Riseup Mail Outage November 25-30, 2010

Thursday, November 25th, the anti-spam service Spamhaus added our mail servers to their block list. These block lists are used by a majority of the mail servers on the internet and once we were added, any mail we tried to deliver was refused. This block lasted until the morning of Tuesday, November 30th (what a nice WTO anniversary present!), and now mail is flowing freely again.

Why did this happen? Sadly, this was due to the actions of a Riseup list user, who added subscribers to their list who did not ask to be added. We immediately took action, and have been working to have the block lifted.

What does this mean for the email that you sent out? Don’t worry, it wasn’t lost! When the block went into place, we shut off outgoing sending to stop things from being lost. We are sending things out as fast as we can, but there is a huge backlog that will take some time to get through, please be patient as our servers work through this.

Why was I able to receive email during this time? We did work to allow inbound mail to continue to come in, but kept outbound mail from going out because it was outbound mail that would be blocked. During this time if you checked mail you’d see new things coming in but any mail you attempted to send to non-Riseup users was held to be sent out after the block was lifted. Mail sent to other Riseup users still was delivered and mail sent to Riseup lists was still delivered to any subscribers using a Riseup address. Now that the block has lifted, other non-Riseup users will also get these.

We’re really sorry about mail delays, we did everything we could in our control over the last 5 days to get things fixed, and we’re taking some actions to prevent this from occurring again. We are pretty unhappy about how Spamhaus handled this situation, there were a bunch of mistakes made (and some on our side too!) that caused this to happen in the first place and then caused the delay in getting it removed.

Thanks for your patience!