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MAPS settles with Web hosting company

The Mail Abuse Prevention System removes Media3 Technologies from its list of suspected junk e-mailers, the second high-profile withdrawal it has made from its database this month.

A controversial anti-spam group said Friday that it has removed a Web hosting company from its list of suspected junk e-mailers, the second high-profile withdrawal it has made from its database this month.

Media3 Technologies last year requested a court order that it be removed from the Mail Abuse Prevention System's (MAPS) database. MAPS is the keeper of the Realtime Blackhole List, a collection of IP addresses that allegedly host spammers. Some of the Internet service providers use the list to block unwanted e-mail.

MAPS said the two groups settled the lawsuit Thursday. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed. However, MAPS said the court denied Media3's request for a temporary restraining order.

Media3 could not be immediately reached for comment.

The settlement shortly follows MAPS' reconciliation with longtime foe Harris Interactive. Last week, MAPS agreed to remove the polling and market research firm from its database. Under the deal, Harris agreed to change its opt-in system to confirm that the people on its mailing list want to receive its e-mail polls.

"We're always pleased to be able to work things out with someone who previously was on our list," said Anne Mitchell, MAPS' director of legal and public affairs. "We always consider a listing to be a failure and to be the last resort. Our goal is to actually work with sites to help them to fix their problem."

The database run by the Redwood City, Calif.-based group is a subscription system that provides companies with several ways to control spam. For example, companies can compare an incoming message with a list of ISP addresses in the database. Another option is to block both incoming and outgoing e-mail at the network's borders.

Media3 was listed on the RBL because it hosted half a dozen spammers. The Pembroke, Mass.-based company also hosts sites such as Peacefire.org, an organization against censorship on the Web.