Patriot Action Network and Ning: Social Network Spam to a Non-Member

Ning, a social networking service intended primarily for entertainers who want to manage fan networks but now used by political and activist organizations as well, just sent a bulk email to an email address that has never existed. The Ning user that sent the email, and probable source of the spamtrap, is the Patriot Action Network, a prominent Tea Party organization that has appeared in my spamtrap collection a number of times before.

This particular spamtrap email address is likely to be a typo. I never before mentioned the Patriot Action Network on this blog because other political and activist groups sent larger quantities of spam, rendering them more worthy of comment here. I do not believe that the Patriot Action Network has sent email to purchased or third-party lists, at least not under their own name. This organization seems to have the common activist problem of bad data due to having collected handwritten email addresses at events, however, or perhaps over the telephone.

I hold Ning largely responsible for this spam. If Ning simply blocked email to non-members except for a closed-loop confirmation, they and their user would not have sent email to a spamtrap.

Sending IP:

Spam Sample:

Actual Headers:

Received: from ( [])
        by <xxx> (Postfix) with ESMTP id <xxx>
        for <xxx>; Thu, 16 May 2013 18:xx:xx +0000 (UTC)
Received: from unknown (HELO ([])
        by with ESMTP; 16 May 2013 18:xx:xx +0000
Received: from ( [])
        by (Postfix) with ESMTP id <xxx>
        for <xxx>; Thu, 16 May 2013 18:xx:xx +0000 (UTC)
Received: from localhost ( [/])
        by with SMTP;
        Thu, 16 May 2013 18:xx:xx +0000 (GMT)
Date: Thu, 16 May 2013 18:xx:xx +0000 (GMT)
From: "Darla Dawald, National Director" <>
To: <xxx>
Message-ID: <<xxx>>
Subject: Check out "Do you want to have to suck up to =?UTF-8?Q?government=3F=22?=
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: multipart/alternative;
X-XN-UUID: <xxx>
X-XN-Super-Happy-Header: <xxx>

Readable Email:

From: Darla Dawald, National Director <>
To: <spamtrap>
Subject: Check out “Do you want to have to suck up to government?” on Patriot Action Network

Patriot Action Network: Standing against big government and for the people!

Love this guy! he lays it out so eloquently! No I don’t want to suck up to Gov. to get what I want do you?

Video description:
Closet Conservatives: The IRS, Benghazi and the Associated Press…..We have to ask ourselves what kind of government we want.

Video link:<xxx>

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