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Spam & UBE

Spam & UBE


Spam and unsolicited mail Bulk Email is a major issue that can harm any email address. GreggHost attempts to ensure that its services are not utilized in connection with such practices as one of the major web hosting service providers on the Internet.

Why spam is bad
Spam is essentially resource robbery. Spam recipients must pay for it in the form of higher disk storage, CPU, and memory expenses. The sender is rarely responsible for much (if any) of these expenses. Spammers make individuals pay for advertising they don’t want because this email isn’t requested by the recipient.

You can think of spam as bulk mail with the exception that the recipient pays for postage even if they didn’t request it.

GreggHost’s anti-spam policies
The anti-spam policy of GreggHost can be found here:

Policy Against Spam
As a condition of their hosting with GreggHost, all customers are expected to review and agree to comply by these policies.

These regulations apply to any type of bulk email sent from GreggHost servers or from a third-party server/service in support of a GreggHost-hosted site or domain. These regulations apply to any Usenet postings, blog comments/trackbacks, message board postings, and other types of content that promote or link to a GreggHost-hosted site.

Three important requirements
If you’re sending mass email, there are three standards you must meet.

Opt-in – To be added to your distribution list, recipients must specifically request it.
Confirmation of intent to be included to your distribution list – Recipients must indicate their want to be added to your distribution list.
Prove that the opt-in confirmation took place (give date/time/IP tracking of confirmations).
95% of the spam policy-related disablements GreggHost does are due to failure to follow the standards above. Before sending any form of mass email, be sure you understand the requirements listed above.

When someone requests to be included to your mailing list, this is known as a “opt-in.” This is usually done through a form on your website. Someone signing up for periodic mailings during a trade expo, concert, or other real-world event is also an opt-in.

confirmation of opt-in
The “opt-in confirmation” is a required step in which a person who has opted in to your list verifies their want to be on it before receiving bulk email from that list.

This prevents someone from subscribing someone else to a mailing list without their knowledge or consent. The opt-in can only be confirmed by the person who has access to the email address used to subscribe to the list. This is known as “closed-loop confirmation” or (misleadingly) “double opt-in.”

The following explains how GreggHost’s opt-in confirmation works:

An email address is used to join a mailing list.
Before being added to the list or getting any bulk email from it, a single email is sent to the subscriber’s email address with a unique link that they must follow. Those who do not click on the link will not receive any more emails. Those who click the link are added to the list, and their IP address (together with the time and date) is recorded.
If GreggHost ever needs proof, full access to the logs data must be granted for impartial inspection.
Even totally legal, well-managed distribution lists occasionally receive complaints. Spam complaints are common, but as long as you follow GreggHost’s regulations, you shouldn’t have any problems. However, it’s critical that you respond to GreggHost promptly with any questions you may have. The following are examples of typical questions:

Did all of your subscribers explicitly seek to be included to your mailing list (“opt-in”)?
Were all of your list’s subscribers sent an email with a link they had to click on before being added to the list (“opt-in confirmation”)?
Were all opt-in confirmations logged, including the date/time and IP address of those who clicked on your link?
Where can GreggHost review your opt-in confirmation logging data independently?
When you receive notification of a spam complaint, respond honestly and as soon as possible to all questions. Account suspension may occur if you do not submit complete responses to the information requests (particularly the four questions listed above).

Time provided for a response
If GreggHost management have cause to believe that spam has been sent from a GreggHost account, they reserve the right to disable such account instantly and without warning.

If something isn’t clear, a minimum of 72 hours is given before the account is disabled. This is to allow ample time for the account owner to view the message and respond to GreggHost.

Identities of those who complain
Those who file spam complaints usually want to keep their identities hidden for good reason, and GreggHost respects that wish.

Why would someone wish to keep their identity hidden? They are frequently concerned about spammers’ reprisal and do not want to encourage the practice of “list-washing.” GreggHost does not reveal customer identities or email addresses without their permission for these reasons.

Their identity isn’t required to demonstrate compliance with GreggHost standards, which is one of the reasons why, after receiving a complaint, you’re asked to supply the complete of your opt-in confirmation logging data. Even if a particular complaint is wrong — or worse, malicious — as long as you can demonstrate that you’re running your list appropriately, you’ll be good.

Malicious complaints
For nefarious intentions, some people report email as spam. It’s a rare occurrence, but it does happen.

Please keep in mind that GreggHost does not suspend accounts due to spam complaints. Spam policy infractions have resulted in the suspension of accounts. This implies that as long as you obey the regulations, you will not be subjected to a malicious spam complaint. Simply ensure that you answer all of the questions honestly and promptly.

Other types of spam
Although unsolicited bulk email (UBE) is the most common sort of spam, there are others as well. These are also highly forbidden and might result in account suspension.

Spam on Usenet
Posting advertising or promotional messages to Usenet newsgroups where they are not explicitly permitted — or off-topic messages to unrelated newsgroups.

Spam comments/trackbacks on blogs
Posting off-topic comments or trackback pings to weblogs using automated procedures, frequently for promotional objectives.

Spam on the message board and in the guestbook
Posting unrelated, off-topic, and often commercial remarks to message boards or guestbooks is known as spamming.

GreggHost has received a spam/UBE report.
GreggHost does not allow unsolicited bulk email and will take legal action against confirmed spammers. Receiving information from spam victims aids in the detection of spammers utilizing GreggHost services. If you want to file a report, check sure the spam is actually coming from GreggHost servers. If you don’t know how to read email headers, use an internet tool like Google’s Header Analyzer.

What if I don’t want to reveal my real name?
The primary goal of spam complaints is to determine whether or not a client is in breach of GreggHost policies. GreggHost does not indulge in “list-washing” and will not reveal your identity unless you specifically authorize it. In rare situations, GreggHost may give clients with a copy of the email, but anything that looks to be personally identifiable information will be obfuscated.

I’m a GreggHost customer who has received spam from another GreggHost customer.
The chances are that the spam you’re getting isn’t coming from another GreggHost customer. It’s most likely being transmitted with faked or obfuscated headers to make it appear as if it’s coming from a GreggHost server. Headers beginning with “from” are easily fabricated and should not be trusted. In such circumstances, you should double-check the whole headers to see where it came from.

What information do I need to provide in my spam report?
If the spam you’re getting is unsolicited bulk email, send GreggHost the entire email’s content and headers. The genuine source of the email is determined by the headers, and the type of email is determined by the content. Consent, not content, determines whether or not an email is spam, while content can help determine whether or not an email is bulk.

For Usenet spam, headers and content are also required. GreggHost frequently finds similar messages from the same poster.

Please submit any logging information you have concerning web-based spam (weblog comment/trackback spam, message forum spam, etc.). The spam’s content, IP addresses, and date/time stamps are all extremely useful. It’s also beneficial if you can leave the spam up and visible.

What address should I use to report spam?
If you’ve read the above and believe a GreggHost customer is spamming you, please send your complaint to the following address (with complete headers and content):

[email protected]
What if I send the email from a server that isn’t GreggHost?
If this email is done in any way in combination with GreggHost services, you must still adhere to GreggHost policies. This includes emails sent in support of a GreggHost-hosted site or domain (e.g., you are pointing people toward your site via a link, hosting embedded email graphics on GreggHost servers, referring to a GreggHost-hosted email address, etc.).

Why am I getting spammed when I’m not selling dangerous mortgages or committing fraud?
While such elements are frequently connected with spam, spam is really not about any particular form of content – it’s about consent. Spam can be any form of bulk email, regardless of its content – even if it isn’t commercial.

What about paper sign-ups at events or trade shows?
These may suffice as an opt-in, but they do not constitute a genuine opt-in confirmation because anyone might join up someone else simply by jotting down their email address. Such sign-ups must still go through the above-mentioned electronic opt-in confirmation process.

Also, just because someone hands you a business card with their email address on it does not mean they intended to be on your mailing list. They must knowingly sign up for the list, understanding that they would get bulk email from you on a regular basis.

Is it necessary for me to provide you access to all of my opt-in confirmation logging data?
Yes. GreggHost is unable to furnish you with the identify of the complaining party if GreggHost contacts you regarding a spam complaint. As a result, you must supply all of your logging data to prove that they got through the validation procedure.

GreggHost is unable to supply you with the complaint’s email address and ask you to look it yourself.

Isn’t having the opportunity to unsubscribe sufficient?
No. While an unsubscribe option is essential, the most important concern is that only individuals who want to be on your list join it in the first place. As explained above, this requires an opt-in with a fully logged confirmation step.

Isn’t just complying with CAN-SPAM enough?
No. CAN-SPAM is a dreadful, largely toothless law that accomplishes little to prevent spam, just some spam-related acts. Worse, it has replaced far tougher state legislation, giving spamming a facade of legitimacy. For these reasons, many in the anti-spam community believe that CAN-SPAM was “purchased” by big anti-consumer groups, and that it is inflicting more harm than benefit.

GreggHost, like any other federal statute, expects all customers to follow it to the letter. Simply complying with CAN-SPAM does not guarantee you are not spamming.

Is it confirmation if I send an email once someone has been added?
No. Opt-in confirmation does not imply that someone has been added to a mailing list.

It’s not enough to send them an email once they’ve been added. In this case, confirmation implies verifying that they wish to be on the list before it is created. The opt-in confirmation process’s ultimate purpose is to ensure that only individuals who wish to be on a list can join it. To verify that, evidence (in the form of date/time and IP logging) is logged.

Why is this spam when the information I’m sending is valuable?
It’s a possibility. As a result, convincing individuals to sign up for it on their own should be relatively easy. In any case, it is up to each individual to determine what is and is not valuable to them. Similarly, GreggHost restrictions apply to bulk email sent for “good reasons.”

Is there a way to send bulk email to my own customers without violating the law?
It is not enough to have a commercial relationship with a customer to add them to a bulk email distribution list without their permission. As explained above, you must require that people opt-in to your list and that each opt-in is confirmed (with logging).

Is there a loophole for sending mass emails to the media?
No. It might be argued that press releases and other forms of communication assist the media. GreggHost, on the other hand, is unable to treat their email addresses any differently than anyone else for practical reasons. This is especially relevant today that the barrier between traditional media and webloggers, for example, has blurred. Any recipient of a mass email distribution in which you participate must opt-in and confirm their desire to be added to your list via a logged opt-in confirmation process.

Is there a special rule for affiliates?
If you hire a third party to handle your advertising, you are ultimately accountable for their actions. This implies that even if GreggHost receives spam complaints related to your mailings, you must still prove that they were handled lawfully. If you don’t have complete faith in an advertiser working on your behalf, you shouldn’t risk losing your account if they break the rules.

What software am I able to use?
An Announcement List is the only mass email software that GreggHost officially supports. This can be found in the Announcement Lists page’s panel.

It enforces the opt-in confirmation and logging criteria, and it’s the best approach to ensure that your bulk email usage complies with spam policies.

The Discussion List feature on GreggHost (powered by GNU Mailman) does not provide the necessary logging or enforce opt-in confirmation. As a result, it can’t be utilized for standard bulk emailing. Other compliant third-party tools/scripts may exist, but GreggHost is unable to propose any.