After recently receiving yet more spam from standards-compliant spam
servers (valid SPF, DMARC and domains on mainstream TLDs and delivery
tolerating greylisting), this discussion got me thinking again. Some open
questions:

Imagine an operator wishes to spin up a new email server, for themself or
for a client. They implement all the usual best practices regarding
security, domain records, MTA configuration and so on.

Are they still fundamentally constrained by their choice of network
provider, despite complying with every possible security and delivery
behaviour to warrant and verify the content and sender of every email?

Has the prevailing method of deciding worthiness now become permanently
biased towards the 'prior reputation' factor?

If so, would an operator ever be able to build the kind of reputation to
have reliable delivery to the big public services, without resorting to
using third party delivery providers? To me that feels like an expensive
cop-out and is assisting the creation of a de facto oligopoly (never mind
all the arguments about a two-tier email ecosystem, net neutrality etc).

New mailservers have a difficult chicken-and-egg situation. How to generate
sufficient email volume to demonstrate validity when some large operators
will possibly consider new messages as disreputable, preventing a natural
development of sender reputation?

Is one's only real hope at establishing an independent mailserver to search
for one of the few purer-than-pure hosting providers, pray that the
assigned IP(s) weren't previously used nefariously or in a dodgy
neighbourhood, and start sending emails very gradually?

Anybody had any positive experiences of doing this in recent years?

On Fri, 11 Oct 2019, 03:16 John Levine via mailop, <mailop@mailop.org>
wrote:

> In article <1570757713.1030.53.ca...@16bits.net> you write:
> >Count me too as someone with a tiny server that Gmail automatically
> >files in spam with apparently no reason.
> >There are so few mails sent there (at most, 7 mails *per month*, often
>
> I took a look at the logs to see what mail comes to my mail server
> from the network at Frantech where your server is.  Surprise, it's
> 100% spam.  Lie down with dogs and all that.
>
> R's,
> John
>
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