Newsletter - link to JISCmail web
Issue 13 - October 2006 | Page 5/6

The SCBL is an automatic list and sites are removed after 24 hours where no further reports are received.

How does it affect JISCmail?

There have been a number of incidents in recent months where the JISCmail outgoing mail server has been listed on the SCBL. As a result, some organisations that use SpamCop have been periodically rejecting email coming from JISCmail. Servers are listed on the SCBL for a minimum of 24 hours but we have observed at least one period where we were blocked for a couple of days. The primary effects of this are:

  • all list subscribers and owners, residing at those organisations, will not receive any email from JISCmail during the time we are listed
  • where repeated delivery errors are received, from the rejecting organisations, and depending on the configuration of LISTSERV's autodelete mechanism on each list, subscribers may be removed from the list automatically.

While we do not know the full extent of the problem, it is likely several hundred users could be affected.

So where does the problem lie and what can be done about it?

JISCmail filters hundreds of thousands of spam messages, coming in to the service, every month, and we do not operate any open relays. However, it is always possible small amounts of spam slip through the net, and what constitutes spam can be a very subjective matter. It is for this reason that we strongly discourage anyone reporting email from JISCmail as spam. A far better approach would be to contact

the JISCmail helpline, who will be happy to investigate the matter for you. This may also help us to fine-tune our own anti-spam mechanisms so that everyone benefits. Perhaps even more importantly, however, is the way SpamCop is used by organisations. SpamCop themselves advise:

"The SCBL is an aggressive spam-fighting tool. By using this list, youcan block a lot of spam, but you also may block or filter wanted email. Because of this limitation, one should strongly consider using the SCBL as part of a scoring system and explicitly whitelist wanted email senders (e.g., mailing lists and other IPs from which you want to receive email)"

We cannot control how organisations choose to implement SpamCop, and whether they adhere to those guidelines, and nor do SpamCop respond to requests to whitelist a service. Therefore, the best course of action is to request that organisations whitelist our outgoing mail server ICTMAILER1 (, in keeping with Spamcop's recommendations.
Further reading:

Wikipedia article on SpamCop
Spamcop Information


People often assume that if they create a web page, then copy and paste the source into an e-mail message, that this will be enough for the message to be sent as an HTML message. In general, this is not the case, and sending a message using this method will result in the raw HTML code appearing in the body of the message when it is received.

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