[SURBL-Discuss] Whitelist Please

Justin Mason jm at jmason.org
Tue Sep 7 19:32:08 CEST 2004


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Frank Ellermann writes:
> Jeff Chan wrote:
> > While I agree that these "spam to your friends with jokes,
> > greetings, prayers, whatever" sites are stupid and highly
> > abuse-prone, they do have some legitimate uses and should
> > probably not be blocked globally.
> 
> IBTD.  You could split your whitelist into "Jeff found some
> potentially legitimate use" and "really innocent bystanders".

There's another issue to think about, when you're talking about SURBL
listings. A domain listed in SURBL may not have anything to do with the
*sender* of the message; it matches the domains mentioned inside a message
*that may have been sent by someone else*.

I think this means that the SURBL situation is uniquely different from
most DNSBLs.   Generally a DNSBL matches against the *sender* of a
message.  If a sender is listed, their messages and only their messages
are blocked.   

But in the SURBL case, a listing means that their messages, forwarded
copies of their messages, cut-and-pastes from parts of their messages,
etc. will also be listed.

This inherently means that for a certain case of borderline domains,
a listing will result in more FPs even if the original sender has
spammy tendencies.

- --j.
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