[clug] Mysterious delivery problems

Alex Satrapa grail at goldweb.com.au
Wed May 21 18:03:01 EST 2003

On Wednesday, May 21, 2003, at 11:00 , Martin Pool wrote:

> What's the distinction between "blacklist" and "RBL" anyhow?  I
> thought it was "realtime black list", and realtime just referred to
> the fact that queries were made over DNS for every mail.

I think the original author used the term "blocklist" - as in "list of 
network blocks".

The distinction between the two, IMHO, is purely semantic.  One is a 
"black hole" list - the list is intended to be used as a means of giving 
a particular Internet abuser "the silent treatment", thus all traffic - 
not just email - is blocked/dropped/terminated with extreme prejudice.  
The other is a "blocklist", intended to be nothing more than a list of 
network addresses that - in the opinion of the vigilante running the 
list, at least - should be subjected to various and random acts of 

I can't even remember the event that turned me off "black lists" of any 
kind - was there an instance where MAPS and ORBS had some kind of 
misunderstanding which resulted in MAPS blackholing the whole of New 

Incidents like that remind one that even "professional" outfits are not 
to be trusted with the availability of my email service.  Then, of 
course, you get incidents where the packets are actually people, and the 
"vigilante" organisation is a company hired by the Australian Government 
to detain them until their request for asylum or claim of refugee status 
can be confirmed.  But that's not Linux, nothing to do with Canberra, 
though it certainly fits in to a creative interpretation of the topic of 
this thread ;)

Alex Satrapa

Usenet is like a herd of performing elephants with diarrhea -- massive, 
difficult to redirect, awe-inspiring, entertaining, and a source of 
mind-boggling amounts of excrement when you least expect it.
   --Gene Spafford
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