Dear Church of Reality Members,
As many of you know besides being the glorious supreme leader of this religion I also have a “real job” hosting web sites, filtering spam, and other geek related stuff. And one of the sites I host the the Church of Reality itself, along with this email list. This list is being blocked by the New York Times email servers because political sites on my server does mass mailings to reporters about matters of political interest. I myself write letters to the editor and Church of Reality press releases on a regular basis.
Without explaining it all to you again I’m just going to pass on the email I sent my customers. I think this is an important issue because our religion considers communication to be extremely important. Here’s the letter. Feel free to pass it on.
Dear Computer Tyme Customers,
We are having an interesting email issue with the New York Times tech staff regarding email to them and about 3000 other reporters that they host email for. Apparently there is some sort of consortium of news services that share common email services and spam filtering services. Their equipment is blocking email comping from my servers what prevents all of you from contacting various news agencies through my service.
The problem is that these servers – from what the techs told me – block all mass mailings regardless of content. If what they are saying is true then this situation applies not only to us – but also to anyone who is mass mailing reporters for any reason. And I do believe we are not being singled out. What is disturbing about this is that political free speech as well as press releases or any type of mass communication with the press is being blocked. This might explain the disconnect between political activists and the mainstream press. The press is not getting email from the people because it is being blocked.
As many of you know, I host email for a lot of very interesting people. One of those interesting people is PC Magazine writer John Dvorak who was having his messages bounce when trying to contact the New York Times. After several exchanges he asked me to look into it. So I called them and had a fascinating conversation. I don’t often record conversations but I do sometime so that if there is something important I need to remember that I need to do I can review it. It save me having to attempt to read my handwriting which is nearly impossible. Although California has laws making it questionably legal to disclose recorded conversations, I believe in this instance it is justified because I am sure that it wasn’t the intent of the legislature for these laws to conceal the fact that the people can not communicate with the press. So – I’m going to take my chances with this one because of the importance of the issues.
Here are the recordings. You can see if what I hear is the same as what you hear.
These are unedited except that I cut out my home phone number in one place.
What is important here is that I’m sitting here about to write a major press release about the Church of Reality’s position on the Iraq war and the moral implications of Realists fighting an unjust war in relation to Conscientious Objector Status and knowing that the email servers at the New York Times is going to block my release. Likewise I host a lot of political newsletters as well as my own letter to the editor list and I don’t know if my letters are getting through.
This is an issue where people are sending free political speech to newspapers – this is clearly not spam – and a third party is blocking it. This block is on an IP basis and not by individual or domain so if one person sends a mass mailing they block everyone. In this case American Politics Journal’s mass mailing blocked John Dvorak from communicating with New York Times reporters.
After the conversation the techs who control this have stated that they refuse to remove the blocks and that they have determined that all mass mailing to reporters will be blocked. They have flat out refused to fix the problem. Not just for the few hundred domains that I host, but for all the other people who want to send their messages to the press.
One of the things they mention is a company called Cipher Trust http://www.ciphertrust.com/ which seems to be the common blocking agent cutting off access from all these sites to all the companies. I’m still researching who these people are and who they block for. It sounds fairly massive.
Ironically, if their reporter, Judith Miller, hadn’t conspired with Scooter Libby and the White House to sell America on this fake war we might not be writing them in the first place. But that’s a rant for a different time.
The tech contact at the New York Times is Ed Muller. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org . I consider it necessary that our servers as well as all the other servers who he is blocking be unblocked and it’s time to lean on them to make that happen. So, here’s what I suggest we do to start with.
First, the people on your lists who are not blocked needs to know about this. So send this message to everyone on your list so that they can individually post this on their blogs and write to the NYT directly. I want to show them that blocking free speech isn’t possible and that there is no way that they can filter email coming from diverse sources. This is a message that we will get through. Please include the contact information and you can provide links to the recorded conversations. I will also be covering it on my blog at http://marc.perkel.com .
So – how want’s to kick some butt?
Computer Tyme Hosting
Church of Reality