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'SPAM' SLAMMING GOES TO COURT
Internet spam September 26, 1997
Web posted at: 10:59 p.m. EDT (0259 GMT)
DEARBORN, Michigan (CNN) -- One of the world's largest Internet
service providers is squaring off against one of its largest
purveyors of junk e-mail, known unaffectionately by netizens as
Apex Global Internet Services, or AGIS, the third largest Internet
service provider in the world, has dropped so-called "spammers" from
its service, including the biggest spammer of them all, Cyber
Promotions, owned by Sanford Wallace.
Now, Cyber Promotions and Wallace are fighting back, having filed a
lawsuit against AGIS alleging breach of contract.
"I'm very proud of what I do, and I don't really think that spamming
is bad or good," said Wallace. "I think it's just a way of doing
Spam is the electronic equivalent of junk mail, unsolicited messages
hawking all sorts of products and services. http://www.agis.net/
AGIS officials say they were forced to take action because they were
caught in the middle of the ongoing Internet tug-of-war between
spammers and angry recipients who had launched high-tech
counterattacks against spam.
"We asked the anti-spammers to give us a chance, and we asked the
spammers to stop sending unsolicited e-mail to people who said they
didn't want it," said Phillip Lawlor, chief executive officer of
AGIS. "The problem was that really didn't make anybody happy."
"Both sides then resorted to unethical and illegal practices in
order to take down the other side's networks."
There is some precedent for AGIS's actions against junk e-mail.
Earlier this year, America Online successfully sued to stop Cyber
Promotions from sending unsolicited e-mail to its subscribers.
However, AOL is a private network, not an Internet service provider.
The suit between Wallace and AGIS, then, could help determine how
far such providers can go in trying to can spam from the entire
A federal judge is expected to rule on the suit against AGIS on
CNN's Ed Garsten contributed to this report.
* Agis dethrones 'Spam King' - September 24, 1997
Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
* Compuserve Inc. v. cyber Promotions Inc.
* America Online Inc. v. Cyber Promotions Inc.
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