Communist regimes used to be largest censors in the world. Lately, they are being surpassed by the new generation of in-house censors: IT staff in charge of your email.
Censorship is bad – how do they get by with that self-assigned role in progressive societies? Your friendly vigilante censors usually let machines decide what email you can and cannot read. If the server decides for you that your message is unwanted, it often gets dropped without you or the sender even knowing it, not even going into your spam folder. Hey, why bother users – they have tons of messages, who cares if a few disappear!
Often, we’re asked to help solving the problem of someone not receiving mailing list messages. We’d start with the person in charge of organization’s email server and demand escalation until we reach the highest instance willing to approve change in machine’s rules to allow messages from a specific mailing list; only to be met with vice presidents and CIOs that even block email from own organization’s staff, and refuse to do anything about it – all in the name of “security” or “performance.”
It doesn’t stop there: “reputation” companies sprang up that will – for a fee – automatically feed an organization’s email server with (completely arbitrary) “reputation scores” of senders of each message. If this company lowers one’s “reputation score,” email won’t go through. IT types love it: “we could not let your email go through as your reputation is low, it’s really not up to us.” Beautiful: they still get to censor to their heart’s content, all without taking any responsibility.
For us, dealing with most “reputation providers” is the easiest: we simply keep sending the same request to provider’s (outsourced) support until we find the person willing to flip the switch and change the score from bad to good.1 Social engineering at its best: thanks to IT types, I’m in power to decide who gets to see the email in your organization, and you won’t even know it.
No wonder communists are falling behind.
1We do deserve good reputation score, however sometimes they just classify us as bad for technical reasons when we introduce new server, etc.