Internet research firm Netcraft is reporting that most Web sites targeted by an anti-spammer campaign by Lycos Europe are being effectively taken down.
The campaign uses a screen saver program distributed by Lycos Europe on its MakeLoveNotSpam.com site. As of Thursday morning the site itself was inaccessible.
According to anti-virus vendor F-Secure, at least one spammer site had been set to redirect its traffic to the MakeLoveNotSpam.com site.
Lycos Europe is denying earlier reports that the MakeLoveNotSpam.com site was defaced by hackers, claiming it to be a hoax.
Debates are raging over the legality of Lycos Europes campaign against the sites it designates as spammers. The company has said it constructs the list of targets by reviewing spam monitors such as www.spamcop.com and by manually checking the sites to see if they sell products promoted by spam. A Lycos Europe spokesperson said the company has determined its practice to be legal.
While Lycos Europes goal is to throttle the site performance down to 5 percent, such fine-tuning can be difficult and cannot control the sources of other traffic to those sites.