America Online Steps Up Spam Fight By Launching Litigation Offensive Against Spammers

Company Sues Spammers in Series of Lawsuits Spurred by Member-Reported Junk Email
AOL Alleges Defendants Named in Lawsuits Are Responsible for Sending AOL Members One Billion Spam Emails, Resulting in Over 8 Million Member Spam Complaints

Dulles, VA – April 15, 2003 – America Online, Inc. (NYSE: AOL), as part of its ongoing, comprehensive battle against spammers, today announced a sweeping series of lawsuits against individuals and companies that it alleges have repeatedly sent members high volumes of unwanted junk emails using a variety of evasive means to circumvent AOL’s spam filters.

AOL is filing five separate lawsuits against over a dozen companies and individuals, who the Company alleges are together responsible for sending an estimated one billion spam emails to AOL members and generating over 8 million individual spam complaints from members. The latest lawsuits filed by AOL are the first to leverage the complaints received by AOL from its members who are using the popular “Report Spam” button in AOL 8.0.

The defendants named in these lawsuits are alleged to have sent a variety of offensive and unwanted spam emails including: pornography; male organ growth/enlargement products; mortgage and home refinancing offers; college degrees; steroids; cable TV descrambler products; and software products. The kinds of spammers and the type of spamming named in these lawsuits are exactly representative of what AOL members face on a daily basis.

The methods alleged to have been used by the named defendants in these cases to send spam to AOL members include many of the egregious and fraudulent methods used today by spammers, such as: falsification of email addresses; purposefully and systematically evading spam filters set up by AOL and its members; and pursuing other means of spamming members that are prohibited by AOL’s published “Unsolicited Bulk Email Policy” (see www.aol.com).

Because AOL’s proprietary email network is located in Virginia, these lawsuits were filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in Alexandria.

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