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EFF, gun owners, others fight AOL certified e-mail plan

What do the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Gun Owners of America, Craigslist, and the Association of Cancer Online Resources have in common? They all oppose a new plan by America Online to charge companies a per-message fee to guarantee delivery of e-mails targeted at AOL subscribers. The coalition is holding a conference call on Tuesday. "AOL's proposed pay-to-send system is the first step down the slippery slope toward dividing the Internet into two classes of users--those who get preferential treatment and those who are left behind," the group said in a statement.

AOL doesn't see it that way. "AOL remains resolute in its pursuit of improving safety and security and doing what's right for our members. That simply isn't going to change. And there is no substantive new 'news' here just because some disparate group of advocates have come together for an event reminiscent of the 'bar scene' in the first Star Wars movie," said AOL spokesman Nicholas Graham. The certified mail service would be provided by Goodmail Systems.