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Verizon persists with European email blockade

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Internet Security Threat Report 2014

US ISP Verizon is persisting with a controversial policy of blocking email sent from Europe. Since 22 December, mail servers at verizon.net have been configured not to accept connections from Europe by default.

Verizon is blocking ranges of IP addresses belonging to British and European ISPs (the IP space from RIPE, APNIC, and more) in a misguided attempt to reduce spam. Domains are only unblocked following complaints, with Europeans effectively treated as guilty till proven innocent.

Verizon's original line was that it "only blocks spam messages on an individual basis, and not based on geography" but a customer services rep told Wired that it was blacklisting email from Europe in response to spam coming from the region.

Paul Wood, chief information analyst at email security firm MessageLabs, said it took Verizon two days to whitelist the IP addresses of its European messaging servers from the time it first complained its international users were having problems sending email to customers of the US ISP.

El Reg still remains blocked at the time of writing. That means we've been unable to deliver Reg newsletters to readers who signed up to receive them via Verizon accounts. At the time of writing Verizon has not responded to our requests for comment.

Verizon media relations manager Ells Edwards told Wired that he didn't know when the ISP would lift its blockade. "Normally these things abate in a matter of days," Edwards said.

Verizon three million DSL customers waiting for emails from Europe were advised to use alternative forms of communication. "If it's really important you might want to make a phone call," he said. ®

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