Today’s been chock full of phone calls and dealing with clients, but I did happen to notice a bunch of people having small herds of cows because Spamhaus listed www.gmail.com on the SBL.
“SPAMHAUS BLOCKS GOOGLE!!!” the headlines scream.
My own opinion is that Google doesn’t do enough to police their network and their users, and that a SBL listing isn’t exactly a false positive or Spamhaus overreaching. In this case, though, the headlines and the original article didn’t actually get the story right.
Spamhaus blocked a range of IP addresses that are owned by Google that included the IP for www.gmail.com. This range of IP addresses did not include the gmail outgoing mailservers.
Some Google-owned server IPs hosting severe malicious spam problems – specifically Google’s “Google Docs” service – do get rightly listed in the Spamhaus SBL when Google does not take action fast enough to stop the serving of malicious sites via Google Docs. Such listings act as pointers to the abused resource but do not in any way affect Google’s Gmail service or any Google outbound mail service.
Spamhaus goes on to talk about the responsibility providers have to police their userbase and the fact that large providers who are not policing their users are cost shifting to the rest of us.
We at Spamhaus surely understand the challenges that the cloud service providers face. These problems are not easy to solve and the scale and complexity of the systems involved certainly does not make things easier. What we are puzzled by is how the rest of the internet has to keep carrying the burden of this abuse. The companies that host these services all without exception make hundreds of millions of dollars each year. They employ some of the best and brightest engineers. Surely they can spend a little of their immense resources on making the internet they rely on for their business, a better and safer place.
Unfortunately, Google doesn’t seem to see any value in policing their customers and users. If they can’t make a buck at it, then it doesn’t get done. And if Google’s costs of doing business are shifted to other companies, so much the better. Good for Spamhaus for standing up and pointedly telling Google they can’t keep supporting spam and spammers.