Email Censorship

Big Brother is watching—and he doesn’t like the URL “”

BradBlog reports that emails containing the phrase have been systematically blocked from reaching their intended recipients.
The discovery that email was being secretly filtered was made after an investigation conducted by [] co-founder, David Swanson who reported that many coalition members did not seem to be receiving email alerts and others messages being sent by the group.

"Over the past week we have been having problems reaching our members," Swanson said. "Yesterday we had a conference call scheduled that we'd announced by email and two thirds of the people didn't even know about it."

Eventually Swanson was able to determine that it was only those members of the group who receive email via the cable monolith's domain who were not receiving such notices.
Comcast is pointing the finger at Bright Mail, part of Symantec, with whom they have a contract and who, according to Comcast, control the filter. Bright Mail refuses to lift the ban, claiming to have received 46,000 spam messages containing the above cited URL, thought they refuse to show a single such message).

Bright Mail also serves other large ISPs in addition to Comcast.

I asked Brad to email me a message containing the blocked phrase; he did—and I didn’t receive it, although I sent an email he sent immediately after without it. I can only imagine how many emails I have sent or been sent that have not been received. This is the first case I have ever heard of where a spam blocking measure was not based on the email address or IP address of the suspected spammer, or a phrase in the subject line. Perhaps the most outrageous thing about it is that I had no idea that my email was being filtered for this phrase. As far as Comcast and Bright Mail were concerned, infringing on my Constitutional right to organize was so easily discarded that they didn’t even have to let me know.

Contact info:

More Symantec contacts available here.

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