Group Backs Off Threat to Post AOL Addresses

The National Organization of Internet
Commerce
(NOIC), citing an eleventh-hour protest, decided not to post
some 5 million America Online e-mail
addresses for bulk e-mailers to use.


The Chino, CA-based bulk e-mail group had threatened to broadcast a million
AOL addresses on New Year’s Eve, to be followed up by 5 million more names on
Jan. 8. The posting would theoretically give e-mail marketers 24 hours to
download the list, which could then be used to send AOL customers unsolicited
e-mail.


The idea was to protest AOL’s anti-spam policies, which NOIC claims prohibit
legitimate small businesses from marketing to consumers who may be interested
in the ads. AOL had called the move “cyber-terrorism.”


According to NOIC, a spate of requests from AOL members not to post the
millions of addresses forced the marketing organization to capitulate.


“We feel that we have shown that we respect the wishes of AOL members by not
posting the 5 million e-mail addresses, and we think that AOL should respect
their wishes by allowing those who wish to receive legitimate offers via e-
mail to do so,” a notice on the Web site said.


AOL had told the group it would seek monetary damages if its service or
members were affected by the posting of the list.

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