A Weblog About Topics and Issues Discussed in the Book Spam Kings by Brian McWilliams

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May 4, 2005

Blueyonder: "Spam ignorant"

by.jpgSometime last month, nearly a million Internet protocol (IP) addresses owned by the Blueyonder Internet service were added to the spam blacklist maintained by Spews.org.

Fifty six "/18" netblocks owned by Blueyonder, a service of UK broadband provider Telewest, are currently on the "Level 1" blacklist maintained by Spews. Do the CIDR math (56 * 16,384) and that's one heck of a lot (917,504) of IP addresses.

In its characteristically laconic fashion, Spews explained the Blueyonder (BY) embargo this way: "Spam ignorant. Poorly run broadband network company when it comes to dealing with abuse."

What seems to be the problem here is a large concentration of spam zombies among BY's broadband customer base. None of the ISP's SMTP servers (smtp-out1.blueyonder.co.uk, etc.) appear to be on the Spews list; only IPs doled out to subscriber machines are blacklisted.

Some participants on the Nanae newsgroup are decrying Spews' move as yet another example of the controversial blacklist hurting innocent ISPs.

But the move should cause little collateral damage. BY subscribers can still send and receive email via the ISP's mail servers to the rest of the Internet, including Spews users. But zombied PCs on BY connections will effectively be off the air to Spews users.

On the other hand, it's interesting that Spews considers BY worthy of Level 1 status. According to the Spews FAQ, Level 1 entries consist of "netblocks owned by the spammers or spam support operations themselves, with few or no other legitimate customers detected."

For those of you keeping score, Spews currently lists approximately 24 million (23,962,247) IP addresses on its Level 1 list.

The summer 2001 rise of Spews, and the violent reaction to it by spammers, are covered in Spam Kings.

Posted by brian at May 4, 2005 8:05 PM


I am going to l0l when Spews etc gets shut down along with all those NANAE kooks. They're biting the hand that feeds them with all this junk.

Posted by: Pavan at May 7, 2005 2:51 AM

There is a long history with blueyonder and their clients. When I imported their data into my list, on occasion I was asked for help on a listing. The majority of the time, I was informed of the reason for the listing, and had no reason to challenge them. Blueyonder has a history of problems, and based on the current listing, I'm inclined to support spews. It does also bring out a glaring issue. When you discovered I was being sued, you posted it on salon.com. When I won, it made a sidebar here. Interesting.

Posted by: Joe Jared at August 20, 2005 8:00 PM

Joe, you might also want to read this follow-up posting about the Blueyonder situation:


Regarding media coverage of the Pallorium lawsuit, I'm not sure what "glaring issue" you're talking about. Salon published very few stories in its Tech & Business section this summer. AFAIK, my blog entry was the only media coverage of your victory. Perhaps you should take up your beef with other tech news outlets.

Posted by: Brian at August 20, 2005 9:16 PM


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