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Anti-Spam Group Appeals U.S. Judgment

Anti-spam group facing possible loss of domain name plans to appeal $12M judgment.

(Chicago) An anti-spam group plans to appeal a federal court ruling that could jeopardize its domain name after ignoring a lawsuit earlier on jurisdictional grounds. An attorney for the Spamhaus Project, Matthew Neumeier, said Wednesday that the group will challenge an $11.7 million judgment against it as well as a court order U.S. District Court Judge Charles P. Kocoras is expected to sign ordering the spamhaus.org domain suspended.

Wheeling-based e360 Insight sued Spamhaus, arguing it had improperly placed the company on a "blacklist" of spammers. Service providers and others use Spamhaus' list to help identify which messages to block, send to a "junk" folder or accept.

Bart Loethen, an attorney for e360 Insight, said his client is a direct marketer that does not send unsolicited e-mail. But the U.K.-based Spamhaus refused to recognize the U.S. District Court's jurisdiction, did not bother to defend itself in the case and had no plans to comply with the monetary judgment. The company responded by asking the court to suspend the domain name.

Spamhaus claims that more than 650 million Internet users benefit from its list of spammers. Losing the domain name would make it more difficult for service providers and others to obtain the list, the group contends.

It's not clear Kocoras could easily order such a suspension because the Domain Name System is in the hands of organizations and companies that are not parties to the lawsuit. Already, the Internet's key oversight agency, Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, issued a statement saying it does not have the ability or authority to suspend individual domain names.

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