Spamhaus CEO Responds to The Magill Report
Last week’s piece on Spamhaus in which I characterized its volunteers as faceless, sometimes inflexible jerks who don’t fully appreciate the benefits of commerce prompted chief executive, Steve Linford, to respond in the comments section of MagillReport.com.
Here is what he had to say:
“I often hear that Spamhaus is faceless or anonymous, however most of the industry who attend conferences such as MAAWG [Messaging Anti-Abuse Working Group] have met me, other Spamhaus executives and many of our staff. Everyone knows my name, email, and there's even a photo of me on the Spamhaus site. There is however no need for someone contacting our removals team about a listing to know other than the rep's name any personal private detail about the Spamhaus rep they're talking to, what they look like, where they live, what their home phone is or anything more than that they are an employee of Spamhaus.
“When you contact AT&T customer service and speak to ‘Dave’ you know you're speaking to someone in Bombay whose name is certainly not Dave. But it does not matter because you don't need to know anything about Dave except that he works for AT&T. Personal identity, home phone and Dave's face are irrelevant to the job Dave is performing unless you want to pay him a personal visit, show up on his doorstep to continue discussing the issue ‘man to man.’ The large number of cybercriminals we list, especially the east-European/Russian sort as you note, would love to pay us 'personal' visits as you can imagine.
“Probably the most frequent argument we hear from marketers is: ‘my unsolicited bulk mailings meet the requirements of my local law therefore I should not be listed by Spamhaus for sending it.’ We've replied endlessly that our job is to list sources of spam, not pick out only sources of illegal spam according to some country's law.
“The self-appointed thing also comes up a lot but honestly I've never heard it from a non-spamming marketer. It makes no sense because we have no ability to appoint ourselves into a position of trust by others, or position ourselves between two parties to filter mail unless the receiver is a Spamhaus user who has specifically appointed us as his filter system.
“The commerce thing is quite the opposite, we're pro commerce and absolutely need good mailers to succeed and be the example other mailers follow. It is vital to us that responsible bulk mailers are a commercial success.”