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Places to Complain

  • Better Business Bureau - The BBB's mission is to promote accurate and responsible advertising, and can be a valuable asset in the war against junk e-mail. You can even file a complaint on-line. Be sure to urge them to come out strongly against the invasive, cost-shifting, practice of *unsolicited* bulk e-mailing as an advertising technique.

    Cyber Promotions touted their (now revoked) BBB membership on their web page. Doing this in itself is illegal according to the BBB, since it's using their trademarked name. On 1 October, the BBB suspended membership for Cyber Promo due to numerous complaints and Cyber's failure to correct the situation. A review for possible revocation of membership took place in November, and Cyber Promotions BBB membership was permanently revoked on 19 November. Despite this fact, Cyber Promotions web pages still touted CyberPromo BBB membership well into December. Only after BBB lawyers sent registered mail to CyberPromo over illegal use of their name, was the claim of membership finally removed from the web page in late December.

    It's important to inform the BBB of your opinion on unsolicited e-mail from Cyber Promotions, or other sources and file any complaints you may have.

    An actual name to write to who is very familiar with the situation:

    The address below if for the national council of BBBs. The issue to address when writing here is that the BBB should set national policy which opposes unsolicited bulk e-mail as advertising practice. No truly responsible business should advertise in this manner which makes *you* pay the postage for their ad.


  • SPRINT - Starting about September 96, Sprintlink became one more in a series of network access providers which have been infested by Cyber Promo. Cyber Promo had been booted from at least one area provider under Capital Area Internet Service, and are were subsequently getting their connectivity to the net through Sprintlink until 18 October when this major national backbone provider dumpped them as well. This was only after extreme public outcry and after forgery of Cyber Promo mailer machines to identify themselves as CompuServe or Prodigy machines. This disconnection lasted only a few days, but after reconnection, Cyber Promo was given notice of permanent disconnection on 15 November.

    Having rid itself of both Cyber Promotions and Moneyworld, both for issues of forgery or technical reasons rather than the spamming itself, Sprint played host to, another bulk junk mailer rivaling Cyber Promo in its pervasiveness. They finally disconnected Earthstar on 12 December. However, Sallynet, another chronic spammer began heavily spamming just about the time Earthstar was disconnected.

    For a long time, rumors of a 'revised' policy in the works were heard, but things moved slowly. Supposedly, a policy was internally put in place for new customers around 27 January 1997, but several chronic spammers such as Sallynet remained untouched. Reportedly, legal problems were encounterd with retro-actively applying the new policy to older customers signed-on before the policy existed. However, in late March under floods of continuing complaints, Sprint finally managed to boot Sallynet (which re-emerged briefly under Digex, which killed them very quickly). Since the emergence of Sprint's new policy, their network security folks seem pretty aggressive in enforcement. They're pressuring any network IP customer under their domains to also clean up their own act with customers of those sub-domains. Sprint seems to have done a major turn-around in supporting the war against net abuse.

    Sprint abuse policy

    Sprint's own website page about policy

    Generic complaint address:

    InterNIC listed Administrative Contact -

    Network Info & Support Center - (800) 669-8303

    Executive Offices - (800) 347-8988

    Chief Executive Officer


    MCI - After being booted from Sprint, Wallace got a new haven at a 'bulk-mail-friendly' ISP,'s spokesman publicly debated his own concept of what constitued responsible e-mail use on the usenet '' newsgroup. In addition to providing host addresses for Wallace's bevy of spam machines, pumped out its own flood of junk mail. Their 'twist' on the game was a promise to put (UCE) into the subject line of each message so that it could be easily spotted/ignored/filtered. Of course that didn't address the issue that the message still costs the receiver and the receiver's provider to get it, then decide to trash it. The tag also appeared to have several different forms, and was inconsistent in it's use.

    MCI went through a spate with MoneyWorld, another spammer which took weeks to disconnect due to a legal hitch in the contract. It had been hoped that MCI would have taken a lesson from this incident, but it seems not. kept spamming away, along with Cyber Promo from the MCI-owned netblock. MCI is very cautious to the point of seeming to be doing nothing. However, they *do* have a policy in place, and eventually do enforce it. They finally disconnected and Cyber Promotions around 13 February 1997.

    MCI's web pages have some information about their spam policy at:

    Some useful addresses and contacts at MCI:


    AGIS - Apex Global Information Systems (AGIS) has been incredibly unresponsive in dealing with the unsolicited mail issue. They have harbored spammers such as for some time with a 'hands-off', 'we just carry packets' attitude. Now that other major providers such as MCI, Sprint, Digex, BBN, and are (sometimes slowly) enforcing their use policies against sending unsolicited commercial e-mail, spammers are congregating under AGIS as their provider of choice. Currently, they harbor Camelot, Cyber Promotions, Quantcom, and other lesser spammers. Complaints to typically results in an autoresponder reply that basically says to take the issue to the spammer domain, or to filter or block them. Complaints to other addresses at AGIS have been reported to bounce regularly, and some have conjectured they are blocking those who send in complaints often. Considerable discussion of applying the Internet Death Penalty against AGIS has arisen whereby all of AGIS netblock addresses would be blocked from other networks. At least those domains identified as spammer domains have already been blocked by some. Some contacts which may actually get mail have been compiled by several.

    On 23 April, AGIS announced a 'solution' to the junk mail problem which is no more than a 'opt-out' global remove list which they would require spammers connected by them to use. This move is largely seen as a PR effort rather than a real solution since similar solutions have been proposed, tried, and have failed to be effective. The proposal also dosen't address the cost-shifting that occurs whenever unsolicited junk advertising is received by a user or provider. A later 'press release' was posted to usenet and attributed to Walt Rines, 'spokesman' for the proposed organization of AGIS and spammers. Rines, who operates Quantum Communications ( and is a well known spammer in his own right. This 'solution' is being broadly denounced.

    The AGIS press release on the subject is at:

    It should be noted that with the announcement of spam prohibitions by PSI, AGIS is now the only large backbone provider condoning UCE.

    There's an independently maintained FAQ about AGIS at:

    The main office and Chief Executive Officer for AGIS is

    A complaint sent to the address '' reportedly mails to all known contacts at AGIS. This service, run by the folks at, supposedly works to send complaints to appropriate contacts and upstream providers when a complaint message is addressed with the form:


  • InfoWorld -This respected computer publication has an article on stopping junk mail and a gripeline 800 number

  • Inc. Online -Inc., the magazine for small business, has an article about Cyber Promo that includes a sample junk ad. Note: This is more recent than the article mentioned above. Their Letters to the Editor online-bulletin board lets you submit your opinion.

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    Access count: since 11 Apr 97.

    PUBLIC NOTICE: Use of Tigerden computer and network facilities for the purpose of transmitting unsolicited commercial advertising electronic mail to any user or account on or through Tigerden machines is expressly PROHIBITED. Appearance of any e-mail addresses on these pages does *NOT* constitute solicitation of advertising e-mail.

    Last revised: 2 May 1997