Sunday, February 10, 2008

Mamasource's Private Registrar - Protectors of SPAM!

I can understand people registering their domains privately, but what I don't understand is why Artie Wu would use MelbourneIT as his private registrar. If you do a search on "MelbourneIT" and "spam" you will see that they are are the private registrar to many domains that are blacklisted by Whois.

As one blogger said:

"I hope that ISPs and web hosting companies across the world unite in an effort to have Melbourne IT's registrar's status revoked by ICANN."

Artie Wu cannot plead ignorance to these anymore:

1. spam emails
2. harvesting and hijacking address books
3. having spam configurations on his email servers
4. using a private registration company that protects spammers

Come on folks! WAKE UP!

Artie Wu is NOT a novice. He is a super savvy information gatherer and IT person. In fact, when asked about his "intelligence gathering" of competitor's websites he had this to say:

"Vividence brings you the world of your competitor through the customers' eyes," says Artie Wu, CEO and cofounder of Vividence, which was named to reflect its goal of gathering "vivid evidence" on the opposition. "We glean valuable information, then whisper it back into our clients' ears."

Later in the article, and ex CIA agent is quoted as saying:

"ethics is a real ambiguous area. There's a lot of stuff you can do that is not illegal, but is a little sketchy." He warns companies that are tempted to dabble in dubious behavior to think about the business consequences. "As a rule of thumb, ask yourself this: If a newspaper was going to run a story about what I am about to do, how would that affect my business?" he says. "If the answer is that it would make you look bad, you probably shouldn't be doing it."

Maybe you should heed those words, Mr. Wu.

Don't let Artie's Mama story fool you. He knows EXACTLY what he is doing and he is doing it to YOU under the guise of a community for Moms. He has fooled Trees For the Future and The Breast Cancer Fund, don't let him fool YOU!


Anonymous said...

I think MelbourneIT is the standard registrar for yahoo small business services (and others). Even if you have your family website hosted with yahoo, it will show up under MelbourneIT. They are just the back-end provider for everyone.

Mama What? said...

Thank you for your post. Like I said, I am not a very technical person, so I am trying to figure this all out on the fly.

From what I've read about MelbourneIT, it is a wonder that Yahoo! works with them at all, but then again, I've read that many people who are running online scams use Yahoo! or Geo Cities, or something (I am NOT technical in this area) specifically because they can get away with running their spam operations by using MelbourneIT and redirects.

The registrar thing on its own is not a big concern, but when I see it all together with the DNS Report and false mailserver configurations, and when women like me keep getting spammed by Mamasource, it makes me want to keep digging.

I hope I'm wrong, but it doesn't make sense that a highly technical and savvy person like Artie Wu wouldn't "get" what's going on here.

Frankly I don't believe that something has accidentally gone awry with his Tree Invites or Flower Invites as he has said.

I believe it is purposeful and I am trying my best to get to the bottom of it. It would truly be a shame to create a site like Mamasource with an ulterior motive, especially when there are charities involved that are truly trying to do good things in this world.

I have asked him to change the things that are so spammy about his site:

1. stop the email harvesting
2. create an unsubscribe link that actually lets you unsubscribe
3. correctly configure his email servers

If those things get taken care of then I will be satisfied that he is on the right track.

This is truly a fact-finding mission and I welcome ALL comments and feedback, so keep them coming!

Mama What? said...

It just occurred to me that if Mamasource was hosted on Yahoo! (thereby automatically using MelbourneIT as its private registrar) wouldn't the hosting show up as Yahoo! as well, instead of dynohost?

I don't know a lot about these hosting and registrars, so please comment if you can help me figure this one out.

Anonymous said...

I have been on Mamasource for almost a year and it is a wonderful community of very kind moms.

Have you tried to email them directly about all this, and have they not responded at all?

I've written questions to their support email address in the past and the ladies there have always responded courteously.

Mama What? said...

I am so glad you posted!

The reason I am pursuing this is because Mamasource is a great community of moms.

It is my belief that Artie Wu is taking advantage of moms like you and me.

Before I hit the submit link on my Tree Invite, I Googled Mamasource to find out more, and all I saw were good things...and then my email address book was harvested!

I am not the only one this has happened to.

Artie emailed me today and I told him that as soon as he fixed these obvious problems I would drop the whole thing.

The problems he needs to fix are:

1. stop email spamming and harvesting people's address books.. .it is tacky and underhanded.

2. create an unsubscribe link that will actually let you opt-out. This is REQUIRED BY LAW!

3. fix his email servers so that they work. Right now they are configured as any spammer would have them configured.

I hope he can do these simple things. No one should be mislead by a trusted site, and I am not the only one he has mislead.

These practices need to stop. Really, if he wants to build a trusted site, then he needs to be trustworthy.

I hope other moms like you will comment as well.

If you like Mamasource, please write them and tell them to adhere to the CAN-SPAM act by providing an unsubscribe link and tell them to QUIT ASKING FOR YOUR EMAIL PASSWORD!