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Critics set up anti-SPEWS Web site

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Critics of the SPEWS blacklist have set up a Web site highlighting their grievances against the popular service.

SPEWSMonitor.info has been established to "counter the growing number of out-of-date, inaccurate and often malicious listings by SPEWS of entire subnets".

Critics are aggrieved at what they say is SPEWS' hard-line stance in blacklisting entire subnets, a perceived lack of accountability and alleged violations of Internet standards. They argue that the service causes unknown collateral damage to innocent parties who happen to share the subnets of alleged spammers.

It's not the first time Spews.org has been criticised over a alleged blanket approach to blacklisting and difficulties in communicating with its volunteers. We thought it might be the first time that a Web site has been set up to air these grievances. Not true - antispews.org has been around for a while, readers inform us.

But we digress.

Defenders of Spews.org counter that organisations and individuals make their own choices about whether or not to use the service. Its popularity is evidence that many find it more than useful, the argument goes.

Many people who complain against the blacklisting service use ISPs who failed to play their part in dealing with the spam tsunami, hence a blacklisting. Also blacklisting lists are updated more often than Spews.org critics give it credit for.

The merits of the two sides of this argument will doubtless be fully aired on news.admin.net-abuse.email. Hopefully the debate will generate more light than heat but make sure you're wearing asbestos underpants before joining the discussion, just in case. ®

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