Effective April 18, 2007 we will be activating our spam-filtering software, SpamAssassin, on all SSCC accounts. The vast majority of those who use their SSCC email account have SpamAssassin activated already, and this will save a step for new members. SSCC members who receive their mail at SSCC (no forwards set) may opt-out of SpamAssassin by sending a request to SSCC's help desk. SSCC members who forward their SSCC mail to some other non-SSCC account will be required to use SpamAssassin.
Spam-filtering mail before forwarding it has been identified as a campus (and world-wide) anti-spam best practice. If we forward spam, not only are we contributing to the spread of spam, we also run the risk of getting blacklisted by domains who receive this spam from us. To the remote domain, it looks as though we are the source of the spam. The remote domain then may decide to penalize us by blocking all of our mail. This has actually happened to us a few times.
The functionality of SpamAssassin is unchanged. For a review of how SpamAssassin works, please see our publication, Spam Filtering at the SSCC.
While these changes are minor from the perspective of a SpamAssassin user, they allow us to make some major changes in how we run SpamAssassin. This new system offers several advantages to SSCC members:
o Mail performance will improve because the new system relies on one SpamAssassin database rather than accessing a separate file for each user's account.
o There will no longer be inactive accounts accumulating spam in their inboxes that never gets deleted. After the change, this mail will go to the spam folder and be deleted after 15 days. This not only saves disk space but also increases mail delivery performance.
o We will have the capacity to add new processor-intensive rule sets to our SpamAssassin program resulting in less spam in your inbox.