Dulles, Virginia – (via THE
HOSTING NEWS) – August 10, 2005 – America Online today announced that spam
is down more than 85% on the AOL service, and AOL’s anti-spam filters are blocking
more than 1.4 billion pieces of spam each day, as compared to a high of 2.4
billion messages blocked in a single day in 2003.
AOL also announced that it has recovered nearly $100,000 worth of gold bars
and cash, as well as a fully-loaded 2003 Hummer H2, from a major spammer that
AOL caught with the help of its members.
As a reward to AOL members, visitors to AOL.com and web users, the spammers’
ill-gotten loot is being given away through the ”AOL Spammer’s Gold Sweepstakes”,
which starts today. Additionally, the company said it would donate tens of thousands
of dollars worth of high-end computer equipment seized from this spammer to
local public schools and school systems in Northern Virginia.
The gold, cash and the Hummer were seized as part of the first lawsuit filed
by AOL under the federal CAN-SPAM Act of 2003, and aided by AOL members who
have used the ”Report Spam” button to help AOL anti-spam, digital
detectives investigate and snare one of the country’s most prolific spam gangs.
In addition to these assets, AOL has also obtained a $13 million judgment in
the case against the remaining members of the spam gang.
Jon Miller, Chairman and CEO of America Online explained, ”The safety and
security of our members is Job No. 1 at AOL, and that means taking aggressive
action against spammers and scammers. I am delighted that our efforts are paying
off, literally, with the seizure of these assets and the sweepstakes. Today,
we’re putting the brakes on spammers and celebrating our gold standard spam
protections for the AOL service and the AIM Mail product at AOL.com. Our hard
work in fighting spam is paying off in another way as well – since November
2003 when spam was at its peak, we’ve achieved a dramatic and hugely beneficial
decline in the amount of spam reaching our members’ email boxes.”
The company attributes this success to its multi-pronged approach in fighting
the scourge of spam, which includes a combination of software tools, filtering
technology, public policy, litigation and enforcement, and industry partnership.
The Sweepstakes begins August 10 and runs through August 19. AOL members can
enter the sweepstakes at AOL Keyword: Spam Sweepstakes; non-members can enter
Entrants will have a chance to win daily cash prizes as well as the Grand Prize
— a Hummer H2 and approximately $85,000 in gold bars and cash. Each day throughout
the promotion period, participants may gain one additional entry in the Grand
Prize drawing and one (1) entry in the daily ”spammer cash” drawing ($1,000
each day) by returning to the site to answer the special ”AOL Spammer’s Gold”
question for that day that focuses on security and safety issues. Those that
participate each day throughout the 10-day promotion period will receive an
Official AOL Spam Patrol certificate.
The gold bullion is comprised of 33 gold bars each weighing one ounce, and nine
gold coins. The gold is valued at nearly $20,000, and there is an additional
$75,000 in actual hard cash seized from the spam gang.