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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
     "spam."
     
     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
     business."
     
     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
     Internet.
     
     A federal judge is expected to rule on the suit against AGIS on
     Monday.
     
     CNN's Ed Garsten contributed to this report. 
     
    
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  Related story:
  
     * Agis dethrones 'Spam King' - September 24, 1997
       
  Related sites:
  
     Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
     * AGIS
     * Compuserve Inc. v. cyber Promotions Inc. 
     * America Online Inc. v. Cyber Promotions Inc. 
       
     
     
     External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.
     
   
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