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Gmail Blocked By Verizon Spam Filters

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Several people reported having email sent from the Gmail accounts to Verizon customers bounce back to them by overly aggressive spam filters over the weekend. Google says the problem has been fixed, but Verizon has been very silent on the matter.

The news comes very soon after AOL was accused of blocking detractor organization MoveOn.org, persuading some that ISPs are finding ways to thwart their political enemies.

On this thread in Google Groups, posters speak in unison about bouncing emails, saying that Verizon was now treating Gmail emails as spam. Emails were marked with an error reading:

“550 Email from your Email Service Provider is currently blocked by Verizon Online’s anti-spam system. The email “sender” or Email Service Provider may visit http://www.verizon.net/whitelist and request removal of the block.”

Writes dv9or70:

I contacted both Google and Verizon. Hopefully, one of them will respond. It’s bloody ridiculous. Last year Verizon did the same thing by blocking all emails from Europe for a while. That is not a smart way to address spam. I get far more email spam from Hotmail and Yahoo accounts. It would be to Verizon’s advantage to learn about better spam filtering from Google, Hotmail, and Mozilla (Thunderbird) as these companies are doing a good job at that rather than ticking off their customers.”

But, as one Slashdot reader writes, Verizon is a tough one for customers to get through to even on the telephone:

“As a VZ customer, I just spent 28 minutes on a call to tech support, eventually got a supervisor who knows nothing about the new spam feature, and would only agree to email a manager who doesn’t work weekends about it. I warned her that VZ has a public relations problem.”

Indeed that does seem to be the case. Even as the Net Neutrality debate rages in the House of Representatives – a fight where even celebrities are speaking out against telecommunications companies, one Google Groups poster speculated that the block had something to do with Verizon’s demand that Google pay for some of the bandwidth they use.

Says IsVerizonEvil:

“This probably has something to do with the money they’ve been trying to extract from Google and other net dependent companies. Verizon wants to be able to charge Google and others more money for using their pipes — essentially a toll. While they’re fighting it out via lobbying in Congress, I’d bet Verizon decided to give Google another headache to
distract them.”

In response to a request for comment, a Google spokesperson told WebProNews, “We were made aware of this problem and resolved it as quickly as possible.” The spokesperson did not expand on the nature problem or the manner in which it was resolved.

Verizon could not be reached for comment.

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  • just me

    The communications industry doesn’t want sharing they want to discourage it. Like aol verizon tries to direct their customers to using verizon content and thereby limit your ability to find alternatives.

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