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UK ISP takes anti-spam crusade to US

Not so spamtastic as it sounds

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An UK Internet company is taking legal action in the US in an attempt to protect its customers from junk email. London-based BiblioTech has pledged that if any of its customers falls victim to spam, it will track-down the offending individual or company and get them to stop -- even if it means going to court. BiblioTech runs Postmaster, a free e-mail service with 50,000 users in the UK and Europe. It has already won an out of court settlement with four people in the US who have agreed to give up the practice -- or face being hit with a $2 million bill from BiblioTech. A fifth man is contesting the charge. It is also preparing its case against another US company which will be heard later this year. BiblioTech has also enlisted the help of Sanford Wallace -- the one-time "King of Spam" who has since reformed his ways and, in true poacher-turned-gamekeeper style, is now an anti-spam consultant -- to help track down and identify persistent offenders. "We have to deal with hundreds of thousands of spam each hour," said BiblioTech's finance director Chris Verdin. "Spam is the scourge of the Internet. We lose one man-day each week just dealing with the problem," he said. But it seems BiblioTech is at the head of a one-company crusade. Verdin knows of no other UK ISP which has gone to such lengths to stamp out spam. A spokeswoman for the Internet Service Providers Association of the UK (ISPA) said she knew of no other companies taking legal action but said all ISPs take spam very seriously. "I guess we're carrying the flag against spam but I wish more ISPs would follow suit," said Verdin. ®

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