in Checking In, MT.Net

Email extortion?

Get out of jail free ... err, for $20

Somehow, the hosted server I use for my mailing lists has gotten flagged by Barracuda Networks as being a source of spam. This means I can no longer send email to my neighbors with (or,, or Time Warner email addresses.

The idea that I would spam is of course absurd (as these two RBL checkers can confirm) but because I’ve been working with spam and “realtime black hole” lists for years I understand that false positives can sometimes occur.

What galls me about Barracuda’s approach is their proposed solution: fork over $20 per year per domain and we’ll never accuse you again. It smacks of extortion.

To Barracuda’s credit, they did promptly remove my IP from their “poor reputation” list and this change will presumably percolate to the big-name ISPs which use Barracuda products. Still, it’s an eye-opening example of what can happen to the Internet when resources are concentrated in the hands of a few companies.