spamhaus — an unresponsive blacklister

I’ve struggled with email spam heartily, so I know how much of a pain it can be.


And now, through no fault of my own other than choosing a tier-two co-location provider, I’m suffering at the hands of a well known blacklist provider called SpamHaus.

It turns out that a few servers down from me in the datacenter a box was taken over by a spammer. Spamhaus decided to go and blacklist the entire IP range and now I can’t send email to hotmail, optonline, and countless other domains. Technically they don’t do the blocking, they just put you on the list and all the servers that subscribe to that list will block you.  

I emailed them last Thursday, got an automated response that they received my message and SIX DAYS LATER I still have no response.

This is incredibly frustrating and completely out of line. I would have no problem if they had come back to me asking for some sort of proof that I run a legitimate server, I would have provided anything they asked. But to ignore the issue for this long is inexcusable.

For now, I’ve had to set up an SMTP relay at another location and route mail through that, but there are problems with this set up too.

If you are going to run an operation that pretends to be core Internet infrastructure, you must be able to support it.



  1. Corey,

    AOL thinks I’m a spammer. I send messages for Girl Scouts, skating, soccer and some of the PTA groups that I’m involved with. If I send more than a couple group messages in a day, AOL blocks me. AOL says it’s Optonline’s fault and Optonline says it’s an AOL problem. It usually takes 3-4 days to reset and then I can tread lightly again again mail to AOL. If I cut and paste my groups and send them directly through the Optonline webmail site, I’m fine.


  2. Spamhaus only listen to the people who are down at the various registries as the owners of the IP address. If you are hosted and only have one IP address, then it is unlikely that the IP address will be in your name and thus your request will get ignored

    Your hosting provider is the one that needs to go to bat for you

    Yes, it is annoying when you get blocked, but that is, the way it is…

    To stop this from happening again you could
    – see if your hosting provider would allocate you a block of IP’s *AND REGISTER THEM AS ALLOCATED TO YOU*…
    – or send out through your hosting provider’s email servers
    – or continue to use externally based email servers


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