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Johanne Torres[September 24, 2004]

Microsoft to Spammers: See You in Court!


The war against spam continues, and software giant Microsoft Corp. (newsalertquote) decided to join the army of tech companies looking to wipe out spammers from the online world. The company slammed a whopping nine new lawsuits against spammers who have sent unsolicited e-mail. Included in the sting - a well-known e-mail marketing Web hosting company.

This latest set of lawsuits further involves the company in more than 100 legal cases against spammers, including more than 70 lawsuits filed nationally. So far, Microsoft has filed a bombardment of lawsuits against spammers over the past year hoping to put a stop on the rapid spread of unsolicited e-mail—mostly involving scams for millionaire hopefuls, multiple organ enlargement remedies, and access to prescription drugs without scripts.

The software maker filed a lawsuit last week in Washington State's King County Superior Court against Web hosting company National Online Sales and its owner Levon Gillespie, as well as those who used his services, for offering "bulletproof" services for those seeking to send marketing email. The sneaky company, however, bases its operations in China, making it nearly impossible for lawmakers to shut down its Web sites and operations.

"This is the first action against a Web host catering to spammers," said Aaron Kornblum, an attorney for Microsoft, "they're providing a safe place for spammers to drive customers to." Kornblum said that by taking legal action, Microsoft is "trying to change the economics of spam" by making it costlier for spammers to continue their activities.

Johanne Torres is the contributing editor for TMCnet.com and Internet Telephony magazine. Previously, she was the assistant editor for EContent magazine in Connecticut. She can be reached by e-mail at jtorres@tmcnet.com.

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