Today I got a reply to an abuse I reported (Promotion for another (sigh) million dollar site on Usnet) to T-Online International AG. The advertisement (spam) for a site was posted in alt.www.webmaster using Google Groups. Excerpt:
The mission is to generate one million dollar for the Wikimedia Foundation Inc. the non-profit organization with the goal of providing free knowledge to every person in the world. You are welcome to buy 10x10 pixels on our 1000 x 1000 pixel grid (one million pixels) for US $1 per pixel, which you can use to display an ad or logo or an image, together with a link to your website.
Of course WikiMedia has nothing to do with this, rule one: Spammers Lie. Anyway, I reported it by looking up the abuse reporting email address that belongs to 22.214.171.124, since this IP address was added by Google to the headers of the spam posted on Usenet.
First I got a reply back from the T-Online Team stating that:
the objected article(s) was NOT delivered to the Usenet through a newsserver in the power of disposal of T-Online International AG.
Duh! That was not what I was reporting. I was reporting that one of their customers had posted a spam message on Usenet. I don't care if this was done using Google or with the help of pigeons. I want the source (as in 126.96.36.199) to be warned.
So I replied back to them in a less nice way. Excerpt of their reply:
>> the objected article(s) was NOT delivered to the Usenet through a >> newsserver in the power of disposal of T-Online International AG. >That's right, however, your *customer* was abusing the net, as per: >NNTP-Posting-Host: 188.8.131.52 So what?
Ok, that's clear. Since Google Groups doesn't belong to T-Online International AG, they are not going to do anything about this, even when it's very clear that the spam was posted by a customer in their own network. They just don't care, and in my opinion this makes T-Online spammer friendly. Moreover, quoting one of the T-Online-Team members, that one of their customers posted this message is irrelevant:
>http://www.spamcop.net/sc?track=184.108.40.206 It's irrelevant. Read our answer before and try to comprehend it. It's not soooo difficult!
So basically, customers of T-Online International AG are free to post spam on Usenet via Google Groups. Ok, Google might inactivate the account, but those are easy to create. And if T-Oline has dynamic IP addresses there is plenty of (IP) space for spammers.
Anyway, I called them bullet proof spam supporters, which even after rereading sounds just to me, they even call it irrelevant that it's originated in their network. They replied to that statement with:
This discussion ends in itself: *PLONK*
OK, I admit that I wasn't nice in my reply, but people at an abuse handling desk seem to forget that they are wasting my spare time if they start silly discussions with me, especially since I am not getting paid for reporting. The message was posted by one of their clients, so the client should be warned.
Anyway, the conclusion I draw from their reply is that T-Online International AG is a haven for people who want to spam Usenet as long as they use Google Groups.