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Aussie ISP unblocks Googlemail

Spamtastic move
Wed Apr 11 2007, 10:48
AUSTRALIA'S LARGEST Telco and ISP, recently-privatised Telstra, has revealed that it's Bigpond email service has been automatically filtering out all mail from Google's Gmail users to its customers.

Gmail is the third largest provider of free email services in the world, trailing Yahoo Mail and Windows Live Mail. Like most free web mail services, signing up for Gmail is free and easy. The unfortunate corollary of this is that spammers do, acting in concert, sign up for email accounts so that they may be used for sending spam. The cost to spammers is nothing, and the spammers can easily move on to create another account when detected.

This is fairly straightforward stuff. Somehow though, Telstra's boffins have gone on the attack, slating Google for taking insufficient care in making sure that Gmail was not used for spamming. Quite how Google is supposed to do this, aside from the standard precautions it does take - the ‘type the letters in the box' test - Telstra does not make clear.

Perhaps Telstra would prefer that Google apes its own approach to email? Who's for a whopping 20MB account, 10c per month for every MB over that amount and $14.95 (Aus) for "premium" services.

Google's blacklisting by Big Pond was first reported on Broadband Whirlpool forums back on March 23, but Telstra has only just removed the filtering that was blocking Gmail users. Bigpond uses Trend Micro for its web mail filtering services, whereas Google uses its own solution.

As the Google website says, Gmail is sometimes blacklisted by organisations such as Spamcop and Sorbs because it refuses to list the IP addresses of its users, in the interest of protecting privacy.

Now that the problem is fixed normal service has been resumed. One has to wonder, though, how long it will be before the same problem occurs. Perhaps Telstra should look at fixing its own spam-fighting services, rather than pointing the finger at Google, which has a reputation for having one of the best spam filters in the business. µ


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