Microsoft has stopped accepting mail at its abuse@ email address, in
violation of one of the fundamental standards which applies to the
With the internet being built on a loose set of protocols, the founders
have set down certain standards in documents, known as an RFC or a
request for comment.
Realising that reporting spam is a thankless job, in RFC 2142 it is
specified that users could report abuse originating from a given domain
name to email@example.com.
RFC 2142 lays down mailbox names for common services, roles and functions.
The address, abuse@, is assumed to be active at any domain. But this is no longer the case with Microsoft.
Email sent to firstname.lastname@example.org results in the following form reply:
"Thank you for contacting Microsoft. Your e-mail will be handled by a
Customer Service Representative within approximately 24 hours. Please
note that the e-mail address you have contacted, "email@example.com"
will be retired on April 29, 2005. In the future, please visit
http://www.microsoft.com/contactus to contact Microsoft."
However, there is no contact information at this page for reporting abuse.
There are other standard accounts which are assumed to be active and
specified in other RFCs, such as postmaster@domain on all hosts that
have an mail server and usenet@domain for hosts running a news server.
The move has landed Microsoft on a blacklist maintained at
RFC-Ignorant.org, a site which describes itself as a "clearinghouse for
sites who think that the rules of the internet don't apply to them."