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Strange Bedfellows Unite to Fight AOL's "Email Tax"

PRESS RELEASE
February 24, 2006

National Conference Call - Tuesday, 1pm EST

This Tuesday, an unlikely coalition of left and right, non-profits and small businesses, and Internet advocacy groups will hold a national telephone news conference call to announce an unprecedented combined campaign against AOL's new "pay-to-send" email proposal – which amounts to an "email tax."

To RSVP for the call, please email Alex@Fenton.com. Space is limited.

Under AOL's recently announced "certified email" proposal, large emailers willing to pay an "email tax" can bypass spam filters and get guaranteed access to people's inboxes—with their messages having a preferential high-priority designation. Charities, small businesses, civic organizing groups, and even families with mailing lists will have no guarantee that their email will be delivered unless they are willing to pay the "email tax" to AOL. AOL's proposed pay-to-send system is the first step down the slippery slope toward dividing the Internet into two classes of users—those who get preferential treatment and those who are left behind. The Internet is a force for democracy and economic innovation because it is open to all Internet users equally – AOL's "email tax" would create an unlevel playing field and harm the Internet forever.

Tuesday's 1pm EST conference call will be co-hosted by Internet free speech advocates the Electronic Frontier Foundation and media policy group Free Press. Participants will include Craig Newmark of Craiglist and representatives from the Gun Owners of America, MoveOn.org Civic Action, and the Association of Cancer Online Resources. Dozens of other concerned groups will be announced on the call as members of the coalition, and details about the campaign will be announced on the call.

WHAT: Conference call to announce campaign against AOL's "email tax"
WHO: Co-hosts: Electronic Frontier Foundation &amp Free Press
PARTICIPANTS: Craig Newmark (Craigslist), Gun Owners of America, MoveOn.org Civic Action, the Association of Cancer Online Resources
WHEN: Tuesday, February 28, 2006 – 1PM EST
RSVP: Please email Alex@Fenton.com. Space is limited.

Contacts:

Trevor Fitzgibbon or Alex Howe
Fenton Communications
alex@fenton.com

Rebecca Jeschke
Media Coordinator
Electronic Frontier Foundation
rebecca@eff.org

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