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CENSORING AGAIN: Comcast Blocks Emails Linking to Cindy Sheehan Website!


Cox Cable Joins Nation's Largest Net Provider in Keeping Citizens in the Dark!
By BRAD BLOG
LINK TO ORIGINAL

Other ISPs doing the same thing -- here we go again! only bigger!!

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot UPDATE: Since the following item was posted, we have had confirmed reports of emails being blocked by other ISPs as well as Comcast. We'll post...

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

UPDATE: Since the following item was posted, we have had confirmed reports of emails being blocked by other ISPs as well as Comcast. We'll post more when we know more. In the meantime, please try the tests described below, regardless of your e-mail provider, so we can get some sense of the scope of the problem. Thank you very much, as always.

Five weeks ago The BRAD BLOG ran a report indicating that Comcast, the nation's most popular email provider, was automatically deleting emails containing the web address "www.afterdowningstreet.org". Shortly after the report was published, 6 or 7 people made such a commotion that the problem was suddenly fixed. Various explanations were given, none of which cut any ice in the opinion of this lowly and nearly frozen blogger, but at least the problem went away.

Why am I telling you this? Background info. Today we have received a report indicating that something similar is happening again, but this time the address that triggers Comcast's automatic deletion is "www.meetwithcindy.org".

Personally, I do not have Comcast service, nor do I know anyone who does. So I cannot test this report for myself. I can ask for a bit of help, though. If you are a Comcast subscriber, please help us out by doing the following simple test.

Are you with me so far? I want you to send yourself four emails and tell me how many actually arrive. The four emails will be very simple, as described below:

one with "www.meetwithcindy.org" in the subject line, and the words "test #1" in the body
one with "meetwithcindy.org" in the subject line, and the words "test #2" in the body
one with "www.meetwithcindy.org" in the body, and the words "test #3" in the subject line
one with "meetwithcindy.org" in the body, and the words "test #4" in the subject line
Send these messages, wait a little while, then check for incoming messages and find out for yourself. According to our source, you will receive "test #4" but not "test #3". Apparently the "www." prefix is necessary to trigger the automatic deletion. If this makes no sense to you, please recall that in the previous episode, the address in question, "afterdowningstreet.org", triggered the automatic deletion only if it carried this prefix. In other words, emails containing "afterdowningstreet.org" passed through cleanly, while those containing "www.afterdowningstreet.org" were dispatched to the nearest black hole.

Most of the time the prefix "www." is insignificant; but apparently the prefix is very important in this case. But we don't know for sure, and that's why we're asking you to do some testing.

We don't know what to expect regarding tests #1 and #2. That's why we're asking you to perform them. After we collect more information, we can take it to Comcast and request a correction in their software -- or in their censorship policy, as the case may be. The more information we can present, the better it will be -- not only for us, but also for the people at Comcast (or Symantec) who will have to solve the problem.

I emphasize that this is not the time to make a lot of noise -- not publicly, at least. This is the time for gathering data. We can make noise soon enough, if we can confirm the report we received earlier today.

UPDATE: Go ahead and make some noise if you like. We've seen enough to know that something terribly fishy is going on.

CONTACT INFO for COMCAST:
Abuse Dept: phone 856-317-7272 – ext 1 or email: Secure-port25@comcast.net

Mike: phone 856-324-2415 or email abuse_99@comcast.net or email abuse99@gmail.com

Jim Janco [Manager of abuse dept]: cell 856-297-3548

We will post more contact information as soon as possible.

If you're still not sure about your e-mail provider, or if you'd like to help us gather more data, please participate in our informal study. I'll be watching this thread to see the results of your testing.

To repeat: Please send yourself four emails as described above, then come here and tell us how many -- and which ones -- you received.

Thanks, as usual, for your cooperation.

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I'm not saying that it shouldn't be looked into Nor am I suggesting that there is no conspiracy involved. I only know that the Internet, in general, and email, in particular, are imperfect mechanisms as are the anti-spam measures used by various service providers and their clients.

We should, I think, examine all aspects of the situation very carefully before arriving at any definite conclusions one way or the other about underlying causes or motivations. Otherwise, we risk being dismissed as mere conspiracy theory buffs to the detriment of the entire effort.

Haven't gotten any of them from Comcast.

Heads Up!!! - I am also seeing first hand as well as getting lots of reports that there are some new and very well crafted viruses & Trojans hitting that the net all of a sudden. The symptoms they are exhibiting on my dummy/test machines are "web page freezes",
"web page update failures", and "e-mail lock-up." A reboot appaers
to clear the problem for about 30 minutes. This is a test machine
with Windows ME/Explorer/Outlook (vanilla boiler-plate off the shelf setup)

NOTE TO MY FORMER STUDENTS AND CO-WORKERS -

If any of my former students are taking part in any of these
ISP filtering campaigns or virus attacks, I want you to realize that what you are doing is criminal on several levels. I urge you to reconsider your actions and report the people that are giving you these orders.

"I'm just following orders" is not an acceptable excuse.

"I've got bills to pay" is not an acceptable excuse, either.

This is NOT what I trained you for.

peace.

Hi, this is probably being caused (again) by Comcast's use of Symantec's Brightmail spam filting software. Exactly *why* the site was added to the Brightmail filters is a question we'd all like the answer to, but Symantec is not likely to be forthcoming with an answer.

www.meetwithcindy.org is not listed on any RBL, it has not been reported as spamming to any of the news.admin.net-abuse groups.

Here's some info from Symantec:
(http://tinyurl.com/9sb4m)

------
Symantec Brightmail is willing, purely as a discretionary matter, to investigate the reason why your company's messages may be blocked by our filtering software. Please contact Investigation@review.symantec.com and submit an example of a message that is not getting through, sent in the exact same way you would send to your customers.

The investigation uses the provided sample(s) to analyze why the message is being blocked. This is the reason it is important the sample be sent in the exact same way you send messages to your customers. Please allow 7 business days for the completion of the investigation. We request that you do not contact Brightmail during that time period as that may delay the investigation and cause it to go beyond the 7 days. We will contact you through email with the results of our investigation at the conclusion of the 7 days.

To make sure your email addresses are legitimate, Symantec recommends the following:

* Make sure your database does not contain older email addresses of those who do not want to receive your promotional or marketing email. Send confirmation emails to determine who should remain on your list and who to remove.
* Do not accept email addresses from third party marketers, unless you can assure that such email addresses are legitimate and that such subscribers want to receive your promotional or marketing email.
* If a subscriber no longer wants to receive your emails, provide a method by which a subscriber can opt-out. Promptly remove these opted-out email addresses from your list.
* Promptly remove from your email list emails that bounce back to you. This indicates that the recipient is no longer available.
* Use a double opt-in method to sign up subscribers. This will confirm that the subscriber did request your promotional and marketing email.
* Remove email addresses of those who do not open your email messages.
* Consider using a third party to manage and update the addresses on your email list.

The above bullets are some of the reasons why email is being tagged spam. Old unverified third party email lists result in subscribers feeling they receive unsolicited email. Implementing these suggestions are a best practice recommendation by Symantec.

----------------------------------------------

Lately, almost immediately after logging on to your website, my AOL screen disapppears along with your page. AOL reboots itself, but if I try going back to you, it does it again. It only happens when I go to this address. All other "news alternative" websites seem to be ok, so far.

Am I paranoid, or are THEY hacking us?

Seems to be no problem here.

Obviously Comcast and others are showing who they support... don't like it... then get a new ISP. Your ISP supports Bush and therefore doesn't support people who don't support him! As a conservative, I enjoy the discussions and content of this website... even if I do only laugh at some of it. AT&T doesn't give me any problems though!

All four tests came through OK.

All 4 came through, quickly, with Cox Communications.

www.CafePress.com/liberalprogdem
www.ChurchoftheFrontPorch.blogspot.com

I am a subscriber to Comcast and tried the test. I use Yahoo for my e-mail. All four came through right away. Maybe they fixed this one too?

The good folks at bradblog seem to have evidence that emails referencing the site www.meetwithcindy.org aren't being blocked anymore.

http://www.bradblog.com/archives/00001720.htm

This block was apparently more widespread than just ComCast - I still think it was a result of Symantec's Brightmail filters, which are used at many large ISPs.

Why the blocks were put in place is still unknown, but they seem to be responding pretty quickly to remove them once notified.

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