This blog is retired.

Too Bad You Can’t Look Spammers Up In The Telephone Book Part II

In my last post I told you about some BB anti-spam protection schemes out there that rely upon third-party spam reports to build a list of know spammers who frequent the forum community and blogosphere. I also wrote about why this method of protecting your site from spam wasn’t as good an idea as it seemed from a technical point of view. Today I want to tell you about a few legal issues you may face if you choose to utilize a blacklist.

One of the biggest legal obstacles is that UK webmasters are subject to fines and penalties if they transmit sensitive user data to any organisation that is not subject to the UK Data Protection Act.

While the fines vary depending upon the severity of the breach, any fine, as well as the ensuing legal costs, is too much money to spend just to lock out some spammers.

Outside of the UK, any EU-based webmaster is looking at similar legal sanctions if they are found guilty of sharing certain personal information with organizations that are not subject to the Directive 95/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 1995.

Of course, you also run the risk of being sued by some innocent person who was the subject of a purposeful identity attack by some spammer who had an axe to grind and used the innocent party’s email address to carpet the Internet with spam.

I don’t know about you, but I’m not willing to have my bank account cleaned out simply because some spammer turned me into the authorities for exercising my right to have a spam-free forum or blog while trouncing on his right to privacy.

Overall, blacklists are bad news. That’s why solutions like Advanced Textual Confirmation make sense both from the technology perspective as well as the financial one.