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Says UK man named in MS lawsuit

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A UK man named by Microsoft as a prolific spammer in a recent law suit is protesting his innocence.

Simon Grainger, 43, a telecoms engineer from Merseyside, is one of 15 people targeted by Microsoft for their alleged spamming activities.

Grainger says he is the victim of mistaken identity.

He says that he has been singled out by the software giant because a domain name he bought last year was used for bulk mail purposes by its previous owner.

"When I activated it, it was suddenly inundated with spam - and I took it offline," he told the BBC.

Grainger says the first he heard of his alleged spamming activities was when he received a writ issued by the software giant earlier last week. None of the three Web sites Grainger owns (which are used by his 14 year-old daughter as her home page and his local flying club) are used to send out spam, he maintains.

Grainger's protestations of innocence are support by Steve Linford of Spamhaus who tells us the organisation has no record of Grainger in its extensive data base. Spamhaus blacklisted a domain, viawestnetworks.com, because of spamming for about a month proceeding October 8 2002. But Grainger only bought the domain on October 10 2002.

So evidence from Spamhaus backs up Grainger's story.

In light of this fresh evidence, Microsoft has promised to reinvestigate the case.

In a statement, Microsoft said: "While it is premature at this point to assume Mr. Grainger's claims of innocence are indeed correct, if it should be discovered that Mr. Grainger is innocent, Microsoft will certainly reimburse him for any and all legal fees required in his defence."

"While Microsoft goes to great efforts when investigating these issues, it is possible to make mistakes and we are investigating now to see if this was indeed a case of mistaken identity. If this is the case we will indeed apologise and ensure that any inconvenience to the Graingers is addressed including the reimbursement of any associated costs."

"Microsoft remains committed to fighting spam on behalf of its customers," the statement added. ®

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