Saturday, January 21, 2012

Nonprofit corporation proposes 'White List' to halt unlawful blacklisting

The Wisdom Fund, a Virginia based nonprofit corporation, has proposed the following rules to counter Internet blacklists that stifle free speech.

1 - Establish a "White List" for nonprofit corporations.

2 - Require Internet Service Providers to forward mail from those on "White List" to its intended recipients without hindrance.

3 - Penalties and lawyer fees for noncompliance.

Lior Leser, an attorney whose "practice focuses on helping companies build solid Web 2.0 Legal platforms", advised The Wisdom Fund that blacklists are "shutting down free speech."

Multiple "White Lists" exist, but they're not used widely, it's not clear how one gets on them, and there are no penalties to ISPs for not using them.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Nonprofit corporation’s email server blacklisted by

ACLU of Virginia
530 East Main Street, Suite 310
Richmond, VA 23219

Nonprofit corporation’s email server blacklisted by

On December 5, 2011, The Wisdom Fund (TWF.ORG) was informed by Heller Information Services, Inc. (HIS.COM — our Internet Service Provider since 1995) that our email server had been blacklisted by Barracuda Networks, Inc. (BARRACUDANETWORKS.COM).

This had the effect of limiting our email to the 3000+ regular readers of our news reports, and dozens of others with whom we communicate on as needed basis.

We believe this is a free speech issue affecting all nonprofits, the facts are not in dispute.

The Wisdom Fund is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) corporation registered in the Commonwealth of Virginia, employee identification number 54-1755689.

We have several email lists ranging from less than 100 to about 3000. On average, we send less than one email daily to 3000 recipients. This list was developed over the past 15 years. Other, smaller, more recent lists, are utiltized to communicate on specific issues with others.

All of our mailings include an unsubscribe link, and unsubscribes are handled by a third party —, whose software we use to send bulk email. The process is automated — subscribes and unsubscribes are controlled by

Prior to July 29, 2011, we used different software, Intellimerge, for bulk email and to handle unsubscribes. This process was only partially automated, hence the move to

Our reading of PUBLIC LAW 108-187--DEC. 16, 2003 is that we are exempt from this Act — the Act applies to the transmission of unsolicited commercial electronic mail via the Internet. Our mail is non-commercial, nevertheless, we attempt to utilize the best practices of the Act.

The blacklisting by is stifling our right to free speech, and seriously impacting the operation of The Wisdom Fund.

We have had no response from Barracuda Networks’ agent, Dean Drako, to our letter of December 9, 2011 — sent Certified Mail, Return Receipt.

This is the latest in our continuing battle to keep our emails reaching our readers. Paul Heller of Heller Information Servicess and I have devoted considerable effort over the past few years to get email past Yahoo, Google, and other gatekeepers.

The issue may come under the jusrisdiction of the Federal Communications Commission which has been reviewing “net neutrality” issues. However, the courts may be better equipped to handle free speech issues.

We request your help. Relevant documents are attached.

Enver Masud
President, The Wisdom Fund