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Got a Question for Spamhaus? Here's Your Chance to Ask


By Ken Magill

Steve Linford, the chief executive of the most feared entity in email marketing, has graciously agreed to take questions from Magill Report readers.

So if you’ve ever had a question for the folks at Spamhaus, now’s the time to ask.

For those new to the industry, Spamhaus maintains, among other things, a list of what its all-volunteer staff deems are sources of spam.

Various email inbox providers such as Yahoo! and Google check their incoming email against Spamhaus’s list in order to help them determine whether or not it is spam.

It has been estimated that a listing on Spamhaus can result in as much as 60 percent of the sender’s email getting blocked from reaching would-be recipients.

And while marketers fear Spamhaus, criminal spammers hate them—some to the point of sending death threats. As a result, most Spamhaus volunteers work in anonymity and Linford keeps his location secret.

Many bristle at how Spamhaus seemingly acts as judge, jury and executioner, but we’re not here to argue that point. We’re here to hopefully learn a few things about an operation that holds so much sway over email marketing and yet is such a mystery to most of us.

Given the interest I’ve already gauged in some private conversations, the volume of questions will probably be large enough that not all of them will be answered.

Also, only questions that are respectful and polite with the potential to enlighten the rest of us will be considered.

Please note that Linford and the rest of Spamhaus’s volunteers are under no obligation to The Magill Report or any of its readers to answer any of them.

I will not reveal the names of those who pose questions to either Spamhaus or Magill Report subscribers.

If you’d like to pose a question to Spamhaus, send it to


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Terms: Feel free to be as big a jerk as you want, but don't attack anyone other than me personally. And don't criticize people or companies other than me anonymously. Got something crappy to say? Say it under your real name. Anonymous potshots and personal attacks aimed at me, however, are fine.

Posted by: Peter Chaplin
Date: 2013-03-07 04:40:37
Subject: Confirmed Opt In

Why does Spamhaus ask or mandate that hosting companies should include confirmed opt in as part of their acceptable use policy when US and European law, democratically agreed, does not insist on a similar level of opt-in?
Posted by: Frank Aldrin
Date: 2013-02-28 19:31:01
Subject: What can hosting networks do to get off Spamhaus?

I run abuse for a hosting provider in the US. We've had our share of SBL and XBL listings, and have responded by tuning in to feedback loops and aggressively removing customers who trigger listings and complaints. We also thoroughly vet new customers using a credit card fraud service as well as telephone verification, captchas, and other techniques. With all this being said, the problem is that mail still flows out of our customers' servers (which we don't control, because they are dedicated and VPS servers). How can we block the spam proactively? Is there a way that Spamhaus could send us feedback data other than a blacklisting? Can anyone else help with this?