I use an "anonymous" mail address (cock.li provider in my case). I have found that mainstream news sites in particular don't send their newsletters to such an addresses. It looks like the domains blacklisted.

What is the reason? I can understand that they don't want you writing comments from anonymous mail addresses, but passive reading of a newsletter is also prohibited?

Why this behavior? Why this behavior only with traditional mainstream news?

These newsletters usually have a lot of advertising and tracking, why they don't wish to deliver them to "anonymous" addresses?

  • the JavaScript forms let me enter my email address and even prints a message like "you subscribed to ... a confirmation mail will shorty arrive". This confirmation mail never arrives.
  • Mailchimp and other big providers present me Captchas and the mailing will work. No issue. The issue seems with homemade mailing systems (only 4% of newsletters not working)
  • an "anonymous" mail (like cock.li) where you don't need to verify anything. You can access with Tor or VPN.
  • the TLD domain I am using is .li and .cc
  • 1
    You have contradicted yourself: "mainstream news sites in particular don't send their newsletters to such an addresses" and then "The issue seems with homemade mailing systems (only 4% of newsletters not working)" If it is the latter, then it might not be an intentional choice at all.
    – schroeder
    Commented May 24, 2020 at 7:25

2 Answers 2


This unfortunate situation isn't really infosec issue, but rather:

(a) marketing issue - They want your real e-mail address to report smth like "We have N subscribers and attracted M more last month". So, its all about tracking and possibly data collection.

(b) web developer incompetence issue - Many of them learned 15 year ago what anonymization is a tool of pure abuse, so they are denying access regardless of your usage. Just the same way as significant portion of websites are forbidding read-only(!) access via Tor.

Once upon a time I discovered an anecdotical case of web application, which """secured""" itself against spam... by checking if e-mail address contains string 'spam' within it!

  • For a serious site, forbidding access via Tor is close to asking customers to remove their motorcycle helmet before entering a physical shop: if you do not want to discover who you are, they are afraid that you could have bad intentions... By the way, a read-only access may be enough to search for a possible flaw or set up a DOS attack. Commented Jun 15, 2022 at 16:45
  • @SergeBallesta, there absolutely nothing serious about that as well as doing DoS via sluggish Tor. Also all of the customers are masked men nowadays, be it a violent granny or mostly peaceful domestic terrorist. Commented Jun 15, 2022 at 17:45

It could either be the email address or an issue on their end if they are outsourcing their newsletter email address via a public mail list sending provider (ex: mailchimp)

The only thing I can think of for an issue with your email address, is if the developers at the back-end, made sure the email data you placed is an actual email address. This job is typically done via the receiving web servers looking over the email address data you provided passes those rules, before it is placed into a database with other email addresses that newsletters should be sent too. There are ways to do this without using a blacklist, but one of the most simplest ways could be that the top level domain address should be well known email address top level domain (ex. .gov, .edu, .com). However it seems that you did not receive any error message after inserting the email address, thus it could be a problem at their end.

If they are utilizing a external mass mail list service (ex. mailchimp), it could be that this service does not send mail to anonymous email addresses, or only allows sending to well known top level domain names. In that case it is a problem on their end.

  • @schroeder Ok. To Ivanov: Did you check your spam or junk folder to see if the confirmation email went there? Commented May 25, 2020 at 1:47
  • A brief addition: services may charge per email sent, so senders may want to avoid possibly spam adresses to reduce the cost,
    – Batuhan
    Commented Jun 14, 2022 at 21:44

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