Sea of Noise

Wed, 29 Jun 2005 Considered Harmful

It never ceases to amaze me that the people who want to tell me how to run my life (the US government, in all its many manifestations), and especially those who receive a large portion of my taxes to protect me and my countrymen (the US Army, US Navy, etc.), can't even secure their own mail servers or follow simple Internet standards.

My mail servers have received spam from mail servers run by the US government, including the military, so many times and for so long that I've lost track (and pretty much given up on them). Reports, by email and phone, have all gone unanswered. Amazingly, our political masters don't even think RFC 2142 applies to them. (In addition to being listed in, .mil is also listed in In for a penny, in for a pound, I guess.)

After having mail to the RFC standard abuse address bounce for the umpteenth time, I thought I'd give it one more try. I called the contact person listed at ARIN for the relevant mail server. Amazingly, she not only answered her phone, but turned out to be both helpful and intelligent. Miracles do happen! She did inform me that I could report the abuse to abuse@ the relevant subdomain.

Of course the Army should get its act together and comply with Internet standards. But, in the meantime, I sent a report to the relevant address.

It bounced.

The people running the Army's mail servers are apparently so stupid that they're using a content-based filter to filter mail sent to their own abuse address:

The following message to <> was undeliverable.
The reason for the problem:
5.x.0 - Message bounced by administrator 
Final-Recipient: rfc822;
Action: failed
Status: 5.0.0 (permanent failure)
Diagnostic-Code: smtp; 5.x.0 - Message bounced by administrator  (delivery attempts: 0)
Reporting-MTA: dns;
  by with ESMTP; 29 Jun 2005 18:09:58 +0000
X-AKO: 46338039: Jun 2005 18:09:58 +0000:$ACCEPTED:4.2
X-BrightmailFiltered: true
X-Brightmail-Tracker: AAAAAQE35ew=
Subject: [AKO Content Violation - SPAM]Fwd: Returned mail: see transcript for details
X-IronPort-AV: i="3.93,242,1114992000"; 
   d="scan'208"; a="46338039:sNHT160135857"

Feel safe? I don't.

And I know what you Navy guys are thinking. But, no, last I checked, the Navy is just as bad. And both are only a little worse than many of our largest Internet service providers.

I'm sick of it. From now on, every time I get spam from a government-run mail server, some elected representative of mine is getting a call.

Join me, won't you?

[/internet/spam] permanent link

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