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Spam-fighter remembered as ethical role model

The passing on of Jim Nitchals, a Netizen prominent in his opposition to junk e-mail, has been an occasion for an outpouring of grief in the Internet community, where Nitchals is memorialized as a talented software developer who stood by what he believed was right.Nitchals, perhaps best remembered as the man who convinced notorious junk e-mailer Sanford Wallace to dedicate himself to cleaning up the Internet, died last Friday of a massive brain hemorrhage.
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Written by Matthew Broersma on
The passing on of Jim Nitchals, a Netizen prominent in his opposition to junk e-mail, has been an occasion for an outpouring of grief in the Internet community, where Nitchals is memorialized as a talented software developer who stood by what he believed was right.

Nitchals, perhaps best remembered as the man who convinced notorious junk e-mailer Sanford Wallace to dedicate himself to cleaning up the Internet, died last Friday of a massive brain hemorrhage.

He was also instrumental in persuading Internet backbone provider Apex Global Internet Services to reverse its pro-junk-e-mail terms of use, and founded the Forum for Responsible and Ethical E-mail.

In the pursuit of fighting junk e-mail, an often-contentious arena, Nitchals was known for his sense of tact and his belief in calm negotiation.

"His 'voice of reason' and dealings in several high-profile incidents made him someone to look up to," wrote one mourner on a Web site created in Nitchals' memory.

Similar memorials poured into that site and the news.admin.net-abuse.email forum on Usenet, a gathering place for the most prominent junk-e-mail fighters. Many of those writing had never seen Nitchals in person, carrying on their relationships through the Internet and telephone alone.

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