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Xtra mailserver black-listed
Copyright © 1998 to Bruce Simpson, syndication rights available
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1 May 1998

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Updated 2 May 1998
One of Xtra's email servers, "terminator" was black-listed by MAPS, an anti-spam organisation that publishes a list of those servers which have been used for relaying unsolicited commercial email (UCE), sometimes known as "spam".

In an email to its subscribers yesterday, Internet Exchange (IX), an Auckland ISP, advised their users to be aware that some Xtra subscribers may not be able to send them email because "[terminator] was added to this [black-hole] list and so the end result is that our mail exchangers automatically reject email from this machine".

Direct marketers frequently use "open" mail servers to deliver their messages to tens or hundreds of thousands of unsuspecting Internet users and the "black-hole" list is an attempt to curb this rising tide of UCE. The unauthorised use of an "open" email server to relay UCE is often referred to as "raping".

Xtra claim their mail servers are deliberately left "open" so as to allow their customers to perform global roaming without the need to update the settings of their browser or email software. They are however planning to turn off the open relaying functions of their mail servers as soon as they have implemented alternative options for their customers.

"This problem only affects one of our servers at the moment so we may take it out of the loop until we've resolved it" said Andy Miller who is responsible for the administration of the servers.

It is generally agreed that UCE is a major problem for many Net users and a number of groups have formed with a view to implementing measures for its control. Extra information on junk email can be found at CAUCE.

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