Digital Ocean's Massive E-Mail messaging policy

September 5, 2014 2.2k views

I would like to know what's the policy of Digital ocean about massive mailing regarding the CAN-SPAM compliance and SPAM fight best practices so as limits related to bandwidth, processing, emails per hour or email per day.

I'm planning to run a group of e-mail servers of my own to provide massive email service to small business and would like to understand how the SPAM compliances are handled since I will be commercially and legally responsible for this and only will be suitable to respond only to legal authorities. Also because for any decision that can affect my future customers I would be the only responsible.

More specifically where Digital Ocean staff has any intervention regarding the responses or actions related to any compliance made by people and/or large ESP providers like Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo and similar. Also since the IP addresses will be exclusive to my servers what is the Digital Ocean's position regarding any IP Blacklisted even in the low importance RBLs.

Not that I'm planning to do SPAM, on the opposite is something I'm really careful and need to understand all the things that may or not affect the service I'm going to provide.

2 Answers

DigitalOcean has publicly stated that they do not impose specific email sending limits, but advise you to remain mindful of your sending rates, to avoid email providers labeling you as a spammer.

That said... these tidbits in the terms may provide some more official context to go by:

  • 3.3(iv): You shall not run any form of auto-responder or “spam” on the Services
  • 3.9(d): In using the Services, Subscribers must comply with, and refrain from violations of, any right of any other person, entity, or law, or any contractual duty, including but not limited to the United States Code, the Code of Federal Regulations, and the New York Revised Statutes, including but not limited to those statutes forbidding violations of the CANSPAM Act
  • 3.12: In addition to being forbidden from performing any acts made illegal by the CAN-SPAM Act, Subscribers may not send bulk email utilizing their resources on the Services unless they maintain a double-authorized list of subscribed members including IP addresses and relevant contact information, along with following guidelines for including removal links with all sent emails according to the CAN-SPAM Act. Subscribers are forbidden from taking any action that would result in their IP addresses, or any IP address associated with DigitalOcean or other Subscribers, being placed on the blacklist. DigitalOcean reserves the sole and absolute right to determine whether an email violation has occurred.
  • 3.16: Subscribers are responsible for the acts of others utilizing their access to the Services, and will be held responsible for violations of the Services by their sub-users or persons who gain access to the Services using the Subscriber's access codes. Any activity that a Subscriber is prohibited from performing by these Terms of Services is equally prohibited to anyone using the access to the Services of the Subscriber.

Note that the IP address, while assigned to you, is owned by DigitalOcean - so there's a chance that somebody will file a complaint with DigitalOcean before they file a complaint with you.

The information provided seems to indicate that if you are careful to play by the above rules (and show a trend of doing so), your account will remain in good standing. For extra comfort, though, I'd open a support ticket w/ DigitalOcean directly, so you have an official, documented response.


Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer, nor am I a representative of DigitalOcean. This information is presented as a summary of seemingly reputable sources, not as official standing or legal advice.

Hello! Is there a hourly limit for e-mail numbers? So for example can I send 1.000 e-mail per hour (newsletter)? Thanks! Gergo

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