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A British-based outfit is among a dozen or so companies and individuals charged with using spam to flog access to smutty web sites.

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) charged London-based Global Net Ventures Ltd and the other defendants with spamming hundreds of thousands of unsuspecting consumers with porno emails without their consent.

The FTC claims those involved failed to include necessary warnings alerting people of the sexual nature of the spam. Among a string of charges filed by the FTC, it also alleged recipients were unable to "opt-out" of receiving the explicit emails.

The US District Court in the District of Nevada has issued a temporary restraining order against the defendants prohibiting them from engaging in "deceptive practices". The assets of those named have also been frozen ahead of a preliminary hearing.

Said Lydia Parnes of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection: "The law gives consumers a tool to control what comes into their in-boxes. Spammers beware! We are on the side of parents and kids to protect their ability to filter out sexually-explicit emails."

Those fingered by FTC are: Global Net Solutions, based in Las Vegas, Nevada; Global Net Ventures, Ltd., based in London, England; Wedlake, Ltd, allegedly based in Riga, Latvia; Open Space Enterprises, Inc., based in Las Vegas; Southlake Group, Inc., based in Las Vegas; WTFRC, Inc., doing business as Reflected Networks, Inc., based in Las Vegas; Dustin Hamilton; Tobin Banks; Gregory Hamilton; Philip Doroff; and Paul Rose. ®

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