Missing the Point

Recently, EFF, in conjunction with one or more non-profit political lobby groups, released a report making recommendations on mailing list management and spam control. It was fairly critical of spam blocking practices used by various ISP's. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it turns out that one of these groups mentioned in the report as being blacklisted "wrongly" has some problems following mailing list best practices ...

One of the recommendations -- that ISP's never refuse mail but always accept it and redirect it into a spam folder -- simply does not make sense to me. In particular, I simply do not have time to look at even a small fraction of the spam sent to me. IMHO, it's much better to reject messages which appear to be spam during the SMTP exchange; that way, a legit sender will get a definite indication that I won't be reading the message and can try some alternative way to reach me.

In an ideal world, the customer of an email service provider would be able to:
1) specify the acceptance policy (some combination of DNS blocklists, URI blocklists, bulk-mail detectors, spamassassin rules)
2) at any time, request at an audit trail of what the email service provider's filters had done on their behalf in implementing their policy.

And most spam would simply evaporate because the half-assed MTA's run by spammers would just move on to their next victim.

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