Whitelisting - A Bad Idea ... here's why:

Several Readers Complain About Us Not Posting Our Newsletter "From" Address
(And our comments about "Whitelisting" and "Blacklisting" in general)

(Here are a couple of examples of emails we have received from readers who "need" to "whitelist" our newsletter "From" address.)

I need your proper address to put your mail onto the white page ,will you please send it so I can do this. I did not get last weeks ,and I hate to miss out on my Info Avenue Pro. Cheers - Valmay

Would you send me you address for this newsletter. When I get it in my mailbox it is cutoff, as you can see below, and I cannot enter it into my mailbox sp/am program to have it sent to me. It wouldn't hurt to have it in your newsletter so this wouldn't be necessary. Thank You, Tom

Answer

First of all, if your ISP requires you to "whitelist" an address in order to receive email from that address, that doesn't seem to right, does it? Does this mean if an email address is not on your "whitelist" that your ISP can censor and delete it without your permission or knowledge? Most likely, it does. One major problem with "whitelisting" is that unless an email address is on your whitelist, you won't get email from that address. This creates a myriad of problems.

What if you order something online from a company whose address you don't have whitelisted? Will you get your important information? Probably not. What happens if a friend changes ISPs and tries to contact you, will you get his/her email. Probably not. Anytime you allow your ISP to meddle with your private email - or they force you to use whitelists - you're in essence telling your ISP that it's OK for them to censor your email EXCEPT that which you've whitelisted. Whitelisting is not a solution - it's just creates another batch of problems.

We've gotten to the point that ISPs are becoming as big of a nuisance as spa/mmers and it shouldn't be this way. Sure sp/am is a problem but ISPs who arbitrarily block or censor your email cause problems not only for you but for legitimate companies as well as family and friends too. We don't know what the final answer to sp/am is, but it sure isn't the age old idea of "good" and "bad" lists. It has never worked in the past and it sure isn't going to work in the future.

A lot of us get along well with ISPs who respect our individual rights and freedoms enough to allow us to take care of our own email - without assuming that all email is sp/am and forcing us to "whitelist" someone just to get mail from them.

We get about five hundred sp/am emails every day. We deal with them. It's a fact of life on the Internet. But we'd rather take care of the mail we receive and decide what is sp/am and what is not ourselves without entrusting those decisions to some third party like our ISPs - or having to go through the hassle of "whitelisting" just to ensure we receive mail that we signed up to receive - or even mail from our friends. At least we don't have to remember to add every new company from which we order to some sort of whitelist just to make certain we receive the order confirmation and information email we obviously need and want.

We've stressed over and over and over again in our newsletters that ISPs have no business meddling in your personal email at all. This includes using whitelists, blacklists, ISP sp-am filtering, an the rest of those sort of so-called "services". Just think if you had to give the postal service a "whitelist" in order to receive your regular mail. If that ever really happened, everybody would be up in arms. But somehow when ISPs do this, it's accepted and considered a "service" - but a service it is certainly not.

If you disagree and think that ISPs should have complete control over what email you receive and what you don't receive - and that the only way to deal with sp/am is some form of big-brother control, let us know. We'd like to hear what you think.

For those who have no choice but to use an ISP who uses whitelisting the mail from which we send our Premium Newsletter from is
infoave-premium @ pr1.netatlantic.com . You'll need to remove the intentional spaces.

And while we are on that subject, please don't reply to the address above because it is outbound only. In other words if you send email to that address we will never see it and you will not get an answer - and you may think we're ignoring you - but we're not. So if you have a questions or comments please send them us by visiting this page. This also includes those of you who have questions about your InfoAve Premium Newsletter subscription.


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