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Hints for people requesting removals

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Although the policies in this document have been in effect for a long time, to better prepare individuals requesting removal from the AHBL database, please be aware of the following...

When requesting removal from the AHBL, our policy is to require that in cases involving E-mail Service Providers, direct UCE senders, mailing list maintainers, and similar, that they provide us with details on how the original e-mail address that received the mail was added to requester's mailing list.  Although the CAN-SPAM act does not directly require you to keep opt-in information, the onus is on the sender to be able to back up the claim that they are following the CAN-SPAM act and any other applicable laws. 

The easiest way to do this, is to keep information such as the following with your database:

  • Original date/time of signup
  • IP address of the machine that submitted the request to be signed up
  • URL of website where signup originally happened (if applicable) and possibly the user-agent
  • Proof of confirmed opt-in status such as date/time where user responded via e-mail or clicked web link
  • Details on the company/individual that obtained the signup information
  • Details on all intermediaries that may have added/changed details if important


People without this information will have a harder time requesting removal.  Please note that we can detect faked information, so adding this information after the fact will not help your case.

For individuals who run opt-out lists, please be ready to provide information on where you obtained your leads and understand that we may outright reject your request as the AHBL does not believe in opt-out being the proper way of running a mailing list.  You either have permission to e-mail the receiver with commercial matters, or you don't.

Exemptions, though rare, may be made on a per listing basis.