blunt essays with sharp points
Dec 3, 2010 5:54 PM–I believe SourceForge has disclosed personal e-mail addresses (including mine) to untrustworthy third parties, for the purpose of spamming.
On December 2, 2010, I received an ad sheet by e-mail. The ads offer white papers at the cost of providing my industry, company size, and complete identifying information. Judging from the title—This Week’s Best IT Re:Sources—it is apparently the premier issue of a weekly mailing.
The mailing used the SourceForge name and logo, and SourceForge admit sending it. It was accomplished using third party service bureaus.
The advertisers who underwrote the mailing were: Dell, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, and Intel.
About The Mailing
I had only opted to receive the sitewide SourceForge “Site Update Email Alert”, a.k.a. SourceForge.net Update, a monthly newsletter which carries their security notices and other site related announcements, and no others except notifications of comments on a few individual bug reports. Up to now, I had only received these e-mails. And SourceForge’s media kit does not mention This Week’s Best IT Re:Sources, or offer any kind of mass mailings other than short four-line snippets in their newsletters. This Week’s Best IT Re:Sources has not been mentioned anywhere as a new advertising program that I can find. These facts suggested that somebody else sent the mailing.
Also, SourceForge has an in-house system which it uses to distribute its newsletters, but this mailing used an outside system. This fact also suggested that somebody else sent the mailing.
But the ad sheet was addressed to a unique e-mail address which I disclosed in confidence only to SourceForge and Gravatar. This fact suggested either that SourceForge did send the mailing, or that spammers stole my personally identifiable information from SourceForge or Gravatar.
Because either possibility raises a serious issue, I filed a private trouble ticket with SourceForge support.
Today SourceForge admitted to me that they sent the mailing.
The serious issue, then, is this. I believe SourceForge broke trust with me, twice:
1. They promise that personally identifiable information will only be used with permission. In their privacy statement, they say they may use the information for various good purposes. Especially relevant to this issue, they may use it
to notify user referrals of Geeknet services, information, or products when a user requests that Geeknet send such information to referrals
to allow the user to purchase products, access services, or otherwise engage in activities the user selects
and they promise that they
will not use or share the personally identifiable information provided to it online in ways unrelated to the items described above without first letting a user know and offering the user a choice. (Emphasis added.)
a user’s permission,
or when they use a third party service bureau
prohibited from using users’ information for any other purpose
and who will
comply with Geeknet privacy practices, and other appropriate confidentiality and security measures,
as required by legal obligations.
They say that when using a service bureau they will still keep all the promises made in the privacy statement.
The mailing has links to
mailing list management, and
sourceforge.com and then to
accelacomm.com for fulfillment. With Google Search I found that
elabs10.com appears on some lists of domains blacklisted for spamming, and that
accelacomm.com appears on a list of domains blacklisted for phishing.
instructions in each of its emails on how to be removed from any lists.
SourceForge have also apologized to me and said,
The team has received feedback on this
issue, and are working to ensure to make the purpose of these messages more clear in the
future and that these messages are only sent to those that want them. This might be
I hope so.
“GeekNet, Inc. United States/European Union Safe Harbor Privacy Statement.” SourceForge. GeekNet, Inc., n.d. Web. 3 Dec 2010.
December 14, 2010 8:56 AM–“The team has received feedback on this issue, and are working to ensure to make the purpose of these messages more clear in the future and that these messages are only sent to those that want them.”
But not working very hard; I have now received the second installment of the spam sheet.
February 04, 2011 3:04 AM–Received them too for a while now, also wondering where they might really come from. Thanks for your insight!
I'll contact them about it right away, maybe a few more complaints will 'help' them do something about it!
February 10, 2011 8:33 AM–No, they have not stopped. I have started receiving those recently, and after the second one (received today), I have disabled the alias I gave to SourceForge.
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Sometimes they fool you by walking upright.
What part of “Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn” don’t you understand?
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Встретимся под столом! (Vstretimsja pod stolom: To meeting you under the table!)
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Relish the love of a good woman.
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