The recent layoffs at AOL did affect the AOL Postmaster desk, and information I have received is that there was significant loss. As a result of the staff decrease, some changes have been made to the whitelisting and FBL processes. In order for a FBL to be approved it must meet the new FBL guidelines. In a nutshell, anyone wanting to get a FBL from AOL must meet ONE of the following criteria.
- The reverse DNS for each IP shares the FBL domain.
- At least one authoritative nameserver for each IP shares the FBL email domain.
- The IP WHOIS information for each IP shares the FBL email domain in common. The domain may appear in any of the listed email addresses.
- The ASN WHOIS information for each IP shares the FBL email domain in common. The domain may appear in any of the listed email addresses.
These are not exactly new policies, some version of them have always been in place. The intent of the checks is to make sure that people only get the FBLs for IP ranges that belong to them. In the past, the checks were done by hand by the folks on the postmaster desk. With the massive decrease in staff, these checks have been automated.
A few people have complained about the new checks and the fact that their applications were denied. The good news is there are escalation paths and ways to get decision makers to take a look at the application. Also, the process is being tweaked so that everyone who should get a FBL does actually get one.