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MSN Messenger is Censoring .info Domains

Reports have been surfacing on various blogs about Microsoft's MSN messenger users who have recently found URLs containing the .info top-level domain extension blocked entirely. Moreover the censorship is not limited to the URL in question, but any string in your message that contains the string ".info".

Although significant number of spam sites have notoriously made use of cheaply available .info domains, users are raising serious concerns regarding Microsoft's privacy and censorship policies.

One blogger has also raised concerns regarding the false-positive effect the censorship is generating among users:

"The second concern is the number of false-positives this can lead to due to poor implementation on Microsoft's part. If any part of your message contains .info the entire message will be blocked. If you try to send someone a news article from http://www.informationweek.com, it will be blocked. If you try to send someone to a legitimate .info site such as New York's transit authority, it will be blocked. Hell, if you write "hey joe.inform jenny i'll be late.thx", it'll be blocked."

Elsewhere on this topic:
MSN Censors your Instant Messages
Microsoft Censoring .info domains in MSN Messenger
MSN Blocking .info?
Microsoft On The '.INFO' Block

Read full story: External Source

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Re: MSN Messenger is Censoring .info Domains Suresh Ramasubramanian  –  Aug 07, 2007 1:06 AM PST

That's no more censorship than spam filtering is censorship of email. 

They do need to be a bit less overbroad, perhaps, but given the horrible state of infestation that .info has (a few ccTLDs are in even worse state, I guess) - I can kind of understand why they did this.

Why do spammers like .info so much? Probably because domains come live instantly, or perhaps because these are cheaper than .com, and/or there's a registrar for .info that is particularly lax in its policies so more spammer domains pile on there [not sure of all the reasons why]

Re: MSN Messenger is Censoring .info Domains Paul Tattersfield  –  Aug 07, 2007 5:51 AM PST

Suresh Ramasubramanian said:

That's no more censorship than spam filtering is censorship of email. 

They do need to be a bit less overbroad, perhaps, but given the horrible state of infestation that .info has (a few ccTLDs are in even worse state, I guess) - I can kind of understand why they did this.

Why do spammers like .info so much? Probably because domains come live instantly, or perhaps because these are cheaper than .com, and/or there's a registrar for .info that is particularly lax in its policies so more spammer domains pile on there [not sure of all the reasons why]

There's a lot of FUD with regards .info & spam

From addresses are more often than not faked, so looking at the sites "linked to" from within spam emails for the last 24 hours.

TLD Percentages

.com...64
.cn.....12
.net....10
.biz.....4
.de......3
.org.....2
.hk......2
.mobi...1
.ru......1
info.....1

Sample size 4080

Re: MSN Messenger is Censoring .info Domains Suresh Ramasubramanian  –  Aug 07, 2007 6:04 AM PST

gpmgroup.com said:

There's a lot of FUD with regards .info & spam

Well, I do agree that right now .info is not the flavor of the month that it was wrt spam domains - or .biz either.  But make no mistake, it was all that and then more, not more than a year back.

Lots of cctld domains becoming more popular now (.cn for instance, and a ton of domains all registered through a single rogue sponsoring registrar seems to be a recurring pattern)

That still doesnt do anything for the spam filtering = censorship meme the EFF keeps trotting out every once in a while.

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