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In brief AOL yesterday announced the acquisition of privately held anti-spam firm Mailblocks for an undisclosed amount.

Mailblocks, which launched its first commercial service in March 2003, is best known for its development of 'challenge/response' technology to fight unwanted junk email and authenticate legitimate email senders. AOL said it wanted to add this technology to its existing anti-spam measures in order to help its members to keep their in-boxes free of junk mail. The Internet services giant also said it wanted to use other aspects of Mailblocks' technology to spruce up its user interface.

The technology will be introduced in a series of phased upgrades. First up AOL will integrate Mailblocks' streamlined user interface for those who access their mail via the web. AOL will then make Mailblocks' 'challenge/response' technology available as an option for all its users. No timescale was given for these plans. ®

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