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Sanford 'Spamford' Wallace has agreed to stop his use of spyware programs while he fights a lawsuit from the US Federal Trade Commission.

Wallace and his companies, SmartBot.net and Seismic Entertainment Productions, are restricted by the deal to serving up pop-up ads to surfers who visit their websites. The FTC alleges that Wallace's software infiltrates PC to serve a barrage of pop-up ads. The ads try to bully users into buying anti-spyware products, Spy Wiper or Spy Deleter. Worse still, the products fail to clean up the mess, the FTC says.

A temporary restraining order against these "deceptive business practices" was made against Wallace in October by US District Judge Joseph DiClerico. This order was to be reviewed this week, but the agreement makes a further interim hearing unnecessary. A trial date is not set yet. The case against Wallace represents the first federal prosecution, although individual states such as Utah have targeted alleged spyware.

Wallace says he is being targeted because of his past as a notorious bulk mailer. His firm Cyber Promotions sent millions of spam emails a day before lawsuits from AOL and Compuserve prompted Wallace to leave the company and "abandon spamming".

Wallace relocated from New England to Las Vegas last summer, AP reports. ®

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