Can My ISP Delete my Incoming Mails?

This topic was created by mark 177 .

  1. mark 177
    WTF?

    Can My ISP Delete my Incoming Mails?

    Does anyone out there know if ISPs are allowed to delete incoming mails without notification to the customer?

    My ISP/Hosting Company - Webfusion - deletes incoming mails that it identifies as coming from spammers (that's right, it deletes them, it doesn't just mark them as spam or put them in a spam folder).

    Some of these have turned out to be important mails regarding my investments which are sent out on behalf of the investment company by the bulk emailer, eCircle (I believe this is one of the biggest bulk email companies in Europe)..

    My understanding is that eCircle is 100% legit and sends out bulk mail on behalf of many companies. However, my ISP claims they are spammers (the first time simply because of a DNS record misconfiguration) and deletes their emails to me without notification.

    So is this legal? If this happened with postal mail, it would be a criminal offence punishable with jail time. How can they get away with this?

    The worst thing is that I have no idea if they may have deleted other important emails.

    I'd really like to hear from someone in the know who can point me to concrete information on whether this is allowed, and if not, what I can do about it.

    Regards

    Mark

    1. Drewc (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

      Re: Can My ISP Delete my Incoming Mails?

      interesting question. Do you think it is newsworthy?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Can My ISP Delete my Incoming Mails?

        "...is it newsworthy"

        I'd say it is, if the ISP's actions are uncommon. It is a reality that proper, and sometimes important, e-mails can be marked as spam, and blocking rather than flagging is then the wrong response.

        I received a call to a job interview the other day and it was marked as spam. Furtunately it wasn't discarded by the provider.

        As to legality - the providers must be able to block sources of mass spam in order to manage their overall service, so I doubt that they can be done for it. If you pay specifically for an e-mail service then I guess you may have a better case.

        Perhaps the only solution is to ensure that important communications are to an e-mail account that you can be confident in.

    2. squilookle

      Re: Can My ISP Delete my Incoming Mails?

      I don't know, but I'm guessing you had to agree to their terms before getting use of the service, and I'm wondering if they detail how emails marked as spam will be treated?

      I know these agreements are often viewed as less solid than the provider would like to admit, but depending on whats in there, it could change the answer to your question about whether they can do it or not.

  2. jake Silver badge

    eCircle has been trying to send me spam for a decade or so.

    I never, personally, agreed to their incoming crap. So they are blocked (entire IP range dropped un-ACKed) at the border routers here at Chez jake, and at the corporations where I manage the configuration. No complaints from my users so far. If you really want their crap, get a freemail account to receive it on. If you can find one that doesn't block it, that is.

    1. mark 177

      Re: eCircle has been trying to send me spam for a decade or so.

      It isn't crap that eCircle is sending - they manage a weekly newsletter for Zopa, which I invest in.

      I can see why my ISP has to stop spam, but they are deleting mail without so much as a notification to me. In addition, their reasons for doing so are often weak - they use advisory blacklists for blocking, even when the blacklist provider recommends not doing so!

      I'll be changing ISP as soon as I can manage it. I am trialling Google at the moment. I might even run my own mail server.

      1. jake Silver badge

        @mark 177 (was: Re: eCircle has been trying to send me spam for a decade or so.)

        One man's meat is another man's poison.

        I, me, personally, have never received anything from eCircle that was solicited by me, personally. Therefore, everything I have received from eCircle is spam, by definition. So I block them. So do many other people, for the same reason. For the record, I manage my own blocklists.

        If I gave a rat's ass about Zopa (which I do not ... I view it as a near-pyramid scheme), I'd recommend that they change their mass-mailer to somebody more reputable. If anyone else would be willing to host them, that is. Which I doubt.

        1. mark 177
          Facepalm

          Re: @mark 177 (was: eCircle has been trying to send me spam for a decade or so.)

          Pyramid scheme? How did you work that one out? People lend money, borrowers (we hope) pay it back.

          Can't see anything pyramidal there. Perhaps I am sterically challenged??

  3. anderson123
    Thumb Up

    Hello friends,

    Thanks for sharing our view and information with us.

  4. KJB

    To delete the email and not send a bounce message back to the sender informing them that is hasn't gotten through is extremely back practice. Were any bounce messages sent to the senders of those messages that were deleted?

    1. TeeCee Gold badge
      Mushroom

      It's not extremely bad practice.

      Most actual spam doesn't use it's own address as the origin, but just "borrows" one from somewhere else. Sometimes a genuine address harvested from the internet, but more often just name @ a genuine domain. Replying to the sender usually results in some innocent domain being bombarded with unsolicited messages, making you no better than the spammer who sent the ruddy thing in the first place.

      If you really must send "sod off" messages, ensure that the place you are sending them to is where they actually originated by interrogating the header and don't bother sending 'em if it turns out that the address is madeupshit@randomgenuinedomain.tld.

      I had to purchase mail forwarding for my domain, just so I could point the interminable deluge of crap "spam bounce" mails from allegedly reputable companies with lazy, fucktard admins down the bit bucket provided.

    2. Nelbert Noggins

      Maybe once upon a time bounce-back was useful.

      TBH these days I don't bother bouncing emails... unfortunately the amount of spam from bogus addresses means it's not worth the bandwidth anymore.

      Thankfully i don't have anything to do with running mail systems and anti-spam anymore. :)

      I'd read your T&C carefully but I expect they'll be covered for deleting the emails if it's via a known cluster of spam servers.

      I'd would expect an ability to whitelist though.

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