Apple's MobileMe email secretly blocks some outgoing messages based on content

Writing on the Cult of Mac, John Brownlee reports that Apple applies silent, unpublished content-filters to outgoing MobileMe Email messages, sometimes deleting the messages you send without notifying you This doesn't appear to be in Apple's published terms of using the service, and while an Apple spokesperson has confirmed that this goes on, she disclaims that it is political in nature. The comments on Brownlee's post are a study in cognitive dissonance from Apple fans, with responses ranging from, "I don't send politically charged messages so it doesn't matter," to "It didn't happen when I tried it, so it's not true," to "All spam filters work this way" (they don't), and so on.
According to Ken Rosenblum, who originally noticed the problem, Apple's filtering of outgoing MobileMe messages counts as censorship.

"If Apple or anyone else is going to block/filter/censor emails, they should at least notify the customer that the message did not go through," said Rosenblum.

While it's true that most hosts do some sort of content filtering with outgoing emails -- for example, for sending too many messages during too short a period of time, or autoresponding to too many people -- Apple's MobileMe filtering appears to be unique in that it is based upon the content.

Presumably, MobileMe's outgoing email filtering is a preventive measure to keep spam from being sent through Apple's webmail servers. However, since there's no information on what content triggers Apple's anti-spam conditions, and since the offending emails aren't returned to sender with an error message attached, Apple's MobileMe email filtering has all the superficial appearance of censorship.

Apple May Be Invisibly Filtering Your Outgoing MobileMe Email [Updated With Apple's Response] (via Super Punch)
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