AOL issues anti-spam list of worst offenders

Internet service America Online Inc. has bolstered its anti-spam efforts with a "Most Wanted Spammer" list, detailing what it claims are 10 of the worst purveyors of unsolicited, bulk e-mail on the Net.

Internet service America Online Inc. has bolstered its anti-spam efforts with a "Most Wanted Spammer" list, detailing what it claims are 10 of the worst purveyors of unsolicited, bulk e-mail on the Net.

AOL (AOL) CEO Steve Case touts the list as the company's newest attack on junk e-mail, or spam, which has become a major headache for e-mail users.

"Like the online consumer, we're fed up with spam. We are adopting a block-and-tackle strategy against spammers," Case said. "That is, we're going to block as many of their e-mails at the gateway as we can, and we're going to tackle them in court."

The list includes junk e-mailers such as The LoseWeight Center and porn e-mailers such as Lovetoys Productions and CN Productions.

AOL has also announced a new suit against a spammer it accuses of misusing AOL's trade name to direct users to a porn site. The online services provider has sued spammers successfully before, and the new suit is similar to actions it has filed in the past.

The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern Division of Virginia, charges that Eddie Davidson used domain names such as AOLsex.com to lure people to his site. Davidson allegedly used spam to promote his businesses.

AOL is a popular target for spammers, mainly because of its 11-million-strong user base, which provides a convenient, captive audience for commercial messages.

Case also reiterated AOL's support for legislation that would make spam illegal. AOL spokespeople said the company does not support a specific bill, but has been working with legislators to find a solution to the spam problem.

The list of spammers included The LoseWeight Center, at www.loseweight.com; Lovetoys Productions, at www.lovetoysonline.com; Internext, at www.domelive.com; AMV Inc., at www.pleasureonline.com; Softcell Marketing, at www.planetlovejoy.com; and Springdale Publications, at www.springdalepub.com.

Margaret Kane contributed to this report.