If you’ve ever gone through the process of getting a new phone number, you know that the previous owner’s reputation and associations may haunt you. The phone companies are supposed to let phone numbers lie fallow for some period of time (usually a year) before they reassign them to new customers. This isn’t always done, and in some cases a year is not enough time, so you may find that acquaintances or customers of the number’s previous owner continue to call you. As I have recently learned, the same is true for IP addresses.
In the thirty or so years since the first spam email, the most successful method found so far to combat the problem is to blacklist the IP addresses of known spammers, and block any internet traffic that originates from these IPs. This works well. Too well. Especially if you inherit an IP address from a spammer, like I recently did. It is a serious pain in the ass to have your IP removed from all of the various blacklists that are maintained around the world. Some are open source lists that are available to anyone, some are owned by individual Internet Service Providers. But they all have one thing in common — they all have their own unique way of administering their lists, and processing your appeal to be removed from them.
The most ironic and painful thing about this process is that I requested and paid extra for my own static IP address specifically because I was having a problem with some of my emails bouncing back as spam! Now, I’m running into this problem even more than I was before, so the cure is worse than the disease.
So let me take this opportunity to thank all of you assholes out there who feel the need to fill up people’s inboxes with offers for penis enlargement, hot singles in my area, Nigerian bank scams, and Viagra. Like pissing in someone’s pool, you’ve ruined it for everyone else.