Columnist Mike Cassidy of the SJ Mercury News dedicates his column today to explaining how horribly a spammer named Michael Luckman is being treated by Spamhaus.
The gist of the story is that Mr. Luckman thinks that because it is legal to purchase lists and send mail that there is nothing anyone can do to stop him from doing so. Unfortunately for Mr. Luckman, this isn’t actually true. Simply complying with the law does not mean that spamming behaviour has to be tolerated by ISPs. What’s more, ISPs have a lot of power to stop him.
His recipients’ ISPs can stop him. Filtering companies can stop him. And his upstream can stop him. In fact, Mr. Luckman’s upstream is GoDaddy, a company that has an abuse desk that is one of the toughest on the Internet. They do not tolerate spamming at all and will disconnect customers that are spamming whether or not there is a SBL listing involved.
Sure, Mr. Luckman is complying, or says he’s complying, with CAN SPAM. But that doesn’t change the fact that he is violating his contract with GoDaddy. Given that admission, I am extremely surprised that the reporter focused so exclusively on Spamhaus’ role in this, without mentioning GoDaddy’s abuse enforcement or that Mr. Luckman has to comply with contracts he signed.
Most reputable marketers agree that sending mail to purchased email addresses is spam. Most recipients agree that mail they didn’t ask to receive is spam. Even the reporter agrees that Mr. Luckman is a spammer. Compliance with CAN SPAM doesn’t mean anyone is required to accept his mail, nor provide him with a connection to the rest of the internet.
This is a lesson Mr. Luckman is having problems learning. Instead of fixing his process so he isn’t sending spam, he contacts a reporter to plead his case in the court of public opinion. Sadly for him, most people hate spam and won’t defend a self admitted spammer against a blocking group. In fact, over 80% of the people who have voted in the “has Spamhaus gone too far” poll have said no. What’s your vote?