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The decision by AOL and Yahoo to charge a bulk e-mailing fee has not been well received by many

Several public interest groups and nonprofit organizations, including Gun Owners of America, Association of Cancer Online Resources and, are joining together to battle the decision by America Online and Yahoo to charge a bulk e-mailing fee.  The "certified e-mail" service would attach "tokens" to some e-mails in which senders would have to pay between one-quarter of 1 cent and 1 cent for each message sent.  These e-mails will bypass spam filters and be sent directly into a user's inbox. 

The fee will be a disadvantage to "charities, small businesses and even families with mailing lists that will have no guarantee their e-mail will be delivered," said Adam Green, a spokesman for Civic Action, the group's nonpolitical arm. "The magic of the Internet is that it is free and open to everybody so small ideas can become big ideas."

AOL users can look forward to these certified e-mails in the next 30 days or so.  It is not currently known when Yahoo will begin offering certified e-mails to its users.

Update 02/28/2006: Since publication of this article, Yahoo! representatives have contacted us with more information.

"Companies can continue to send e-mail to Yahoo! Mail users at no cost in exactly the same way they always have, and we are not planning to require payment to ensure delivery to our users. In the coming months, Yahoo! will test an optional certified e-mail program based on 'transactional' messages only, such as bank statements and purchase receipts, as an additional layer of protection against e-mail identity theft scams known as phishing attacks," said Karen Mahon, Yahoo! spokesperson.

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No thanks
By kextyn on 2/28/2006 8:26:15 AM , Rating: 3
I don't want to see this happen for one reason. It gives bulk emailers a way of getting crap into my inbox. Currently Yahoo's spam filter works very well and I never receive something I don't want or have something I want end up in bulk email. If this happens all they have to do is pay to get all the spam they want in my inbox.

RE: No thanks
By Chadder007 on 2/28/2006 8:50:31 AM , Rating: 1
Who said they would be getting rid of the SPAM filters too?

RE: No thanks
By Chadder007 on 2/28/2006 8:51:00 AM , Rating: 4
n/m me = pwn3d by reading.

By White Widow on 2/28/2006 10:08:17 AM , Rating: 2
This "email tax" implementation will NOT have the effect of reducing spam for AOL and Yahoo users. As was posted above, the spam filters work pretty well aready. Under this new system, bulk-emailers can pay to BYPASS the spam filters to get their emails directly to your inbox. The great virtue of this system is not that it prevents SPAM for the end users, but that it allows AOL and Yahoo to gain financially from spamming. Indeed, for most AOL and Yahoo customers, they will get MORE unwatned email in their inboxes. AOL and Yahoo are simply and wantonly selling direct access to users' inbox. Despicable.

RE: Sellout
By TomZ on 2/28/2006 11:37:52 AM , Rating: 2
The next great idea they'll have is to allow users to pay to not receive spam. Maybe they can even do a bidding war, where the user bids a certain amount to not get spam, any only spammers willing to pay more than than amount can have their e-mails get through. This would be an excellent way for AOL and Yahoo to make more money.

RE: Sellout
By ninjit on 2/28/2006 8:56:24 PM , Rating: 2
lol, I was thinking the exact same thing.

I'm curious, does anyone know what spammers make on average per message they send?

AOL and Yahoo's argument would only then work if they charge more per message than spammers would make.

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