[Mailman-Users] Blocked By Earthlink

Chuck Peters cp at ccil.org
Sun Jun 19 22:18:37 CEST 2011

According to earthlink our newsletter "may be re-added in the future should
the server be discovered to again be open for relay".  Just one big problem
with that statement, we have never been an open relay!

We use mailman for our StarryMessenger.net newsletter and send it out from
starrymessenger at starryskies.net (Google Apps hosted).  No one is allowed to
post to the list and we also set it up so that our own posts are moderated
to insure no spam ever gets through to the list.
the block may occur for several reasons:
EarthLink has received numerous complaints about the server that handles
your email.
The IP address of your email server is dynamic (changes daily)
Your IP address has been listed as spam by industry references.
Your rDNS (Reverse DNS) is not up-to-date and accurate. Your rDNS is the
hostname associated with the IP address of your email server and should look
similar to “mail.example.com”.

That doesn't say anything about open relays, but the email below does, and
of course we never heard about any of these so called "several complaints."
 The other 3 items listed don't apply, ie not a dynamic IP, rdns is setup
and we have never been on a DNSBL.

We migrated the server to a VPS from speakeasy and added DKIM a couple of
months ago, but other than that it has been the same exim4 and mailman setup
for years.  And of course we keep the software updated and upgrade the
distribution software.

Later the earthlink page says to include the bounce message, and just how
are we supposed to do that with mailing list software that is designed to
handle these bounces?

This isn't even a discussion list where it would be more likely for this
sort of thing to be flagged as an open relay.  A quick search on google
for earthlink feedback loop brings up pages not hosted by earthlink.  So
does anyone have suggestions how to get this mess straight to avoid these
problems in the future?

A bit of our exim log:
2011-06-18 06:36:43 1QXnsP-0000sh-LC ** ****@earthlink.net R=dnslookup
T=remote_smtp: SMTP error from remote mail server after MAIL FROM:<
starrymessenger-bounces at starrymessenger.net> SIZE=22095: host
mx4.earthlink.net []: 550 IP is blocked by
EarthLink. Go to earthlink.net/block for details.

The auto reply to our request to be unlocked:

Hello starrymessenger at starryskies.net,

We have removed the block on mail originating from,
please allow 2-24 hours for normal email traffic to resume.
Please understand that IPs previously removed from the
EarthLink Correct Connect database may be re-added in the
future should the server be discovered to again be open for


Earthlink Abuse Department
blockedbyearthlink at abuse.earthlink.net


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