When Spam Protection Goes Wrong

WIRED: Verizon’s E-Mail Embargo Enrages Verizon Communications customers expecting e-mail from across the pond may be in for a long wait. The internet service provider has been blocking e-mail originating from Great Britain and other parts of Europe for weeks, and customers are upset about having their communications disrupted without notice. Verizon began blocking ranges of IP addresses belonging to British and European ISPs on Dec. 22, according to the company. The blacklisting of e-mail from abroad was in response to spam coming from the region, according to a customer service representative at Verizon who identified himself only as “Gary.” He said company policy prevents him from giving out his last name.

It would be nice if they would get on with fixing the mail protocol so that it becomes impossible (or at least much harder) to send email without proper credentials/return address. At least you would be able to track the email back to the mail server who authorized it and be more likely to find offenders. Blocking off huge amounts of email seems like a very poor idea for an ISP – what else are we paying you for?