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The SpamBouncer

Blocked Email Notifications

The SpamBouncer can be configured to send an email to correspondents whose email was classified as "Blocked", notifying them of that fact and providing them with a password that they can use to bypass the SpamBouncer's filtering and contact you. You can then whitelist your correspondent, and if the email was blocked for some apparently odd reason, notify me so that I can fix the filter. This page describes the SpamBouncer's block notification feature in detail to help you determine whether they want to enable and use this feature.

Note: Block notifications are never sent for email classified as "Spam."



Who Should Use Block Notifications?

Block notifications are useful for some users in some circumstances, but are not useful for most users. For this reason, they are disabled by default and must be enabled explicitly if you want to use them.

Individual users who have used the SpamBouncer for at least a month, have a stable configuration, and have observed a low false positive rate in email classified as "Blocked" can safely enable block notifications. This will allow the rare correspondent whose email is blocked in error to contact you, instead of having to wait for you to check and clear out your BLOCKFOLDER.

In general, any SpamBouncer configuration that results in a relatively high rate of false positives in email classified as "Blocked" should not use block notifications. In particular, the following types of SpamBouncer installations and users should not enable block notifications:

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What Does a Block Notification Look Like?

Assuming that your email address is user@example.org, your correspondent's email address is correspondent@example.net, and your block notification password is abracadabra, a SpamBouncer block notification would look like this:

From: user@example.org
To: correspondent@example.net
Subject: Blocked Email Notification

               ===== BLOCKED EMAIL NOTICE =====

Your email, which is attached below, was blocked by my spam
filter for some reason. Because spam filters can catch
legitimate email by mistake, the filter is configured to
accept all email if it has the password listed below anywhere
on the Subject: line. (You can just forward this notice back
to me with the password on the Subject: line if you want.)

If you are a bulk mailer, advertiser (commercial or political), or
are sending any kind of "free offer", unless I explicitly requested
to receive your email, please remove this email address from your
list and do not email me again.

Thank you!

 ********** The password is abracadabra. **********


The correspondent's email to you is attached beneath the notice.

Caution! Do not use abracadabra as your block notification password. Some spammers monitor the SpamBouncer and other spam filters, and design their spam to evade filtering. You don't want to make it easy for them. ;->

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Who Receives Block Notifications?

If they are enabled, block notifications are sent to any correspondent whose email is classified as "Blocked" and whose email address does not meet one of the following criteria:

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Enabling Block Notifications

To enable block notifications, you must set BLOCKREPLY=NOTIFY in your .procmailrc file. See the Configuring the SpamBouncer web page for more information.

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