As ISP EarthLink Network today officially announced its $2 million settlement with Cyber Promotions and Sanford Wallace, reported by NEWS.COM earlier this month, Wallace was busy making progress on a new way to spam.
Not only will Cyber Promotions--headed by notorious spammer Wallace--be liable for the hefty penalty, it also will have to plunk down another million should Wallace or any of his clients spam EarthLink's customers.
"I can't tell you how happy I am to be rid of one of the Internet's most notorious spammers," Garry Betty, president and chief executive of EarthLink Network, said in a statement.
The truth is, however, that EarthLink--and everyone else, for that matter--has been rid of Cyber Promotions and Wallace since October, when the company lost its backbone connection to the Net.
But while some antispammers have played their funeral dirges for Cyber Promotions, they may have struck their chords too soon.
The plans sound grand, but they have been in the works for several months, and mere attempts to mount pages to advertise the network have met with attacks from spam fighters. In one case, antispammers convinced the ISP giving access to Wallace and Rines to drop the account.
Others also are skeptical that Wallace and his partners will be able to launch the backbone, especially given Wallace's increasingly hefty legal debts, not only from EarthLink but also from a string of ISPs that have won judgments against him and his company.
Wallace, however, who for now is back in the restaurant promotion business in Philadelphia, said the backbone looks more and more like it will happen.
"We are making big progress on the new backbone," he said in an online interview. "It will prohibit outgoing email to all ISPs except for the ones that sign a contract to give us permission to send to their users in exchange for compensation to the ISP."
While many ISPs--EarthLink included--have used their antispam policies as a marketing tool to attract new customers, Wallace said other ISPs will be happy to accept the email for a simple reason: they need the cash. And Netizens will accept it in exchange for discounted service.
In fact, this business model is not new, and Netizens have shown time and again that they are willing to see ads--as long as they get something in return. Web sites are filled with banner ads to allow them to offer content free; customers sign up for free email knowing that the price they will pay is checking out the ads. ISPs also have offered discounts or free service in exchange for ads.