Microsoft and New York State join to fight spam

Microsoft Corp. and the New York State Attorney General have teamed up to fight unwanted commercial e-mail, or spam, a Microsoft spokesman said Wednesday.

A news conference to announce the cooperation has been scheduled for Thursday morning, according to a Microsoft media alert. At the event, Microsoft and New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer will announce legal action against spammers, sources familiar with the announcement said.

"This announcement is about a collaborative effort regarding spam," Microsoft spokesman Sean Sundwall said. He declined to give further details of the pact with the New York State Attorney General ahead of Thursday's event.

The announcement comes days after U.S. President George W. Bush signed a bill into law establishing federal rules for commercial e-mail and penalties for unsolicited mass mailing.

In June, Microsoft announced it had filed several lawsuits, 13 in the U.S. and two in the U.K., against spammers. That announcement was made together with Washington State Attorney General Christine Gregoire and representatives of the U.K. data protection authority. Thursday's announcement with the New York State Attorney General is expected to be similar to that one, the sources said.

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