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SpamCop Vigilantes

Thousands of small business webmasters briefly lose their domain names at expiration, due to a simple lack of understanding about the roles of three key players in the drama: domain name registrars, web hosts and internet service providers. Fortunately for most, they learn quickly how to save their web site from oblivion by using the 30 day redemption period for expired domain names enforced by ICANN. One simple solution is to extend domain registration for the maximum ten years. The other solution is to treat domain registrar data as the critical business element it is.

Search the WHOIS database to see who your Registrar is on your business domain! Transfer your domain name to take advantage of our lower prices.

I Can't Remember Where I Purchased My Domain Name!

It wasn't until my third client had called asking how to regain control of her domain name that I realized that it was a common problem for small business webmasters to forget where they had registered their domains. WHOIS my registrar? Why didn't I get an email about renewal? Why did my site stop working today?

People rarely realize how important it is to keep their domain registrar notified of changes to their email address and and other contact information. The registrar will send renewal notifications to the email address last on file. For most domain owners, the only time they think about contacting a registrar is the day they reserve their domain name. If they move to a new city and get a new internet service provider, it doesn't occur to them that the old email address will change and that meeans that the registrar can no longer contact them through the previous address, or phone or fax as each of them change and we rarely notify the controller of our domain of those changes.

Sometimes the first indication a business owner will have that there is a problem is the day their web site stops working. If they failed to notify their domain registrar of changed email address, they may never have received their domain renewal notice. Since many registrars honor a 30 day "redemption period" allowing expired domains to be redeemed, it may be possible to save the registration within 30 days following expiration by contacting registrars during 30 day domain redemption periods.

The following URL leads to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (AKA ICANN) discussing the grace period and redemption period rules it enforces.

http://www.icann.org/bucharest/redemption-topic.htm

300X300 Ad Space Left Side
The following is a note I received from an advertiser after he got a SPAM warning from a Spam Vigilante. Note that his service is a SPAM Filtering Service!

Mike,
Do you know what this means, and how it happened.
Joe

----- Original Message -----
From: <82451690@reports.spamcop.net>
To:
Sent: Friday, May 24, 2002 7:18 PM
Subject: [SpamCop (http://spamfilter.website101.com) id:82451690]
[Astrology.ca] May 25 Horoscope
> - SpamCop V1.3.3 -


> This message is brief for your comfort. Please follow links for details.

The following note came from the VIGILANTE via SpamCop


> > I never signed up for this! Send CONFIRMATION emails BEFORE mindlessly signing people up to prevent unauthorized signups!
>

My response to my list advertiser is next

Joe,

You have just become the latest victim of spam vigilantism by a SpamCop member. It is a hate crime practiced by folks with little else to do but chase phantom criminals because they are so annoyed by REAL spammers. I guess you can't blame them since that is what obviates the SpamFilter Service you provide. I have written previous articles on the absolute stupidity of this vicious circle. You provide a valuable service with SpamFilter which is intended to stop spam directly. SpamCop thrives, in part, because your very worthwhile SpamFilter service is so necessary. I only wish more people would use SpamFilter and fewer used SpamCop.

Here is the usual course of events.

I host a daily horoscope list that goes to 4500 people. Many times enthusiastic astrology list subscribers sign up friends and relatives without their permission, to share a particular horoscope with them. It's the biggest drawback to hosting that list.

But I keep all subscription requests and can prove them. I've had run-ins with SpamCop before and they know about my list and that there are occasional complaints due to those unrequested sign-ups to the list by over enthusiastic friends and relatives. As you can see, I am advertising SpamFilter in that daily horoscope and when a complaint goes to spamcop, their mindless automated system sends to every domain listed in the email.

I've had trouble with it before and have a section in the SpamFilter folder discussing it. Note the links to SpamCops Abuses and the multiple articles from other victims of the so-called service. Most of us are list hosts or have our own newsletters. Read the articles I have posted.

.com/SpamFilter/spamcop.net.html
.com/SpamFilter/spamcops.html
.com/SpamFilter/spammer_spamming.html

All that is required is to notify everyone involved of the likely cause, that is friends signing up others without permission. I even directly ask people NOT to sign up others to avoid this trouble. But when it does happen, I always notify my web host, the list host and any advertisers in the list and it is becoming routine, unfortunately, because of how SpamCop works -- or I should say, doesn't work. That is the reason I like your SpamFilter service so much. It removes the crap to allow me more time to deal with real issues.

SpamCop is a real issue and I tire of the vigilantes involved with them. Unfortunately, it seems not to go away, no matter how many list owners are attacked this way. I'm sending a copy of this to my Web Host, my List Host, to SpamCop, to you and to other advertisers, so that everyone is aware of the stupidity involved and doesn't take the matter too far. I'll be posting a copy of this in the SpamFilter article file as well to further illustrate the vigilante nature of SpamCop members.

Makes me think of lynchings and other hate crimes when people do this. Talk about knee-jerk reactions. Notice that the complainer is masked by SpamCop? They complain anonymously and it's not possible to respond to them, even when you would like to explain it to them. Neither can you unsubscribe the complainer. Usually they just continue to complain and you must continue to defend yourself so your host doesn't take action against you, your list or your site.

In this case I can prove the person is subscribed, and if they did the complaining directly to me, I could show them the subscription and the IP address of the person that subscribed them. But they string up the noose and attempt to hang the object of their wrath, even if they ought to be stringing up the friend or relative that subscribed them to the list without their permission. Note also that there is a plainly visible and always available UNSUBSCRIBE link at the bottom of the list.

They don't unsubscribe, they would rather complain than to take direct action. It's all really very absurd.

Mike Banks Valentine

Joe wrote:

Mike,
Do you know what this means, and how it happened.
Joe


----- Original Message -----
From: <82451690@reports.spamcop.net>
To: <postmaster@spamfilter.website101.com>
Sent: Friday, May 24, 2002 7:18 PM
Subject: [SpamCop (http://spamfilter.website101.com) id:82451690]
[Astrology.ca] May 25 Horoscope
> - SpamCop V1.3.3 -
> This message is brief for your comfort. Please follow links for details.


> > I never signed up for this! Send CONFIRMATION emails BEFORE mindlessly signing people up to prevent unauthorized signups!

> http://spamcop.net/w3m?i=z82451690z714d14424bca0z
> Spamvertised website: http://spamfilter.website101.com

The following is a copy of the daily horoscope list that I host that was falsely accused of spamming by someone that was signed up by a usually well-meaning friend who simply wants to share a horoscope they think has particular meaning for their friend or relative. I don't condone this, and I wish that subscribers wouldn't do it, but it is rather harmless, isn't it? Notice the advertisers (who also get spam notices from SpamCops.)
>
> AstrologySender.com presents Horoscopes Daily
> Brandi Jasmine, Editor
>
> ¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶
>
> AstrologySender.com powered by Astrology.ca
>
> You are receiving this issue because you subscribed
> Unsubscribe by using the address at the bottom of page.
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
>
> ==> Sponsor Ad: SpamFilter!
> ==> Today's Horoscopes
> ==> UniqueSender.com Themed Portals in YOUR Interests!
> ==> Classified ads: Healing Oat Bath Mix
> ------------------------------------------------------------
>
> Fed UP with SPAM? Finally, there's a Solution!
>
> SpamFilter Cleans your inbox Before you check email!
> If you are spending too much time deleting unwanted
> commercial email and stopping pornographic images
> from filling your inbox. Check out SpamFilter!
>
> 7 Day Free Trial if you sign up this week!
>
> http://spamfilter.website101.com
>
> -----------------------------------------------------------
> To have your ad appear above send for our ad rate card
> mailto:ads@AstrologySender.com
> -----------------------------------------------------------
>
> 25-05-2002
>
> Aries
>
> Don't try to push your values or priorities on a friend today. Even if you are in the right, the effort could backfire, leaving a lot of negative feelings instead of the positive effect you had hoped to generate. You won't be at your most patient or tolerant today.


HMMM! I'll wager that the complainer was an ARIES!
>
> Taurus
>
> A loved one or partner will be pushing you to be more ambitious or > assertive, and they are probably right that you need to stand up for > yourself with more vigor. You may not feel it is worth the effort, but > ask yourself this - you would stick up for a friend in the same > situation, wouldn't you?
>
> Gemini
>
> An unexpected work trip could interrupt personal plans, or work may > interrupt a vacation get-away. You may have to deal with unexpected, last-minute matters, and other drivers are likely to be a cornucopia of road rage right now. Expect travel delays.
>
> Cancer
>
> You are having a bit of a spiritual crisis and you don't know who to turn to. Turn upwards, not to the God of your faith but to the Divine > Source of your heart. Don't try to push for spiritual or emotional perfection. It is not possible for mere mortals.
>
> Leo
>
> A family member is suddenly getting pushy or is demanding answers about your love life that are really none of their business. You may fear what will happen if you tell them to back off, but if you don't, they will keep pushing until you do. Just how far are you willing to let them go?
>
> Virgo
>
> You may experience arguments in the workplace over silly, pointless > matters. You cannot likely avoid this unless you choose to stay at home with the sheets pulled over your head, and that's no solution. Just remember that an honest disagreement can be quite productive at times.
>
> Libra
>
> There will be a financial disagreement over your spending habits, especially if you have bought a lot of sporting or hobby equipment lately. If you have children, you may have to tell them they will have >to find their own funding for an after-school project.
>
> Scorpio
>
You are out of sorts and it is most likely to be a family member or loved one who takes the pointed end of your attention today. Be especially careful if you are writing any emails over charged matters - small disputes can be blown out of proportion in the impersonal medium of the Internet.
>
> Sagittarius
>
> You are vulnerable to episodes of "subconscious leakage" otherwise known as "Freudian Slips". What you really mean comes tripping off your tongue, no matter how hard you try to hold it back, no matter how much sugar you pour in with the salt, people "get" exactly what you are thinking.
>
> Capricorn
>
> Unexpected news from a group or association you belong to could have you digging for your wallet. You may want to give, and it's okay to pitch in if you feel right, but don't let yourself be taken advantage of. You will know what is right by the reactions you get.
>
> Aquarius
>
> This is not a good day to be re-arranging your career prospects. You will be impulsive and your judgement is not the clearest. Give yourself a much needed break from worrying about the future, and set aside some time for a little fun in the here and now.
>
> Pisces
>
> You are likely to make spontaneous trips or excursions today, but they are not likely to turn out like you hoped. It's okay if this takes place relatively close to home, but a spur of the moment cross-country trip is definitely not a good idea.
>
>
> -----------------------------------------------------------
>
> Healing Oat Bath Mix for Sunburn Damaged Skin
> Soothes and heals sunburn damaged sensitive skin
> Use as a poultice to relieve when sunscreen failed
> http://www.pennyisland.com
>
> AOL Members <a href="http://pennyisland.com"> Click Here </a>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> Please feel free to forward this issue to anyone who
> might be interested. Please keep copyright intact and
> forward only complete issues if you spread the word!
> All previous issues are in our permanent archives at > >
> __________________________________________
>

The plainly visible directions for unsubscribing included in every email.

> Visit the following address to subscribe and unsubscribe.
>
> http://guidelists.com:81/guest/RemoteListSummary/Astrology_CA
>
> click link above, enter your email address
> click "unsubscribe" click the "submit" button
>
The following note was distributed in the header of the Daily Horoscope List in the next day's Horoscopes to attempt to avoid the problem in the future:


==> Note to Subscribers -- Please read!
==> Sponsor Ad: SpamFilter!
==> Today's Horoscopes
==> Classified ads: Healing Oat Bath Mix
------------------------------------------------------------
Dear Daily Horoscope Subscribers,

We are glad that your horoscopes are useful and entertaining! Thank you for spreading the word so faithfully, but sometimes our readers subscribe their friends and family without first getting their permission. We ask that you only FORWARD the daily horoscope and allow your loved ones to subscribe for themselves. Sometimes they misunderstand your enthusiasm for our daily list and report us as spammers because they don't know how they came to be subscribed. Thanks for understanding! Here is where to send your friends to sign up for themselves:

http://guidelists.com:81/guest/RemoteListSummary/Astrology_CA

Remember that address yourself if you want to unsubscribe too.
It's in every issue at the bottom of the daily horoscope list.
------------------------------------------------------------

The following info comes directly from the SpamCop.net web site
and the links will take you to their FAQ pages.

 

  SpamCop FAQ :> ISP and mailing list admin FAQs :
I have been falsely and/or maliciously accused of spamming, what can I do?

False spam reports are not tolerated. Users who file false reports will be banned from the SpamCop service and/or fined. However, in order to take action, we must see proof of wrongdoing. If you would like to take action against a user who has erroneously accused you of spamming, please forward to deputies@admin.spamcop.net:

  1. The entire SpamCop report, including full headers and the entire spam.
  2. Proof that the user in question did subscribe for your list.
    (Proof can be a log excerpt or a copy of the returned, e-mailed confirmation. There must be proof of a two-way, secure confirmation. This must include IPs and datestamps for two stages - both a signup and a confirmation.)

If you would like to pursue action with the user's internet provider, SpamCop reports include all the information you need to do so. IP address and datestamp of the complainant are included in the report. You can even feed a SpamCop report to SpamCop to determine the originating point.

Return to Index of Spam Articles


More articles about SpamCop Abuses

http://www.niba.shopmystate.com/
http://www.smithfam.com/news/june01m.html
http://www.corante.com/mooreslore/20030601.shtml#41310





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