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Business in brief

Spitzer says firm sold e-mail info

Albany, N.Y. — New York’s attorney general sued an Internet company Thursday over the selling of e-mail addresses in what authorities say may be the biggest deliberate breach of Internet privacy ever.

Attorney General Eliot Spitzer accused Gratis Internet of selling personal information obtained from millions of consumers despite a promise of confidentiality.

The consumers thought they were simply registering to see a Web site offering free iPod music players or DVD movies and video games, Spitzer spokesman Brad Maione said. On sign-up pages, Gratis promised it “does not … sell/rent e-mails.”

Instead of confidentiality, Spitzer said, Gratis sold access to their e-mail information to three independent e-mail marketers, and hundreds of millions of e-mail solicitations followed.


U.S. tells China to move on trade

The Bush administration told China on Thursday that it will be looking for concrete actions to lower trade tensions between the two nations in advance of a U.S. visit next month by Chinese President Hu Jintao.

Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez, who will hold talks with Chinese officials next week in Beijing, said his message would be that the administration was looking for China to play a responsible role in the global trading community.

“This is a time for results,” Gutierrez said in an interview with the Associated Press. Brooklyn, N.Y.

Nigerians charged with fee scam

Four Nigerian citizens have been indicted on charges that they ran an “advance fee” scam that promised consumers a portion of a large inheritance if they agreed to pay a fee to cover taxes, legal fees and other costs.

In a press release, the U.S. Attorney’s office in Brooklyn, N.Y., said Nnamdi Chizuba Anisiobi, Anthony Friday Ehis and Kesandu Egwuonwu are in custody in Amsterdam and awaiting extradition.

They were indicted on charges of conspiracy, wire fraud and mail fraud by a federal grand jury Wednesday, prosecutors said. They could face up to 20 years in prison, while Anisiobi – who is also charged with bank fraud – faces up to 30 years in prison.

A fourth, unnamed individual remains a fugitive, according to the government.


Online S-R offers financial data

Readers can now access a wide range of stock market and mutual fund information on The Spokesman-Review’s Web site.

The information includes stock and mutual fund price quotes, market indexes, most-active shares and gainers and losers on all the major exchanges.

To find the market information, go to “News” in the blue column on the left side of The Spokesman-Review’s Web site, at, then click the category “Business.”

The online tools are free to current subscribers of The Spokesman-Review or