Paying spammers not to spam

Monday, 15 September 2003, 12:38 PM EST

Founders of a new antispam service say they have developed a system to convince spammers to remove specific e-mail addresses from their mailing lists, but two major spam-fighting groups are warning potential subscribers to stay away.

The service, offered by San Antonio, Texas-based Global Removal, charges subscribers a $5 lifetime fee to have their e-mail addresses put on a permanent do-not-spam list. Addresses on the list are then compared with, and removed from, mailing lists maintained by Global Removal's partnering businesses -- more than 50 known spammers and an equal number of legitimate e-mail marketers.

Global Removal CEO Tom Jackson believes that, unlike other attempts at creating do-not-spam lists, his company's system will work because it gives spammers an incentive to cooperate: money.

Although businesses that sign up to partner with Global Removal agree to remove addresses from their lists for free, they are enrolled in an affiliate program that earns them $1 for every new subscriber that they bring to the service.

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