AP NEWS
Related topics

Group Threatens To Post AOL Members

January 1, 1998

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ A group representing Internet businesses warned it will release the e-mail addresses of 5 million America Online members next week if AOL continues to ban advertising to subscribers.

The National Organization of Internet Commerce of Chino, Calif., plans to post the addresses on the Internet on Jan. 8, group president Joe Melle said Wednesday. The group initially threatened to post 1 million addresses, but increased the number after Chantilly, Va.-based AOL threatened legal action.

NOIC was founded three months ago and has about a dozen members.

AOL _ the world’s largest Internet provider with 10 million members _ called the threat ``cyber-terrorism.″

``We would avail ourselves of any legal remedies we need to protect our members ... from this threat,″ AOL spokesman Rich D’Amato said. He said AOL members have made it clear ``they do not want junk e-mail.″

AOL has been waging a legal battle against companies that send unsolicited junk e-mail _ known as ``spam″ _ to its members. Unsolicited mail makes up a significant portion of the 17 million e-mails that AOL handles daily.

Melle said the choice of receiving e-mail solicitations should be made by AOL members _ not AOL administrators.

``All we want from America Online is to sit at the table and talk to us,″ he said.

Melle said his company, TSF Marketing, collected the AOL addresses from chat sites and other Internet locations used by AOL subscribers. If AOL bars access to its subscribers, Melle said, his group would lose access to about half of all Internet users.

AOL has won several injunctions again spam senders in recent months.

``A federal court has found there is no right to send AOL members unsolicited junk e-mail using AOL’s proprietary network,″ D’Amato said.

AP RADIO
Update hourly