What is the Full Form of MAPS? 

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The full form of MAPS is Mail Abuse Prevention System. With the support through DNSBL, the organisation provides anti-spam support. Mentioned below are the five black lists that are categorised on the basis of why an IP address block is listed: 

  • Non-confirming Mailing List (NML), marketers who use an opt-out strategy
  • Real-time Blackhole List (RBL), the one for which MAPS is probably best known
  • Dialup Users List (DUL), blocks of addresses that include many SOHO users.
  • Open Proxy Servers (OPS), naively open SMTP servers
  • Relay Spam Stopper (RSS), spam relays, e.g. hijacked servers


MAPS was established in 1996 as a nonprofit organisation to develop cutting-edge anti-spam email methods.

Early MAPS history is synonymous with DNSBLs history. Well-known Internet software developers Dave Rand and Paul Vixie started compiling a list of IP addresses that have sent spam or engaged in other unpleasant activities. The Real-time Blackhole List (RBL) is the name given to the list. Many network administrators desired to filter unsolicited e-mails using the RBL. As a result, Rand and Vixie developed a DNS-based distribution system that gained popularity quickly. 

Inviting spammers to sue them and contribute to the development of case law, MAPS produced a “How to Sue Us” page after determining that it was absolutely legal to publish an anti-spam blacklist. No fewer than three lawsuits were filed against MAPS in 2000, with the survey industry major Harris Interactive, Yesmail, and Media3 each naming MAPS as a defendant. MAPS hired Anne P. Mitchell as their Director of Legal and Public Affairs as soon as the initial lawsuit arrived.

The business began requiring a subscription in 2001 in order to access its lists. Users who weren’t subscribed got a fake “unlisted” response. MAPS said that they had to make this choice since they had failed to receive sufficient funding through free support. The business continued to operate in a non-profit manner, nonetheless. Their fax-based subscription system was cumbersome, and their subscription page was fairly buried on their.org website.

MAPS changed its address from Redwood City to San Jose and from.org to.com in 2004. It also became a division of Kelkea, Inc. At the time, Kelkea’s CEO and founder was Dave Rand.

When Trend Micro, Inc. purchased Kelkea in June 2005, the subscription system saw a significant overhaul, including the addition of a fully automated process for obtaining temporary subscriptions. Additionally, subscribers received customised websites where they could read reports and set up options for whitelisting and blacklisting (whitelisting is especially useful because it allows you to whitelist thousands of IP addresses with only a few clicks).

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