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Perfectly safe email rejected as spam with incorrect 552 error

Mardler
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Posts: 630
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Registered: ‎01-07-2012

Perfectly safe email rejected as spam with incorrect 552 error

A daily email from a trusted source is being banned by PN today: what else? Nothing has been received from usual sources!

Another person tried to forward the email to me but got the 552. The email was then sent to my gmail address which worked perfectly. I then tried to forward the email to my PN address...and got the 552.

This is totally unacceptable: fix it, now!

 

17 REPLIES 17
JonoH
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Re: Perfectly safe email rejected as spam with incorrect 552 error

Hi Mardler, thanks for letting us know.

Plusnet do not ban or reject any emails, instead they're filtered through software that attempts to identify and block spam messages. The software sadly doesn't always get it right, but something in there must be showing as spam.

If you can PM me the address it was sent to and from, and the email headers, I might be able to tell you more information, and hopefully work with you to resolve the issue. 

As I'm away now for a couple of weeks it's likely it will be someone from the team that responds.

 Jono H
 Plusnet Community Manager
Mardler
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Re: Perfectly safe email rejected as spam with incorrect 552 error

That makes it even stranger because this email has been received daily from the same address for nearly two years. Obviously, something has changed.

I will pm you.

Mardler
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Re: Perfectly safe email rejected as spam with incorrect 552 error

PM sent.

JonoH
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Re: Perfectly safe email rejected as spam with incorrect 552 error

Thank you sending the PM.

As we discussed the email contained a link that's been marked by external sources as potential spam, because of that we didn't accept the message.

We can raise it with our spam filter, but they'll likely want a copy of the original, complete email.

 

 Jono H
 Plusnet Community Manager
Mardler
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Re: Perfectly safe email rejected as spam with incorrect 552 error

There is no spam!

I need to know what it is exactly that has caused the ban. Until then I am treating this as censorship.

JonoH
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Re: Perfectly safe email rejected as spam with incorrect 552 error

Thanks for your response, obviously it's your right to decide to view this however you like, but I can assure you that we have no interest in censoring your mail, in the same way that we don't censor, outside of our legal obligations, your internet access.

We're happy to investigate this with you further, should you decide to do so, but we will need a copy of the original email.

 

Edit

I'd also like to point out that we look at more than the senders address to decide if an email is spam. Legitimate senders are sometimes targeted and hijacked by malicious actors and so just because an email address is known to you, does not mean that message sent from it is not spam, or will not be marked as such.

 Jono H
 Plusnet Community Manager
Mardler
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Re: Perfectly safe email rejected as spam with incorrect 552 error

I can assure you that the censored email is 100% legitimate, has not been spoofed and contains no spam.

If you have a private email address to which I can send the offending article I will but I need to have precise details of the alleged offence: will this be given?

JonoH
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Re: Perfectly safe email rejected as spam with incorrect 552 error

You shouldn't need to, the sender of the emailing list will have gotten a number of rejections and they'll be able to find out why.

If you'd really like though feel free to forward the email to one of the team, they'll refer it to our relevant teams, who'll ask ask the 3rd party vendor which link was flagged and why, we're happy to share most of the detail.

 Jono H
 Plusnet Community Manager
Mardler
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Re: Perfectly safe email rejected as spam with incorrect 552 error

I have PM'd you asking how to email you or ano but you have not responded.

Another PN staffer told another complainant with an identical problem from a sender's viewpoint that no email facility exists, which is what I have been told in the past.

If no email facility exists at PN please give me the email address of your "spam" algorithm's designers and/or monitors so that they may see for themselves that there is no problem (apart from censorship).

Banning emails for no reason is totally unacceptable. At the very least I should have been advised, given the opportunity to accept or decline and flag to PN that there's no problem. Instead what I am getting is a withholding of a genuine email and total obfuscation.

JonoH
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Re: Perfectly safe email rejected as spam with incorrect 552 error

Sorry Mardler, as I said earlier I'm off on holiday, I'm happy to help but responses might be slower than normal. 

If you're happy to wait until I return, I've PM'd you my email address. If you're not happy to wait (and I understand that) then PM @Gandalf  and he will provide you with the teams email address.

 Jono H
 Plusnet Community Manager
Townman
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Re: Perfectly safe email rejected as spam with incorrect 552 error


@JonoH wrote:

As we discussed the email contained a link that's been marked by external sources as potential spam

 

We can raise it with our spam filter, but they'll likely want a copy of the original, complete email.


@Mardler 

Spam filtering and changes to it, is not performed under the control of Plusnet, but under the well respected Cloudmark email protection services.  Cloudmark learns from its user population what is deemed spam - see Cloudmark Authority | Cloudmark EN

"It automatically publishes the latest threat data every 30 seconds so there's no need for manual updates. This significantly reduces administrative time while delivering the highest level of protection against new spam, phishing, and virus protection outbreaks.  Real-time threat reporting from the Cloudmark Global Threat Network, consisting of billions of trusted users located in 165 countries around the globe"

 

So if something has changed, then it is highly probable that Cloudmark community has deemed the mentioned link to be a source of spam or other security risk.  You do not mention the link in question - one wonders why and why the designation as spam (or otherwise risky) is deemed "censorship"?

As @JonoH has advised, sometimes the security platform (or its community) get things wrong, for which there is a route for remedy; that has been offered to you.  I have seen situations where two URLS used singularly are fine, but used in the same email together, in combination, they fall foul of a spam trap.  Such is the reason for needing to see the whole email - it is possible that the link in question with some other nefarious content TOGETHER triggers a trap signature.  Have you tried sending an otherwise blank email (no signature etc) containing just that link?

The reality of life is that one man's censorship is another person's protection.  These services do not censor, they seek to protect users.

Superusers are not staff, but they do have a direct line of communication into the business in order to raise issues, concerns and feedback from the community.

Longliner
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Re: Perfectly safe email rejected as spam with incorrect 552 error

@Mardler You've been given a perfectly reasonable explanation for your email problem. Plusnet offers a very basic email service to its 1.4 million customers and nobody can expect individual service unless they pay an independent provider, as I do. Jono appears to have done his utmost to help you, I hope you don't expect him to cancel his well-earned holiday?

Townman
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Re: Perfectly safe email rejected as spam with incorrect 552 error

Even with a paid for email service using Cloudmark as its anti-spam platform, the route to remedy would be exactly the same - submit the whole of the original email to Cloudmark.

In passing, the fact that other email providers might allow transmission of that content does not mean that they are right and Cloudmark is wrong ... it could be that the other providers are just not on the ball with responding to what is happening around the globe.  It is such shoddiness which allows zero-hour issues to spread so quickly.

Superusers are not staff, but they do have a direct line of communication into the business in order to raise issues, concerns and feedback from the community.

Mardler
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Registered: ‎01-07-2012

Re: Perfectly safe email rejected as spam with incorrect 552 error

TM: your response is why I took my conversation private, I already knew what you just posted. Also PN don't have readily available emails addresses to which to send the full email otherwise I would gladly have done so: eventually I was given one but only after repeated requests.

Furthermore, I have also discovered that other organisations are having the same problem.

How many times must I repeat that there is no spam involved? This email has never been bounced before and gmail doesn't bounce this one. Previously, where there was suspicion of spam PN emailed the addressee so the decision rested with them.

Cloudmark is SF HQ'd leading to speculation of other reasons. How that applies to some senders is beyond me and my colleagues. You should understand that Twitter made similar claims.

Had you read my notes you would know that I haven't a clue what is "the link in question". The email is not a sharing of a link, it includes several daily reports some of which include hyperlinks none of which is spam. However some content, while 100% factual, might well be disliked by a certain cohort hence my concern (and that of others) is that this is censorship pure and simple.

I have neither the time nor the inclination to send emails with all the links though have done so with sender's address in the body of an email with no problem.

The reality of life is most definitely NOT that one man's censorship is another's protection: that is patently absurd.  There is too much censorship in this crazy world already hence recent developments elsewhere. I believe in free speech.

Surely, the status quo ante was fine: allow the email through but with a warning, preferably giving the exact transgression, so that the recipient can decide for themselves?