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Internet

Spam king strikes again

As if he hasn't done enough to anger Netizens, Sanford Wallace--or as he prefers, "Spamford"--is selling more software to aid mass emailers.

As if he hasn't done enough to anger Netizens, Sanford Wallace--or as he prefers, "Spamford"--is selling more software to aid and abet mass emailers.

Wallace is probably one of the most reviled individuals on the Net. He sends and promotes junk mail, a practice that Netizens say is at least exploitative and possibly worse. Some have even vowed to their best to put his spam company out of business.

It appears that at least one antispammer may have already taken vengeance against Wallace's junk mailing firm, Cyber Promotions, shutting down its Web site for at least six hours. However, Wallace said with a laugh, his Web server may have been down but "not the one that sends mail, sorry to say."

Meanwhile, Wallace was far from down for the count today, as he announced that he will sell WebCollector, a program that pulls email addresses from the Web, as opposed to Internet bulletin boards, so junk emailers can beef up their lists.

The program, developed for Cyber Promotions by Earthonline, works in conjunction with Net search engines, Wallace said.

For instance, if a person has a product catering to the laundry soap crowd, he can enter the keywords "laundry soap" at one of four search engines and WebCollector will then go to all the Web pages retrieved and scour them for email addresses. (It automatically tosses out names with the word "master" in it, such as "Webmaster.")

"The goal here is to continue to give bulk emailers the tools they need to prosper in this particular business," Wallace said. "It's certainly not to preserve the sanity of the recipients. Our goal here is not lowering the amount of commercial email on the Net."

The announcement follows Wallace's pronouncement last month that he was forming ISPam, a special Net service provider home for junk emailers.

What's next? Well, in the spirit of offering a solution to people who hate spam, Wallace said his company is actually developing software that will allow people to filter out junk mail.

He did acknowledge that the concept "is very analogous to robbing a bank and then selling a security system." But if there's a way to make money on junk email, Wallace is sure to be there and probably first.