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ISP demanding to read my email

Discussion in 'Web & Email' started by Rev Darkwing, Sep 13, 2007.

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  1. Rev Darkwing

    Rev Darkwing Thread Starter

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    Perhaps I am behind the times but I just had a troubling experience and I want to see if my thinking or my outrage is inappropriate.

    A friend asked me to author a press release for him, which I did. It was rejected by charter as being identified as spam. It was not, it is a legitimate press release being published through the wire services.

    I also attempted to forward an illegal spam I received to one of the governmental regulatory agencies in order to report it. It too was rejected.

    I contacted Charter and they told me the ONLY way to get an email unblocked was to send it to them so they could read it. Now, I don't know about you but I have a real problem with an employee of a company I don't like reading my personal emails. It seems like an invasion of privacy. In the case of the press release, it contained non-plublic information and as such would be highly confidential and, as such, inappropriate for a stranger to have access to.

    The Charter supervisor I spoke to assured me their people don't care what's inside the email but there is no way he can speak for them.

    Naturally, Charter blocks access to the smtp servers on the websites I own so all email i send from my outlook MUST be sent through charter's mail.charter.net. This too is a new development for me and not too pleasing.

    I have been using email since the early nineties and never have run across this before but it has been three years since I was forced to use charter. Is this what the world has come to... ISP's requiring that they be able to read our email before sending?

    And how in the world are we going to help defeat spam if every time I try to file a complaint with an ISP that is being used by a spammer, my email is blocked by charter?

    Will someone please make sense of this for me? I am at a complete loss as to how to react. thanks
     
  2. DVOM

    DVOM

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    If you got a GMail or YaHoo mail account and ran it through your Outlook, it would solve this intrusion problem.

    It would also solve the problem of having to change email addresses when and if you change internet providers.
     
  3. Rev Darkwing

    Rev Darkwing Thread Starter

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    How i wish it were true but the first thing I learned when signing up with Charter is that they do not allow emails to be relayed through other servers. If it were that easy, I would just use mail.mydomain.com in Outlook and be done with it.

    Charter has a policy where the ONLY outbound email from outlook must be sent out through mail.charter.net while you are on charter's service.

    So, how could I use gmail or yahoo or hotmail with that being the case?
     
  4. DVOM

    DVOM

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    Do you have a link to their email policy?
     
  5. Rev Darkwing

    Rev Darkwing Thread Starter

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    http://www.charter.com/Visitors/general.aspx?ownerid=11

    about 3/4 of the way down is the one on mail relaying.. took me 15 minutes to find this page.. they hide it real well...

    Here is what it says about it

    What is mail relaying and does Charter allow this practice?
    Mail relaying is the practice of using Charter mail servers to send mail (SMTP) from non Charter IP space or from domains not hosted by Charter Communications. Relaying is not allowed by Charter. If a Charter customer is using their laptop outside the Charter network, they should use http://webmail.charter.net or change the outgoing mail server setting on their mail client to match the outgoing mail server of the service provider they are using.
     
  6. DVOM

    DVOM

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    Well, generally an ISP has actually two services, internet access and email. These are separate services using separate servers. Email policy is to protect and prevent their email server from propagating spam and viruses.

    So according to their stated policy, you should be able to use another SMTP server while using their internet access as that wouldn't be "relaying" through their email server or even involving their email server in any way. Why they would block your other SMTP servers is not explained on that policy page nor is it a "natural" extension of that policy.

    What error do you get or what was their explanation for blocking your other SMTP servers?

    But you've got nothing to lose by giving GMail or YaHoo mail a try and you wouldn't be violating their stated policy. At the very least you could use GMail's or Yahoo's web based mail to get whatever messages you need past those over zealous censors.
     
  7. cwwozniak

    cwwozniak Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    First Name:
    Chuck
    You might want to get clarification from them if they block all outbound e-mail to non-Charter servers or if they only block non-secured outbound e-mail to port #25 on non-Charter servers. Some ISPs, like AT&T block port 25 access but allow an SSL (SMTPS) connection to another port (such as port 465) on non-AT&T servers. If Charters allows SMTPS connections to other ports, find out if your own mail severs support SMTPS.
     
  8. kiwiguy

    kiwiguy

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    If you read most ISP terms and conditions in detail, you will find that they do have the right to read any and all emails.

    Here is a typical section of an ISP terms and conditions:

    [ISP name] does not claim ownership of any content or material you provide or make available through the Services ("Customer Material"). However, by placing any Customer Material on our Websites or Systems (including posting messages, uploading files, importing data or engaging in any other form of communication), you grant to [ISP] a perpetual, royalty-free, non-exclusive, irrevocable, unrestricted, worldwide licence to do the following in respect of the Customer Materials:

    use, copy, sublicence, redistribute, adapt, transmit, publish, delete, edit and/or broadcast, publicly perform or display, and

    sublicence to any third parties the unrestricted right to exercise any of the rights granted,

    in each case for the limited purposes for which you provided or made the Customer Materials available or to enable us and our suppliers to provide the Services.

    5. Communication Services

    The Services may include email services, information services, bulletin board services, chat areas, news groups, forums, groups, personal web pages, calendars, photo albums, file cabinets and/or other message or communication facilities designed to enable you to communicate with others (collectively "Communication Services"). You agree to use and access the Communication Services in accordance with all Separate Terms and only to upload, post, email, or otherwise transmit or access messages and material that are permitted in accordance with these Service Terms and, when applicable, the Separate Terms related to the particular Communication Service.


    You (and not [ISP]) assume the entire cost of any necessary verification, maintenance, repair correction and/or removal of any relevant Communication Service messages and material.


    We are not under any obligation to monitor the Communication Services. However, we reserve the right at all times to review messages and materials transmitted and accessed through a Communication Service and to disclose any information as we deem necessary to satisfy any applicable law, regulation, legal process, governmental request or code, or to edit, refuse to post or to remove any message or materials, in whole or in part, in our sole discretion.


    Such terms are not uncommon among ISP's around the world. You should have no expectation of privacy unless you encrypt the email.
     
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