RealTime IT News

EarthLink Wins $2 Million Judgment Against Cyber Promotions

EarthLink Network Inc. said that it won a $2 million consent judgment in its suit against notorious spammer Cyber Promotions Inc. and its founder, Sanford Wallace.

The decision also prohibits Cyber Promotions and Wallace from engaging in a long list of spam-related activities in the future.

Cyber Promotions may be down (its Web site doesn't seem to be working anymore and it has lost other suits, including one filed by AOL), but it's anybody's guess whether it's out. We still get our share of spam.

EarthLink, a large ISP, said it "declared all-out war on spam" in April 1997 and has since launched several initiatives to keep unwanted junk e-mail from filling its members' mail boxes and clogging its servers.

These steps include taking legal action, implementing hardware and software deterrents and co-founding an ISP-industry coalition, ISPSEC, to deal with the problem.

According to the consent judgment, Cyber Promotions is liable for $2 million as a result of its trespass upon EarthLink's computer resources. Wallace will also write a formal letter of apology to EarthLink and all its members for any inconvenience he or his clients may have caused, the company said.

In addition, EarthLink can collect $1 million from Wallace personally if he ever engages in prohibited actions in the future, including spamming EarthLink members or enabling anyone else to spam them. It also covers the distribution of EarthLink member e-mail addresses, further trespassing on EarthLink's servers, spoofing messages to look like they came from EarthLink, and cloaking messages to EarthLink members to disguise their origin.

"I can't tell you how happy I am to be rid of one of the Internet's most notorious spammers," said Garry Betty, president and chief executive officer of EarthLink Network, in a statement. "The most important benefit of this judgment is the message we've sent to spammers that illegally tap our resources and clog up the Internet with this trash--we won't stand for it. On top of that, now they'll pay a very real penalty."

EarthLink maintains a spam information resource Web site and has established a new spam hotline at 888-ELN-SPAM.