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Blacklisted email; blocked by sender or recipient?

Posted on 2010-09-22
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
If a domain has been put on to a email blacklist, for appearing as a spammer, at what point will that blacklisted domain be blocked, when they send email or when the recipient is about to receive it? and what's the best way to get removed from the blacklist?
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Question by:canalicomputers
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wolfcamel earned 500 total points
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it is the receiver's mail server that does the antispam checks.
getting removed depends on which blacklist you are on - some automatically remove you after 24 hours of not sending spam, others will require you to put in a request
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by:mccracky
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Mostly just on the receiving end is where it is blocked.

Check the policies of the blacklists.  Most of them have the steps needed to get removed from their blacklists.  (e.g. configure reverse DNS, make sure you're not an open proxy, SPF records, etc.)  Each blacklist differs slightly.  You need to read through their policies and correct what got you put on the list and then usually request removal to them.
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by:wolfcamel
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there are a large number of websites that will query the popular blacklists and tell you which ones you are one - then you can visit the website for each one and look to get removed.
Assuming you have fixed the problem causing your server/machine to send or relay spam.

Google DNS blacklist lookup
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by:ctown_larrymac
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To expand on wolfcamel's response to the first part of your question: it's almost always the receiver's icoming server that blacklists a spammer (as opposed to the outgoing server of the alleged spammer), so the email is blocked at the delivery point.  You should be able to look at the headers to see exactly where the message was stopped.
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by:aleghart
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A domain is not usually the subject of a blacklist for e-mail server purposes.  Otherwise, yahoo.com and aol.com mail would be completely banned due to spoofed messages.

Blacklists are used by receiving SMTP relays to look up the sending SMTP relay.  The results of an RBL (real-time blacklist) lookup do not "block" anything.  The response of the RBL is used by a scoring system on the receiving SMTP relay.  It's up to the server admin what to do.

It has little to do with what your domain name is in the offending messages.  Any IP address could have hundreds of domains using it.  Any domain could be using hundreds of IP addresses to send mail.

But, as others have described, the process for each blacklist is different.  Best to find out which you have offended and follow their procedures.  Nagging the admins or getting on a soapbox doesn't work.

1. Stop sending spam
2. Then use the automated methods for removal.

If you don't those two things first, then sending mail to an admin will usually be returned with more than a bit of sarcasm.
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by:canalicomputers
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Thanks guys
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