A number of ISPs, sites and organisations are claiming that The Bat! is a spamming tool and, on that basis, are blocking messages containing "The Bat!" in an x-mailer header.
Many spam messages have the X-Mailer header field set to The Bat!, but this because it is one of the default settings in the Advanced Mass Sender program, which is frequently used for sending spam mail.
There may be about 30 messages with forged "X-Mailer: The Bat!" headers per 1000 spam messages. Some Internet service providers, being unaware of this, are setting traffic filters that block messages containing "X-Mailer: The Bat!". This forces legitimate users to configure The Bat! to not include X-Mailer field into the messages that they send.
SpamAssassin can detect many instances of forged "X-Mailer: The Bat!" headers by looking at other parts of the message, for example html body, message-id, charset and boundary information. The SpamAssassin team have defined some SpamAssassin rules to detect forged The Bat! messages.
The Bat! is not spamware. Far from it. The same spamware that can (poorly) impersonate The Bat! also can and does routinely impersonate Outlook and other software.
Blocking messages with the X-Mailer: The Bat! header, is preventing free communication by The Bat! users and is very unfair.
Any ISPs that are doing that should be pointed to this web page.
There are clues that make it obvious that the spam message didn't come from The Bat!. For one thing, it has an "X-MSMail-Priority: Normal" header. The Bat! doesn't use this.
It may be possible for his ISPs to filter on the bogus The Bat! header (as well as some of the known bogus Outlook mailer spam signatures) while ensuring that legitimate Bat X-Mailer signatures are not filtered.
We are all for filtering on the spamware Bat! signatures and are happy to assist in that effort.
We are a victim of these spamware purveyors. Spammers harm the viability of email as a communications medium... and the more ISPs harm legitimate companies like users of The Bat! the more they help the spammers harm everyone.
The licence for The Bat! includes very clear anti-spamming rules:
- The supply or promotion of the program for the purpose of sending bulk, unsolicited e-mail is incompatible with the basic aims of the program, which revolve around the free provision of a service that enhances the quality of communication between people.
- The program may not be used for the purpose of sending bulk Unsolicited Commercial Electronic Mail. For the purposes of this section, this shall be construed to mean electronic mail sent to a total of more than 50 recipients for the purpose of advertising a commercial product or service, where the recipient has not explicitly expressed interest in receiving such advertisements.
- The program may not be included in any package designed for sending bulk unsolicited e-mail, whether free or otherwise, nor may vendors of such packages use "The Bat!" trademark or other related material in the promotion of their package. The senders of bulk unsolicited e-mail are prohibited from using "The Bat!" trademark in either body or headers of such unsolicited e-mail messages.