mount a defense as they didn't feel the need and so this judgement was a default one as there was no counter arguments made.


Importantly, this ruling clearly establishes the validity of e360insight’s legitimate business practices as a responsible, opt-in marketer.

Again this judgement establishes nothing as no defense was mounted.

Obviously this company is an email marketing company, they say they are an opt-in one but I doubt that greatly. I would buy they have an opt out method but I really doubt the first email you get from them was requested.

mole

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3084641 posted 8:51 pm on Sep 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

The really scary thing is that in this case the law seems to have down in favour of the bad guys.

The whole spam issue is a big enough problem without idiotic, and frankly ignorant, judgements like this.

Demaestro

WebmasterWorld Senior Member demaestro us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3084641 posted 8:57 pm on Sep 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

The judge clearly has no idea how spam blocking lists work. They are not blocking anything, they only provide the list.

Good thing this judgement isn´t enforceable in the UK and they can just ignore it.They didn´t even try to defend themselves in court.

Not really the judges fault, the case had merit(this as it was) and there was no defense, he had to issue the judgement by defaut.

That's not true. They provide the list, but when they deliberately add someone to it, they are deliberately blocking that person's emails, because they know people are using the list, automatically receiving updates, and trusting it to be accurate.

They aren't blocking anything, they are sugesting that you block them, not quite the same thing. At any rate the list is accurate as e360insight is an email marketing company. So I don't see the problem, the list is very accruate.

Demaestro

WebmasterWorld Senior Member demaestro us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3084641 posted 9:02 pm on Sep 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

The whole spam issue is a big enough problem without idiotic, and frankly ignorant, judgements like this.

This was default judgement, the judge had very little options.

I tis silly that it works that way, the good thing is Spam haus is blowing this opff like the nothing judgement that it is. I woould hate from them to spend their resources on this issue when there are more spammers to identify and get on their list.

Who here uses the Spamhaus list? Say I
...........
I

LifeinAsia

WebmasterWorld Administrator lifeinasia us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3084641 posted 9:04 pm on Sep 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

I certainly do not agree with the verdict. However, one could argue that in addition to e360insight's illegal SPAM that they regularly send out, they probably also send out the occasional non-SPAM message, which would also be blocked.

So technically, yes, Spamhaus could be indirectly responsible for blocking legitimate e-mail from e360insight. But if the bulk of the e-mail they send out is SPAM, then that's what they get and deserve.

koan

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3084641 posted 9:18 pm on Sep 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

So technically, yes, Spamhaus could be indirectly responsible for blocking legitimate e-mail from e360insight. But if the bulk of the e-mail they send out is SPAM, then that's what they get and deserve.

Spamhaus provide a free list of their opinion on what IP addresses sends out spam. People, may, or may not, decide to use it, and that is their right. We have to stop blaming the information provider! For crying out loud, it's a non-profit organization (last I checked).

Good thing US law has no reach in the UK. I guess anyone can decide to sue a company, say from Pakistan, and get a judgement by default because the comapny didn't represent themselves.

And by the way, if the government did their job creating real laws against unsolicited junk emails and enforcing it, there wouldn't be a need for people to protect themselves with block lists. That CAN-SPAM crap is just legalization of spam.

mole

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3084641 posted 9:26 pm on Sep 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

> This was default judgement, the judge had very little options.

Then maybe the law is an ass.

DamonHD

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3084641 posted 9:29 pm on Sep 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

Hi koan,

Well, there never will be an ideal world (...thinks... no, not even after a large Lottery win ...um...) so any real solution to anti-social activity is going to be a mixture of education, shame, law and technology.

Actually, I don't expect lawmakers to get it completely right or keep completely up-to-date, and on the whole I don't think that adding to the weight of the statute books helps per se...

I still would like EFF et al to come in and get the judgement appealled to avoid even the stain of a clearly-wrong judgement, but, whatever.

Rgds

Damon

subgenius

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3084641 posted 10:19 pm on Sep 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

Some of my clients are on shared servers that have ended up on Spam Haus' list. I end up getting calls from them wondering why someone added their site to a blacklist, and end up defending myself and the hosting company we use all because another site on the same server might have been spamming people.

I don't know if I agree with the law suit, but I hope that:
1. Spam Haus comes up with a better way to identify spammers (instead of IP address profiling).
2. People who use Spam Haus' list recognize how overly aggressive it can be.

Hollywood

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3084641 posted 10:31 pm on Sep 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

Many of the comments here are BS.

You would rather search through your e-mails, yah right, I have 10,000 messages in there and note to public, I NEVER READ NOR SCAN THEM ANYMORE. Why? I do not have time anymore, I feel the pain but something has to be done about this. I contacted the senators office and did not even get a response, the location where I contacted them was in Denver CO area. (For this client).

I cant keep up with it anymore, and many e-mails I am sure are legit and I will never see them, costs people money and some people will never get a reply from any of my companies due to this problem. It created a business void where business is requested and nothing is known about the inquiry as it never arrives. It's sad.

I am a speed reader now due to this, no ___ joke, I swear. Really sad how this communications medium is being ruined.

And to top it off BlueSecurity got threatened when they started, the big guns behind this are running the shows in foreign countries and hiding like little babies. Truth is people are hunting them down and they will be found at some point, if they are actually in a foreign country... with the amount of hate for them, would not shock me that they are found and never reported as found and disappear, would I care, nope! Go for it spam hunters.

One great organization fighting against spam is Commtouch Software, now this company has a great idea as this problem is not going away. Good to see some trying and succeeding.

Demaestro

WebmasterWorld Senior Member demaestro us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3084641 posted 10:55 pm on Sep 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

...I hope...
Spam Haus comes up with a better way to identify spammers (instead of IP address profiling).

Like? Don't forget this is a non-profit org, basically it is a few guys who were so fed up with spam they decided to do something about it. I don't think it is up to them to come up with a better way, their way works fine. Why don't you come up with a better way and if it really is better then I will use that instead.


...I hope...
People who use Spam Haus' list recognize how overly aggressive it can be.

Can you give an example of how it is over agressive? I haven't experienced this at all.

We too have had calls from people whos system was used without them knowing to send out 1000s upon 1000s of spam emails and then ended up on the blacklist and want us to remove them. You know what I say to them....

""""
Too bad so sad.

If you are not competent enough to secure your computer and it is used for undesirable things then you are partially responsible for what it is used for.
"""

There are ways to get off the list if you truly aren't a spammer, Close the holes, contact Spamhaus, and wait.

I am too fed up with Spam and all this #*$!, even with the Spamhaus list I still have over 7000 spam emails in my inbox from today alone, perhaps Spamhaus isn't agressive enough.

If your email doesn't get a repsonse follow up with a phone call.

[edited by: Demaestro at 10:56 pm (utc) on Sep. 15, 2006]

oneguy

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3084641 posted 1:38 am on Sep 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

Don't forget this is a non-profit org

Why does that keep coming up? Is their business structure really important to any of this?

You would rather search through your e-mails, yah right, I have 10,000 messages in there and note to public, I NEVER READ NOR SCAN THEM ANYMORE.

Yeah... spam is pretty much sucking the life out of me. I'm about to move to some solution to make email slightly more effective again. Probably not Spamhaus, but maybe.

Wlauzon

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3084641 posted 3:10 am on Sep 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

What is kind of funny, is that on a Google search for spam news, on the very same day this happened:

Spammer Ordered to Pay EarthLink $11M
SEP 14, 2006 08:26:53 AM ¦ Add Comment (0) ¦ Permalink

A U.S. district court judge has awarded Internet service provider EarthLink US$11.6 million in a lawsuit accusing Nevada Internet marketer KSTM of sending millions of unwanted mortgage-related e-mails.

Judge Timothy Batten of the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of Georgia awarded EarthLink the money on Aug. 31 after KSTM failed to respond to the ISP’s lawsuit. EarthLink accused the company and other defendants of violating the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act, as well as the U.S. Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, the Georgia Computer Systems Protection Act, and state and federal racketeering laws.

[edited by: Wlauzon at 3:10 am (utc) on Sep. 16, 2006]

vincevincevince

WebmasterWorld Senior Member vincevincevince us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3084641 posted 3:58 am on Sep 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

Opt in, opt out, who cares? There is only one person who should be hit with the lawsuit - the person who reported the email as spam.

This is an entirely wrong judgement. The person who reported the email as spam when it wasn't should be the subject of the investigation as it was their action which caused the 'problem'.

If that particular email was not spam in any way then they might have a case for having their name removed from the list. No damages, no legal costs.

antonaf

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3084641 posted 5:34 am on Sep 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

The judge clearly has no idea how spam blocking lists work. They are not blocking anything, they only provide the list.

It's DEFAMATION!

For me it is not the blocking of email or providing the list, but being added to a list which is said to be a list of SPAMMERS. If I am not a SPAMMER then I should not be on the list. Being labeled a SPAMMER is obviously a bad thing which can potentially hurt your reputation. Someone telling others that you and your company are SPAMMERS when you know you are not and your company is 100% legitimate is in a sense defamation. It is insulting to be seen as a SPAMMER when you honestly are not. It's easy to say then don't send email, but that is almost impossible for any growing company. And just so we are all on the same page, you should all know UNSOLICITED EMAIL is not SPAM, UNTARGETED EMAIL is SPAM.

I think SPAMHAUS and other blacklist are very well needed and it would be crazy if they were banned from use, I don't think we could handle our inboxes, but companies who provide the blacklist need to be more vigilant about how they discover SPAMMERS and add them to the list. It is like 'credit reporting companies' they are out of control and make it almost impossible for people who have been frauded to clean up their credit reports.

This 82 message thread spans 3 pages: 82 ( [1] 2 3 > >
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