Spamcop & Other Filter Information
What is a spamming filter?
A spam filter is a service that some ISP’s use. These services tell the individual ISP who to accept e-mail from.
How does it work?
When you send an e-mail to a remote ISP, the remote ISP first checks this list. If the list tells them not to accept the e-mail,
you will receive a message saying that you have been blacklisted. This has nothing to do with an individual account, only with
the entire domain sending the e-mail.
What can Pioneer do to allow the e-mail to go through?
Pioneer is sending out all of our users e-mail. The issue is with the remote ISP refusing to accept any e-mail. Since we don’t
have any control over the remote ISP, we cannot fix anything. Your e-mail will go through fine to any remote ISP that doesn’t
use one of these filtering services.
Does Pioneer use one of these services?
No. Pioneer does offer the Postini service, which allows our subscribers to choose for themselves who to accept e-mail from.
If the system detects a spam attack from a remote site (or hacking activity), it will prevent that site access to us for a period
of 1 hour. This process will continue as long as the remote site is attacking us, as soon as they stop we will receive their
How do you get put onto a list or taken off?
This varies from one service provider to another. Most will put you on after several complaints, some as few as one complaint
will suffice. These complaints can be issues about spam, inappropriate language, or sending viruses. To get off, policies vary
greatly. Some are a time limit, some want to know what you did to the offender, some want greater detail. Pioneer does not
release any type of subscriber information unless required by law.
How has Pioneer been put on some lists?
Pioneer actively pursues any type of known spamming from our system. Our acceptable use policy prohibits the sending of any
type of unsolicited mass e-mail. There have been several types of viruses that are going around that cause a users computer
to send out thousands of e-mails, without the users knowledge. Usually this is enough to get an ISP put on the list.
What can be done about this?
Pioneer has been in contact with most of the list providers. Most are not too willing to work with anyone. As we see
complaints on spam, we attempt to contact any user involved to let them know. If the problem is blatant, we must shut
down the account until the computer is disinfected. All subscribers must make sure their virus signatures are up to date
to keep them from becoming infected.
How does this effect e-mail service in general?
This actually does pose to change e-mail. With a lot of lists and many ISP’s, you can never be sure where your e-mail will
go to. You may be on one list, getting off another, and not know you are on yet another. E-mail has succeeded because it is
global, but this tends to hurt the reliability greatly.
Does Pioneer condone spam?
Absolutely not. Spam is one of the greatest issues on the Internet. Users who are knowingly sending out spam, will lose their
privileges with Pioneer Internet. Although spam is an issue, removing an entire domain seems a little extreme. None of the users
from the removed domain can send to any of the users at the receiving domain.
To help identify any spammer, Pioneer will start transitioning to verified mail sending. This involves reconfiguring our mail
servers to require a username and password before sending e-mail. Most software has this feature built in. If all ISP’s would
require identities before sending e-mail, the spam problem could be shut down quickly. Pioneer will send out notification
before implementing this on all users.
Notes regarding Spam Filtering Services
Many times Pioneer Internet is contacted regarding a remote ISP not accepting e-mail from pld.com. Usually this is the
result of the remote ISP subscribing to a spam filtering service, thus the remote ISP will only accept e-mail that this
service allows. Unfortunately, Pioneer Internet cannot control the actions of these services, thus we cannot remove ourselves
from this list. The more reputable spam filters automatically add and remove locations based upon the amount of traffic received.
The bad news is that many of the lower cost filters are not as proactive and require manual interaction.
Since Pioneer Internet is not the subscriber to these services, we are unable to resolve these issues. Pioneer Internet is
successfully sending the e-mail, however the remote site is refusing to accept it. The recipient will need to contact their
ISP and request that they start accepting e-mail from pld.com again. There are literally hundreds of these spam filtering
services, each with different policies. Some of them request information (customer name, addresses, IP Numbers) that Pioneer
Internet will not release without a subpoena. It is important for customers of the remote ISP to understand that it is their
ISP that is determining who they can get e-mail from.
Although Pioneer Internet maintains many mail servers, they appear as only one server to the outside world. This is a more
efficient (and faster) way of handling your e-mail, but it does have one drawback. If one user contracts a virus and sends
thousands of e-mails, this can (and does) place our mail servers on these lists. We proactively monitor the amount of outgoing
traffic each pld.com customer sends. If this amount appears excessive, we disallow that user from sending any additional e-mail
until we can contact them. This procedure ensures that we know what is leaving our servers and keeps our mail servers off the
We understand that the blocking of e-mail is a sensitive issue and can cause considerable concern, both to our customers and the
remote ISP’s customer who cannot receive e-mail. Pioneer Internet utilizes the services of Postini, which automatically updates
any blacklists every 15 minutes. Thus if a remote site is sending spam, we will block them temporarily, but check again in 15
minutes. Once the threat has stopped, e-mail from the remote ISP is allowed into our system. This practice allows Pioneer Internet
customers to receive e-mail from all other ISP’s, while still preventing a large percentage of spam. Only well documented spamming
sites are blocked for a longer period of time.