TPB Causes Argument Between Dutch ISP and Anti-Spam Organization

Spamhaus is accused of blackmail by the internet service provider

By on October 13th, 2011 13:56 GMT

A German ISP that's known for supporting The Pirate Bay was recently in the middle of a scandal between A2B, a Dutch provider, and the Spamhaus Project, a somewhat controversial organization that built its reputation on tracking and fighting spam sources.

According to The Register, many internet service providers turn to the help of Spamhaus to keep their networks spam free, but a recent incident reveals that in some cases they tend to go too far in their noble mission.

A2B is known to share some servers with Cyberbunker, an internet supplier which is famous for lending a hand to the torrent website. Because A2B refused to block all the IPs belonging to the Germans after the anti-spammers requested this action, Spamhaus decided to turn on the heat and blacklisted all the addresses belonging to their customers.

To save the websites of their customers which were taken offline, A2B removed Cyberbunker from its border gateway protocol, utilized for backing the core routing decisions on the internet. The ISPs managing director, Lodewijk van Zwieten, believed that it "has gone too far" and decided to file a complaint against the Project, claiming that what they've done can be considered blackmail.

In reply, Steve Linford, founder of Spamhouse, stated "To say that an SBL listing amounts to extortion is the same as being refused entry to a restaurant because you're not properly dressed, and then claiming that you are being blackmailed."

He also said that the procedures followed by his company are the same since 10 years ago and if an upstream provider cooperates with spammers, it is blocked.

This comes after Erik Bais, the owner of A2B told Dutch publication Webwereld that the measures implemented by the anti-spammers can be considered an abuse of power and that their actions represent a denial-of-service attack against their customers.

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