Lawyers enter fray in spam blacklisting dispute makes Island Networks sick

Island Networks, the Channel Islands domain manager, is threatening anti-spam blacklisting service with legal action following the blacklisting of its IP address. blacklisted the block of domains to last month due to the activities of a group known as Island Networks, which has no affiliation to and has a "strict anti-spam policy", uses IP address

That's among the block of IP addresses targeted by Island Networks claims the blacklisting has hurt its business.

Through its lawyers, DL Legal, Island Network gave until January 24 to remove the block or face further legal action. Its letter (posted here on spells out the effects's action have had on its business.

"The listing of the block (i.e. all 1536 addresses) rather than the offending IP addresses causes our client direct economic and commercial loss. Your listing means that our client's mail will be wrongfully bounced by ISPs using your service," writes Nick Lockett, a partner at DL Legal.

Linking Island Networks with in the blacklisting is defamatory, Lockett further argues. Neither Lockett not Island Networks returned our request for comment on the dispute.

Resorting to law over spam blacklisting is an unusual, though in the fractious world of anti-spam, not unprecedented move.

In this case it seems to have achieved to desired effect.

Island Networks is no longer blacklisted by

The threat of legal action against has prompted a vigorous debate on the, with people weighing in on both sides of the argument (which is not for the faint hearted), is described as a vigilante and, in more reasoned postings, criticised for its blanket approach to blacklisting and difficulties in communicating with its volunteers.

Most people posting to the newsgroup, however, defend and describe many of the organisations that complain against the blacklisting service as "Cartooneys" who fail to play their part in dealing with the spam tsunami.

Organisations choose to use of their own volition, many also point out. ®

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