The Death of Blacklist

Discussion in 'Mail Chat' started by roundabout, Sep 17, 2012.

  1. roundabout

    roundabout Well-Known Member

    Feb 17, 2011
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    "End of an Era" has had a long and storied history. We celebrated our 12th anniversary a number of months ago.

    I take it as something of a matter of pride that no matter how many "Threats to call lawyers" we received over the years, we did not receive (that I can recall anyway) a single actual letter from an attorney. Twelve and a half years of "cartooney free" as it were. :)

    The environment has changed radically over the years, though. DNSBLs are falling out of favor. Everyone is just shifting their mail handling into centralized mail-handling systems like GMail, or Exchange, or Zimbra, and the role of the DNSBL in making e-mail delivery decisions is greatly diminished. The increasing use of IPv6 also foretells a decreased usefulness in DNSBLs going forward.

    Further, there's been changes afoot over the years in organizations like the IETF to actively attempt to marginalize what we do. For instance, the changes to the WHOIS RFC a number of years ago came about as a direct result of people trying to shut down that zone.

    Maintaining the database is a lot of work. Between vetting every submission, and the (much more tedious) process of dealing with removal requests, it easily consumes quite a bit of time.

    But we're reaching a point where:

    The usefulness of a DNSBL is greatly diminished
    We are running on - literally - ancient hardware (A 1GHz P3/Coppermine) which could really die at any time. It should have died long ago if you think about it. The CPU itself is *at least* 12 years old.

    I can't justify replacing the hardware. The value-proposition just isn't there. Nor is it fair for me to extend the project and commit volunteer resources to a labor of love that I can't be bothered with myself any more.

    SO .. be it resolved as it were, that is scheduling its own demise.

    Effective 9/15/2012 - All publicly visible DNS slaves have been removed from the NS-set other than SONIC.NET's primary RBL servers, a change that is percolating through DNS caches now
    Effective 9/20/2012 - we will no longer accept submissions of new domains
    Effective 9/30/2012 - All entries currently marked as "Listed" in the databases will be marked as "Deprecated", which will cause them to not generate DNSBL entries. This will, effectively, mean that lookups of any domain in our database will always return "false", i.e., "clean".
    Effective 10/15/2012 - The rsync service for slaving of zones will be shut down
    Effective 10/30/2012 - All sub zones will have their NS-set set to "", with lengthy TTLS, which will direct all DNS traffic back onto the server requesting it.
    Effective 11/30/2012 - The root NS set for "" will be deleted entirely, preventing any resolution

    We want to thank everyone who's been a supporter of us over the years. It's been an interesting ride to say the least. But I do have to give a couple particular shout-outs:

    Ralf - As I mentioned, RFCI takes a LOT of time to maintain. I ran out of said time years ago, but Ralf stepped in and has been handling day to day operations of vetting submissions, and handling removal requests, sending over to me only the most "tricky" or "edge-case" issues. Without Ralf's help, we would never have made it to our 10 year anniversary let alone 12+.
    Kelsey Cummings at - When we were looking for a home, Kelsey stepped up in a big way, and got us a great deal on cabinet space, network connectivity, and provided a shelter for us as a DNSBL that made things a lot easier to handle. At the very least, we knew that our colo provider "got" the DNSBL thing, and wasn't going to be easily scared away if someone had tried to complain about us to our upstream provider. :) have been GREAT to us over the years, and I can recommend them highly enough.

    Thanks again to everyone for a great ride.


  2. DKPMO


    Mar 31, 2011
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    Elaborate Underground Base
    This was probably the most useless blacklist for everyone concerned.

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