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AHBL Listing Policies

AHBL Listing Policies (Revised 8/4/2010)

The AHBL strives to follow a set of established policies and procedures. We may revise/change/delete sections of this policy at our discretion.



We consider Spam to be unsolicited/unauthorized/opt-out bulk e-mails from individuals, companies, non-profits, govt. agencies, politicians, etc. Unlike the CAN-SPAM act, the AHBL does not exempt certain groups from its definition of Spam.

Spam does not have to be commercial in nature.


We define Opt-In as e-mail that has a verifiable path from submission to a mailing list to sending of the first and future e-mails. Opt-in e-mail on addition to a list must have been confirmed by the owner of the address through some manner and not just added blindly.

  • Proper Opt-in information should include:
  • Original date/time of address submission
  • URL where the signup occurred
  • IP address of the submitter of the address
  • Date/time of confirmed opt-in from owner of the address
  • Anything else as required by law or policies

If a list has telltale signs of possibly being incomplete or with fake information, the entire list should be considered unclean and not used.


A cart00ney is threat of a baseless lawsuit or barratry. Before threatening to take legal action, you should speak with an actual lawyer/attorney and make sure that you are allowed to speak on behalf of the company/group you claim to represent.

Spam Source

A spam source is a IP, server, ISP, etc that is involved in passing spam from their IP space to an end-user. These listings may be as small as one IP address, or as large as a /16 netblock. ISPs that knowingly harbor a spammer after being alerted to the problem may find that their space gets listed as well. This is called an Escalated Listing.

Spam Supporter

A spam supporter is someone who provides support services to the activities of a spammer, even though they may not be directly involved in the spam themselves.

Escalated Listing

When a listed IP or range grows in size (ie: from /29 to /24), this is called an Escalated Listing. This may be done for one of many reasons:

  • The provider moves the customer from one IP range to another to evade listings
  • The provider ignores severe abuse for long periods or actively expresses their intention to assist the customer in avoiding the listing.
  • In the case of SOS listings. the longer the provider allows abuse to continue, the larger the listing gets until it covers all applicable space. This type of escalation is up to the judgement of the AHBL staff on if it is needed.

SOS - Shoot On Sight

This is a special policy that takes affect when an individual/company/group threatens the AHBL, its partners, or other spam fighters. The threats can be anything from lawsuits to violence if the target refuses to cave into their demands.

The AHBL considers SOS listings to be high priority and of a critical nature. Escalated Listings are common if the abuser continues their behavior with no repercussions from the provider. If the user changes ISPs, the listings will be adjusted as well to reflect that change.

Other behavior that can trigger an SOS listing is failed legal attacks against the AHBL and spam fighters, promotion/inciting of attacks against the AHBL, its partners, and spam fighters.

There is no official delisting rules/policies for SOS listings. Removal conditions are decided at the time of listing or when the individual/provider requests delisting.

As an example, for baseless legal threats, many times the only requirement for delisting is an apology from the individual/company with the understanding that in the future they will use better judgement.

For more serious listings, factors that can affect requirements for delisting can include how long the provider ignored the problem, if they chose to lie, etc.

AHBL SOS listings/delistings are at the sole discretion of AHBL staff.

Contacting The AHBL

Generally, the AHBL only communicates through e-mail and our website. This enables us to track issues and keep a log of communications. In rare situations, we may agree to speak via the phone - however this must be agreed to ahead of time and the conversation may be recorded for archival purposes.

Failure to follow procedures for removal can result in you being banned from the AHBL website, which will severely limit your ability to interact/communicate with us.

In certain situations, the AHBL may opt to post communications online via our website or usenet. Normally, the only times we may do this is when threats are made.