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AOL wins latest spam battle

A bulk emailer that advertises pornographic Web sites agrees to a court order barring it from spamming AOL members.

Jeff Pelline Staff Writer, CNET News.com
Jeff Pelline is editor of CNET News.com. Jeff promises to buy a Toyota Prius once hybrid cars are allowed in the carpool lane with solo drivers.
Jeff Pelline
America Online said today it won a battle against a bulk emailer that advertised pornographic Web sites to the online service's members.

It is another example of the efforts by online services and Internet service providers to combat the increased flood of spam sent across the Net, using both technology and lawyers.

In this case, AOL said a company called Over The Air Equipment was sending AOL members "hundreds of thousands" of email messages per day advertising its pornographic Web sites.

AOL filed suit against Over the Air Equipment in October, accusing it of using deceptive practices to bypass AOL's mail controls. A U.S. District Court judge in Virginia granted AOL a preliminary injunction in the suit on October 31.

Since then, AOL said Over the Air Equipment has agreed to a court order that prohibits the company from "ever sending unsolicited email to AOL members again." AOL also said the company agreed to pay AOL a "substantial but undisclosed" sum of money in damages, which will be applied toward initiatives at promoting online safety.

Also today, AOL said it has filed another suit against a bulk emailer, Dallas, Georgia-based Squeaky Clean Marketing and Cyber Services, accusing the company of sending unsolicited email to its users. The email messages tout "everything from baldness cures to get-rich-quick schemes," AOL said.

The online service said it will continue to pursue these cases in court.

Over the Air Equipment declined to comment, and Squeaky Clean Marketing and Cyber Services could not be reached.