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CA Appeals Court Upholds Spam Law

timothy posted more than 12 years ago | from the little-piggies-need-some-discipline dept.

The Courts 339

Joe Wagner writes: "Criminal penalties for spam, yeah baby! It has just been announced that California State's spam law has been ruled constitutional and valid by California Court of Appeal for the First District: '...we hold that section 17538.4 does not violate the dormant Commerce Clause [of the United States Constitution].' The actual ruling is here. Congratulations to Mark Ferguson and his lawyers (1, 2) for fighting it out for the rest of us..."

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Whoo hoo! (1, Interesting)

eaddict (148006) | more than 12 years ago | (#2780519)

Now if the other states and countries would just follow. Something (besides filters) needs to be done about SPAM.

Yes, Whoo hoo. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2780534)

You know that the first post is actually mine, you ignornant fuckstain?

Give it up to meeeeee! Yippppeeee! Swinging from a treeeeeee! Eatin' a bananeeeeee!

-CM, Locked down.

Re:Yes, Whoo hoo. (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2780581)

Why was this modded off topic? This was most certainly "on topic".

Why Spam is Wrong (-1, Redundant)

Frank White (515786) | more than 12 years ago | (#2780564)

I think it's important for us to state cogently why, with so many other things going on in the world, this is an important issue. There are several reasons:
  • The free ride. E-mail spam is unique in that the receiver pays so much more for it than the sender does. For example, AOL has said that they were receiving 1.8 million spams from Cyber Promotions per day until they got a court injunction to stop it. Assuming that it takes the typical AOL user only 10 seconds to identify and discard a message, that's still 5,000 hours per day of connect time per day spent discarding their spam, just on AOL. By contrast, the spammer probably has a T1 line that costs him about $100/day. No other kind of advertising costs the advertiser so little, and the recipient so much. The closest analogy I can think of would be auto-dialing junk phone calls to cellular users; you can imagine how favorably that might be received.

  • The ``oceans of spam'' problem. Many spam messages say ``please send a REMOVE message to get off our list.'' Even disregarding the question of why you should have to do anything to get off a list you never asked to join, this becomes completely impossible if the volume grows. At the moment, most of us only get a few spams per day. But imagine if only 1/10 of 1 % of the users on the Internet decided to send out spam at a moderate rate of 100,000 per day, a rate easily achievable with a dial-up account and a PC. Then everyone would be receiving 100 spams every day. If 1% of users were spamming at that rate, we'd all be getting 1,000 spams per day. Is it reasonable to ask people to send out 100 ``remove'' messages per day? Hardly. If spam grows, it will crowd our mailboxes to the point that they're not useful for real mail. Users on AOL, which has a lot of trouble with internal spammers, report that they're already nearing this point.

  • The theft of resources. An increasing number of spammers, such as Quantum Communications, send most or all of their mail via innocent intermediate systems, to avoid blocks that many systems have placed against mail coming directly from the spammers' systems. (Due to a historical quirk, most mail systems on the Internet will deliver mail to anyone, not just their own users.) This fills the intermediate systems' networks and disks with unwanted spam messages, takes up their managers' time dealing with all the undeliverable spam messages, and subjects them to complaints from recipients who conclude that since the intermediate system delivered the mail, they must be in league with the spammers.
    Many other spammers use ``hit and run'' spamming in which they get a trial dial-up account at an Internet provider for a few days, send tens of thousands of messages, then abandon the account (unless the provider notices what they're doing and cancels it first), leaving the unsuspecting provider to clean up the mess. Many spammers have done this tens or dozens of times, forcing the providers to waste staff time both on the cleanup and on monitoring their trial accounts for abuse.

  • It's all garbage. The spam messages I've seen have almost without exception advertised stuff that's worthless, deceptive, and partly or entirely fraudulent. (I include the many MLMs in here, even though the MLM-ers rarely understand why there's no such thing as a good MLM.) It's spam software, funky miracle cures, off-brand computer parts, vaguely described get rich quick schemes, dial-a-porn, and so on downhill from there. It's all stuff that's too cruddy to be worth advertising in any medium where they'd actually have to pay the cost of the ads. Also, since the cost of spamming is so low, there's no point in targeting your ads, when for the same low price you can send the ads to everyone, increasing the noise level the rest of us have to deal with.

  • They're crooks. Spam software invariably comes with a list of names falsely claimed to be of people who've said they want to receive ads, but actually consisting of unwilling victims culled at random from usenet or mailing lists. Spam software often promises to run on a provider's system in a way designed to be hard for the provider to detect so they can't tell what the spammer is doing. Spams invariably say they'll remove names on request, but they almost never do. Indeed, people report that when they send a test ``remove'' request from a newly created account, they usually start to receive spam at that address.
    Spammers know that people don't want to hear from them, and generally put fake return addresses on their messages so that they don't have to bear the cost of receiving responses from people to whom they've send messages. Whenever possible, they use the ``disposable'' trial ISP accounts mentioned above so the ISP bears the cost of cleaning up after them. I could go on, but you get the idea. It's hard to think of another line of business where the general ethical level is so low.

  • It might be illegal. Some kinds of spam are illegal in some countries on the Internet. Especially with pornography, mere possession of such material can be enough to put the recipient in jail. In the United States, child pornography is highly illegal and we've already seen spammed child porn offers.

Any one of these six would be enough to make me pretty unhappy about getting junk e-mail. Put them together and it's intolerable.

Why Spam is Right (-1)

Fecal Troll Matter (445929) | more than 12 years ago | (#2780654)

Quit yer karma whoring.
Now, listen up. Why don't you folks get all upset about terrorist activities against your countries? I'd much rather see my mailbox chock full of spam than my twin towers chock full of flaming bodies. Spam isn't 'wrong', it's more of delightful start to each day. Until spam starts murdering my countrymen, I refuse to take a stand against it.

Re:Why Spam is Wrong (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2780666)

No "Frank", you think it is necessary to write huge posts to karma whore on slashdot.

Hey, Anti-spammers! Vote in the 2001 Troll awards! (-1)

The Turd Report (527733) | more than 12 years ago | (#2780522)

Announcing the 2001 Troll Award Nominations. Please take a moment to
email me your votes for the following catagories:

-Best Troll of 2001
-Worst Troll of 2001
-Most Improved Troll
-Troll Lifetime Achievement Award
-Best Troll post of 2001
-Best CrapFlood Material
-Most hated Slashdot Janitor
-Slashdot Janitor Most Likely to Get Fired
-Troll You Would Want to Drink a Beer With
-Troll That You Would Not Want to Be Trapped in an Elevator With
-Gayest Slashdot Poster

This will be reposted until the Jan 4th, 2001. I will add the results and let you all know the winner.


Re:Hey, Anti-spammers! Vote in the 2001 Troll awar (-1)

Fecal Troll Matter (445929) | more than 12 years ago | (#2780567)

Fuck this shit. It's my God given right to spam you cocksuckers continuously and annoyingly.

slashdot trolls (-1)

GaylordFucker (465080) | more than 12 years ago | (#2780527)

i own their asses... they're just a bunch of 13 year old lusers using their mama's computer

Re:slashdot trolls (-1)

five dollar troll (541247) | more than 12 years ago | (#2780662)

cuuut the muuuullet...

Brilliant, now... (5, Interesting)

syrupMatt (248267) | more than 12 years ago | (#2780548)

Lovely. Now that California has lead the way, when do you think other states will follow suit?

Is there actually a "spam lobby" anywhere that could prevent (read give money to) politicans from supporting or passing such bills in other states?

Re:Brilliant, now... (5, Informative)

13013dobbs (113910) | more than 12 years ago | (#2780583)

Is there actually a "spam lobby" anywhere that could prevent (read give money to) politicans from supporting or passing such bills in other states?

Yup. The DMA [] . They want to spam you.

Sign of evil (1)

Mockery (170888) | more than 12 years ago | (#2780655)

Is there any doubt in your mind that it's more than a coincidence that DMA and DMCA are different by only one letter?

Re:Brilliant, now... (3)

Brendan Byrd (105387) | more than 12 years ago | (#2780787)

I don't think they are making much progress. Nobody likes spam, including politicians. Sure, they'll take their money, but they'll vote the other way. And if they don't, we can spam the politicians with hate e-mail.

(Am I spelling "politicians" right? I don't think so...)

Re:Brilliant, now... (3)

nick_danger (150058) | more than 12 years ago | (#2780643)

Is there actually a "spam lobby" anywhere that could prevent (read give money to) politicans from supporting or passing such bills in other states?

Actually, there is. Perhaps the most well know is the Direct Marketing Association [] . Yeah, they've got money, and yeah, they slather it around in D.C. They're not a spam lobby per se, but that is definitely a area in which they're active.

Re:Brilliant, now... (5, Informative)

trenton (53581) | more than 12 years ago | (#2780649)

I'd also like to see a legal procecution kit for this. Not all of us have the money to pay an attorney to procecute someone under this statute. If someone, like the EFF, could put together a list of filings or whatnot, individuals could do all the court paperwork themselves. I'd imagine in many cases you'd get summary judgements (where the judge finds for you becuase the other side didn't show up to court).

I think I'll mail EFF now.

Re:Brilliant, now... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2780711)

Actually, the ruling refers to similar laws in 16 states, and a similar court case in the Washington state supreme court.

I love this definition of SPAM: (5, Interesting)

Tri0de (182282) | more than 12 years ago | (#2780555)

"The statute defines "unsolicited e-mail documents" as "any e-mailed document or documents consisting of advertising material for the lease, sale, rental, gift offer, or other disposition of any realty, goods, services, or extension of credit" when the documents (a) are addressed to recipients who do not have existing business or personal relationships with the initiator and (b) were not sent at the request of or with the consent of the recipient."

Perhaps not plain english, but as close as legalese gets.

Re:I love this definition of SPAM: (2, Insightful)

Quizme2000 (323961) | more than 12 years ago | (#2780673)

Ok, great I live in CA but what if the spammer doesn't? I mean its a great first step, but as with any of the future laws that will regulate internet usage (good or bad) jurisdiction will be THE problem. Unless its passed by the US Congess etc. would it begin to have power and thats not going to happen for awhile a really..really long while.
Also, No comment by the EFF yet, I'm really interested in what they think of this definition of spam can be used inapporitly to negate free speech.

Re:I love this definition of SPAM: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2780695)

Sounds great. I wonder if it also applies to all that unsolicited crap we get through snail mail in this (CA) part of the world?

PROSECUTE SPAMMERS NOW ! ! ! ! ! ! ! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2780563)

YOU TOO can prosecute all those pesky spammers. Just send $100 to this paypal account and we'll help you. If you don't want to press charges, just send an email to nothanks@prosecutespammersnow.BIZ and we won't press charges at this time.

Goody! (4, Funny)

Matey-O (518004) | more than 12 years ago | (#2780566)

(IANAL) When do I get my cut of the Civil Suit?

Obviously SOMEBODY is making $4000 every week while they sleep with Barely Legal Lolitas and loose weight.

Re:Goody! (0)

Frank White (515786) | more than 12 years ago | (#2780601)

Shhh, dude! For only $10 they can find out everything about you.

Re:Goody! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2780642)

Is "lose" really that hard of a word to spell? This has to be one of the most commonly misspelled words in the english language.

Re:Goody! (-1)

The Turbinator (544647) | more than 12 years ago | (#2780703)

Proper spelling around here is as common a concept as weight loss itself. ;p~

Re:Goody! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2780723)

Is "lose" really that hard of a word to spell?
I think the original poster spelled it "loose" since he was still thinking of the barely legal lolitas :)

Re:Goody! (2)

NineNine (235196) | more than 12 years ago | (#2780743)

Actually, it's not somebody. It's a while lot of people. And, it's usually much more than $4000/week. Just FYI...

And also, this isn't gonns do anything.
all you have to do is provide a valid email to opt-out. No big deal.

Re:Goody! (-1)

Tasty Beef Jerky (543576) | more than 12 years ago | (#2780763)

Shit, if I made $4000 every week, you best bet I'd sleep with barely legal lolitas.

And I have to say that if I slept with barely legal lolitas, I'd probably lose a lot of weight!

only a slight improvement (5, Informative)

Syre (234917) | more than 12 years ago | (#2780572)

This law specifically ALLOWS spam to be sent. It just requires that spammers include a valid return email address and that they remove people from their list who want to be removed.

This is great?

It also only covers spammers who have their equipment located in California. All this means is that spammers will use mailservers in some other state or country.

The only good thing I see about this is that it requires the subject to have "ADV:" in it.

I expect absolutely no change in the amount of spam I get as a result of this law.

Re:only a slight improvement (2, Insightful)

coltrane99 (545982) | more than 12 years ago | (#2780688)

Valid return address is huge. It allows spammees to compain to their ISP and to the sender's ISP and to anti-fraud enforcement in government.

Re:only a slight improvement (3, Insightful)

wiredog (43288) | more than 12 years ago | (#2780714)

It is an improvement. Those methods work for getting rid of most telemarketers.

Re:only a slight improvement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2780740)

Well, forcing "ADV:" to be at the front of every subject line makes it trivial to create a filter for unsolicited email. Heck, you could make it a feature of your POP server, and ISPs could offer customers the option of never having spam sitting in the inbox.

Of course, this assumes that such a law was in effect nation, or better yet, worldwide.

Re:only a slight improvement (4, Interesting)

Genom (3868) | more than 12 years ago | (#2780764)

Actually, I think it may make a difference, but not as drastic a one as those who wrote the law hope for.

Valid return address - allows you to track down someone to be held liable for the spam. This makes complaining to the upstream provider much easier - and while the spammer will probably just hop accounts for the next one, it'll at least be a thorn in their side.

Address removal - This won't really change anything -- they'll remove you from the one-time list they used to generate that particular spam, but add you to 3 other lists that will be sold or used to spam again.

ADV: in subject - This is the one that could change the user experience signifigantly, if mail server admins use it. If spam is required by law to contain ADV: in the subject, than email can be filtered server-side to cull it out. Obviously this requires a little bit of work on the server admin's part - but if done right, this could bring your spamcount to zero (assuming the spammers obey the law)

Now...most likely the spammers won't obey the law. They'll keep going as they are now, until enough of them get fined/jailed over it - then they'll have to figure a way to get around it. Most likely this will involve large "donations" to various congress members, in return for their vote against making there be any real penalty for violating the law.

So yes - you're right on the one hand that the ammount of spam that comes in may not change - but the few spammers who actually abide by this law will make themselves easy targets for good filters. (and most good filters already cull out ADV: subjects ;P )

This seems like a bad thing to me... (4, Insightful)

taliver (174409) | more than 12 years ago | (#2780573)

Yes, I hate spam.

However, do we really want a precedent of banning certain types of emails? As much as we don't like spammers, I would much rather have to delete "Increase your ejactulation by 581%" than to worry that an encrypted email transmission was deemed illegal.

Re:This seems like a bad thing to me... (2)

13013dobbs (113910) | more than 12 years ago | (#2780619)

But, many more people would rather not dael with spam. Plus, this law only works if YOU report it. It is not as if the police are going to monitor every mailserver in California and look for spam.

Re:This seems like a bad thing to me... (2, Insightful)

taliver (174409) | more than 12 years ago | (#2780645)

No, police are not monitoring, yet. However, if he legislators pass an anti-terrorism bill that outlaws encrypted email transmissions, then the next step will be police monitoring, and they have the anti-spam bills precedent of banning certain types of speech as precedent.

fraud is not ordinary speech ... (1)

timothy (36799) | more than 12 years ago | (#2780756)

The right to free speech does not mean you have a right to commit harm through your speech; I am all in favor of penalties against fraud, and inevitably some of those need to soak up some of the slime where it slithered, into my / your / our email boxes.
There's no ideological banning of "certain types of speech" here -- they're the same things that are (legitimately) not allowed IRL already.

(You're allowed to send me an unsolicited invitation to a party, but you're not allowed to send it to me in the bottom of a paper bag of dogshit doused with gasoline and set aflame on my doorstep, then claim your rights to free speech are violated if I catch you at it and take appropriate action.)

Spammers are the dogshit-bag lighters of the online world.


Slippery Slope and Bigger fish to fry??? (3, Insightful)

JohnDenver (246743) | more than 12 years ago | (#2780730)

Personally, I don't think this is much bigger than mail fraud. IMHO, Rather than criminalize sending unsolicited email, I would criminalize sending spam without an ADV: prefix or ADV ADULT: prefix.

This would effectively give them the freedom to send as much unsolicited junk to people who want it, and let us who don't want it to filter it out.

As far as regulating technology goes, I think there's bigger fish to fry. Here's some examples of how the FCC helps the communication monopolies keep thier monopolies...

UWB technology gets stuck in red tape []

Roll your own DSL []

My point: Communications and tech have been regulated for YEARS. So while you're pondering if criminalizing spam MAY set a bad precident, existing technology and communication monopolies are doing everything to criminalize and patent truely liberating technology (Ultra-Wide-Band) (DSL without the telcos): (That is before they figure out how to use it for thier own advantage)

...and that's just one very small facit of the problem...

Re:This seems like a bad thing to me... (2)

interiot (50685) | more than 12 years ago | (#2780741)

The type of email that's banned is one that:

  • has a fraudulent return address
  • is unsolicited commercial mail
You can still forge return addresses, you just can't do it with unsolicited commercial mail. You can still send whatever you want, just that in some cases you have to use a real return address. Does this still seem problamatic?

Re:This seems like a bad thing to me... (1)

taliver (174409) | more than 12 years ago | (#2780766)

Does this still seem problamatic?

Yes, since it sets a precedent. Legal maneuvers have always worked on precedent, even when they are only slightly related. Here is a law that has been upheld that says certain emails are not allowed. What's next? My guess is emailing anything that relates to pornography to people that might be underage.

And don't forget about banning encrypted emails that might allow terrorists to communicate.

Or methods of producing viruses or circumventing copyright schemes.

And if you're not allowed to email them, why should you be allowed to have any of these things on your computer?

It's just a step down the slippery slope, and while we might like the result, we really shouldn't like the bottom of the pit.

New Spam... (5, Funny)

Peridriga (308995) | more than 12 years ago | (#2780578)

Are you sick of all of the SPAM that your receive in your email everyday. Well now there is something that you can do about it.

Our law firm will go after all of these hideous capitalist marketers...

To help our cause please forward this email to all of your friends and spread the word

Also be sure to tell them to vote no on the Congressional Act adding a tax to emails...

Ham and ..... (2, Insightful)

crumbz (41803) | more than 12 years ago | (#2780580)

Considering that the vast majority of users do not know how to setup filters and the like, spam really is a detriment to electronic messaging. My folks are not the most computer literate people on the planet and the thought of them receiving "No subject" messages with embedded porn makes me cringe. If I didn't have a full time job, I'd work on a system of intelligent agents that actually worked.

Where does the crime occur? (3, Insightful)

wo1verin3 (473094) | more than 12 years ago | (#2780582)

At the point of origin, or the destination.

And on behalf of some Canadians, I would love something like this to happen up hear.

Either (2)

13013dobbs (113910) | more than 12 years ago | (#2780640)

I believe that if the recipient or the sender is in California, they are bound by the law.

On behalf of some Canadians... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2780755)

I would like to thank you for representing us as retards who don't know the difference between hear and here.

I don't speak lawyer..... (0, Troll)

siliconvortex (235693) | more than 12 years ago | (#2780584)

Could someone explain what the law means?


Re:I don't speak lawyer..... (4, Informative)

13013dobbs (113910) | more than 12 years ago | (#2780661)

In a nutshell: If you have a previous relationship with a company/person, or if you request it. People can send you ads. However you can still send people unsolicited ads if you include the string 'ADV:' as the first four characters of the subjectline. If you are sending material that you have to be over 18 to possess, you have to have the string 'ADV:ADLT' as the first 8 characters of the subjectline. In all cases, you must include a way o remove yourself from the list.

Formal procedure (0)

allknowing (304084) | more than 12 years ago | (#2780585)

We need to formulate a standardized procedure for fighting spam. This way, the good citizens aren't trampelled upon by big-wig spammers.

We need to stand by this law. Fight Spam to the end.

spam cannot be stopped (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2780587)

but good luck trying

Mod parent up (-1)

Fecal Troll Matter (445929) | more than 12 years ago | (#2780694)

The war on spam is like the war on drugs. Long lasting, little results, propaganda, fascist views.

I am not the most organized person in the world... (1)

adamy (78406) | more than 12 years ago | (#2780589)

An so I have to set up systems. However, one place I have not been able to set up a working system is my (snail) mail handling. and the reason? I get so damn much of it. It really is a denial of service. Bill's get lost, causing me to have to pay late fees. My fiancee didn't find a wedding invitation until a week before the wedding. And so on. And there is no unsubscribe link, no spam filter, no mechanism for controlling it.

A few days ago, my fiancess commented on the local newspapare, which, despite no on in the building paying for, was faithfully delivered every day. We periodically collect them up and throw them out, but with liited recycliung spcae (one blue bin per apartment) It seems a pityu to waste it on something that should not have been coming to our house anyway. When I finally called the paper to have the delivery cancelled, it was in her (my fiancess') name. She never ordred it. It was probably a miscommuncation between her and the some cold calling telemarketer. I need a spam filter for them, too. I guess I could at least get aclller ID for that...

Re:I am not the most organized person in the world (1)

gorillasoft (463718) | more than 12 years ago | (#2780708)

My fiancee didn't find a wedding invitation until a week before the wedding

What kind of person sends a wedding invitation as an e-mail? These are supposed to be fancy, formal cards with multiple envelopes and calligraphy. Whomever sent that to you must have been a total geek.

Oh, wait - this is Slashdot. Never mind - carry on.

(as a suggestion, you could set up your mail program to route important e-mails to an "Important" folder based on the sender's address - shouldn't take more than a few minutes of your time and will save you some hassles)

Does this apply to junk mail? (2, Interesting)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 12 years ago | (#2780597)

If not, I don't care. Spam is annoying, sure, but junk mail is heaping piles of dead trees. The recycle bins by my apartment are constantly filled with weekend shoppers and credit card offers. One place I lived put the paper bin right next to the mail boxes, so you wouldn't have to carry your armload of junk mail. Aside from that, there's also the fact that spam is easier to deal with. I can set up procmail (or even more primitive filters) to do a decent job of keeping my inbox free of crap. But no matter how often I show the contents of my .mailmanrc to my postal carrier, I still end up getting a new shopper every day from a different place, always printed on high-gloss 100% freshly killed tree.

Get off the lists then .... (2, Informative)

TheViffer (128272) | more than 12 years ago | (#2780646)

Go here for more information [] But also note they charge your $5 to do it online. DONT. You can simply mail in a letter (printable from this form), throw on a stamp, and away you go.

And it does work. My junk mail has decreased dramatically.

Re:Get off the lists then .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2780679)

And it does work. My junk mail has decreased dramatically.

I mailed them and got more. Same with junk phone calls.

Re:Does this apply to junk mail? (2)

jmauro (32523) | more than 12 years ago | (#2780651)

But the cost of junk mail is fully born by the senders not the receivers. The paper that you don't like costs money to buy and money to print on. The sender pays for postage as well since the post office doesn't deliver for free. This is why there are no laws to stop junk mail. It isn't costing anyone but those who want to send it, spam on the otherhand costs everyone from bandwidth providers, mail server operators, and general users receiving the mail, but getting nothing else since they're box is overload with spam.

In other news most of the glossy inserts that you get aren't really tree paper. They are mainly made out of clay, that's right they're made out of dirt. Going into a landfill won't do a damn thing because that's where they come from. So stop worrying about it.

Re:Does this apply to junk mail? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2780729)

In other news most of the glossy inserts that you get aren't really tree paper. They are mainly made out of clay, that's right they're made out of dirt. Going into a landfill won't do a damn thing because that's where they come from. So stop worrying about it.

Dead wrong -- only the surface has anything to do with caly. The substrate is still ex-tree. The process of running the paper between rollers to impregnate the paper with the clay slurry is called calendering. (d-e-r, from the Greek word for cylinder).

Re:Does this apply to junk mail? (2)

realdpk (116490) | more than 12 years ago | (#2780734)

There's a cost borne on the recipient you're not considering - waste storage and removal. Not to mention the time spent sorting through it to get the real mail, and the time spent sorting it for recycling. And then, if you don't recycle, there's the environmental cost as well. (Not all junk mail is glossy.)

By the way, junk mail can also cause "bounces". I live in an apartment complex and those mailboxes are not very big. If I did not check it 2 days in a row, it would be completely full of junk, causing the mailman to hold my mail at their facility until it is emptied.

Only when we start paying to receive mail (1)

simetra (155655) | more than 12 years ago | (#2780753)

Say if the mail carrier demands a quarter from you for each piece of mail you get, without letting you see what it is first.
Imagined scenario:
Mail Carrier: "Doh! You chose not to recieve your paycheck! But you did choose to receive item #4, a lovely Harry and David catalog! Loser!"
You: "Damn you!"

It's about time. (4, Informative)

Philbert Desenex (219355) | more than 12 years ago | (#2780598)

Spammers would have you believe that other than your time for "just clicking delete", there's no cost to spam. However, since you and I and all spam victims pay a lot of the cost of spam before purchasing the spamvertised product, market forces on spam are seriously weakened, with respect to market forces on other forms of advertising (radio and Tee Vee broadcast, newspaper and magazine advertising, billboards, stock cars, product placement in movies). For all other forms of advertising, the advertiser pays for the ads up front, before the consumer buys the product. If the ad campaign sucks ("Ring Around the Collar!") or offends (Frito Bandito, anyone?) ad victims can choose to exert market forces on the advertiser. With respect to spam, victims have already paid more than their share of the ad costs before making a decision whether or not to buy the spamvertised product. Market forces apply only weakly to spam, thus requiring government intervention. Criminalizing spam is a step in the right direction.

Spammers are all thieves. Don't forget, don't let your legislator(s) forget it. Down with the DMA!

Spam laws are useless (1, Insightful)

The Turbinator (544647) | more than 12 years ago | (#2780602)

I don't think a California law goes a very long way in stopping spam that comes from China.
Do you think China cares about California? Didn't think so.
I know the law has more to do with adhering to requirements than it does with stopping spam altogether. But still, if I were a Californian business man/spammer, and I didn't want to bother with these laws, I would simply move my operation outside the boundaries of said law.

In A Related Story (2, Interesting)

DeadBugs (546475) | more than 12 years ago | (#2780603)

Texas has passed a law to make it illegal for telemarketers to call people on a special do not call list. If the telemarketer violates this law they will be charged $1000 for each offense

Here is the story from Yahoo []

Re:In A Related Story (2, Interesting)

Amarok.Org (514102) | more than 12 years ago | (#2780670)

Of course, there's several lists (each of which costs you $2-3 to get onto), and the exclusions are enough to make it basically worthless.

From the site where you can sign up ( :


Yes. Telemarketers may contact customers:
* with whom they have an established business relationship;
* if the customer requests contact;
* to collect a debt;
* on behalf of a non-profit organization or charity, or
* if the telemarketer is a state licensee (for example - insurance or real estate agent, etc.) and:
* the call is not made by an automated device;
* the solicited transaction is not completed without a face-to-face presentation to complete a sales transaction and make payment;
* the consumer has not previously told the licensee that the consumer does not wished to be called.

Oh well. It was a nice thought.

- Dave

A song by jsm (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2780611)

A song by jsm

hi, my name is...what? my name is...who? my name is...Bruce Perens hi, my name is
huh? my name is...what? my name is...Bruce Perens
Excuse me
Can I have the attention of the class for one second
hi kids, do you like Slashdot and the Beanies?(yeah yeah yeah)
wanna see me stick ASCII birds on the end of my penis? (uh huh)
wanna copy me and do exactly like i did? (yeah yeah)
try 'sid=k22320inchfan and get fucked up worse than my site is?
MySQL's dead weight, it crashes more often than rail freight
but i cant figure out which one out of Taco and Hemos i wanna imitate (umm)
and RMS said (Bruce Perens you a freebaser)
uh uh (then what's wit' that fucken beard, man you never heard of a razor)
well since age two i felt like i'm someone new
'cuz i hung my original GNU from the top of the Slashdot Cruiser
got told off and ripped the Slash code off
and made myself technocrat net so the world can hear me blow my load off
i'll smoke a fat pound of grass and talk out my ass
and delete any l33t troll who never got modded down fast
come here slut (Perens wait a minute that's my girl, dog)
i dont give a fuck, God sent me to piss the world off
hi, my name is...
what? my name is...who? my name is...Bruce Perens hi, my name is huh? my name is...
what? my name is...Bruce Perens
my stockbroker wanted me to make a quick killin'
thanx a lot, now I'm sittin on a pot of VA Linux stock that used to be worth a million
so i smacked him in his face with a hammer, slammed his balls in a scanner
and beat him so badly he's fucked up like Taco's grammer
walked in Slashdot, had my jacket fastened up
flamed my impersonator and stuck my dick in a plastic cup
extra-terrestrial, runnin' over pedestrians, in a green SUV
while they screamin (shit that's the Cruiser!)
ninety-nine percent of my life i was trolled to
i just found out Eric Raymond does more dope than i do (damn)
i told her i'd grow up to be a famous slashbot
become quite rich when the ipo dust has settled and spend it all on crack rocks.
you know you blew up when the geeks rush your stands
and try to touch your hands like some screamin anime fans
this guy at the Geek Compound asked me for my autograph (dude, can I get your autograph?)
so i signed it 'Dear Emmett, Thanks for the support, craphound.
'hi, my name is...
what? my name is...who? my name is...Bruce Perens
hi, my name is huh? my name is...
what, my name is...Bruce Perens
stop the backup tape, this kid needs to be locked away (get him)
Linus, don't just stand there, get the MPAA!
i'm not ready to leave, it's too scary to die
i'd rather be carried inside a Slashdot Cruiser and buried alive
am i comin or goin? i can barely decide
i just smoked a bunch of Drano crystal, dare me to drive? (go ahead)
all my life i was very boring
i ain't had a woman in years, my wrists ache from Karma whoring
clothes rip like the Sultan of Swat
i spit when i talk, my name ends in a dot (no it doesn't)
when i was little i used to masturbate quite an amount
(how you gonna keep on posting mom I bitchslapped your account!)
I lie awake and night and think "Is my asshole bigger than the guy in that goatsex link?"
and shoot myself in the ass till its pink (bang) till i'm sick
and by the way when you see Fascdot, tell him that i slit his PRick
hi, my name is...what? my name is...who? my name is...Bruce Perens hi, my name is
huh? my name is...what, my name is...Bruce Perens

Opt-in laws to be free of SPAM (3)

Marx_Mrvelous (532372) | more than 12 years ago | (#2780613)

Indiana has a new "list" you can add your telephone number to to avoid any telemarketers (Well, 95% of telemarketers. Some groups aren't bound by it).

Maybe it's the first step to adding your e-mail to a "no spam" list. If they're doing it with etlemarketers, why NOT with mass e-mailers?

Re:Opt-in laws to be free of SPAM (2)

Keeper (56691) | more than 12 years ago | (#2780635)

Missouri has a similar law.

I havn't had a junk phone call since the law went into effect. It's been great. I don't have to screen phone calls anymore.

Re:Opt-in laws to be free of SPAM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2780746)

Yes but there's a loophole in the law that allows insurance and something else to call you anyway and they're working to clear up that loophole. Personally I think there should be a list you can put your address on to opt out of spam, at least within the country.

Re:Opt-in laws to be free of SPAM (2)

coyote-san (38515) | more than 12 years ago | (#2780658)

A while back Sears (IIRC) obtained a list of names and addresses of people who don't want to get junk mail from the that preferences site... and promptly mailed them junk mail about a special offer of interest to people who value their privacy.

They quickly stopped that practice. They had to - they were an easy target for people upset at this perceived misused of the list.

But do you really think that anyone making criminal solications will give a damn about what people will say after they misuse a central list of valid email addresses? Even if the list is covered by a law that provides an automatic $500 judgement, good luck collecting it. You don't think they're going to start sending spam from *their* accounts, do you?

Re:Opt-in laws to be free of SPAM (2)

Marx_Mrvelous (532372) | more than 12 years ago | (#2780671)

They might not ne able to stop every single spammer, but if laws DON'T exist against anonymous spam, there is no way to ever stop them. It has to come from some physical location, and therefore is able to be tracked.

Just because it's hard to enforce doesn't mean that we shouldn't make the law.

Re:Opt-in laws to be free of SPAM (1)

cdrudge (68377) | more than 12 years ago | (#2780720)

And the firefighters union is fighting it saying it infringes on their right to beg for money.

Can I purchase that list at all? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2780809)

Hello, it's Joe from XYZCorp here. I'd like to give your state $1 million for that list. If your state doesn't comply, I'll ask a civil servant to make a photocopy for me.. or I'll just hack into your computer and get it. Mm'kay?

Even better -- to whom it applies: (2, Informative)

mengel (13619) | more than 12 years ago | (#2780620)

Note that it also says, right up front

No person or entity conducting business in this state shall facsimile (fax) or cause to be faxed, or electronically mail (e-mail) or cause to be e-mailed,

(emphasis mine). Not just companies registered in California, nor does the email have to originate or be transferred through, or delivered in Calfiornia -- if the company does any business at all in California, it applies.

I like it!

Re:Even better -- to whom it applies: (1)

cdrudge (68377) | more than 12 years ago | (#2780744)

I don't think that if I have a e-commerce site in Flordia that you access from California is considered conducting buisness in this state. Same thing I think would apply if I spammed you from Flordia while you were in California. I think that "conducting business in this state" means an actual physical presence somewhere in the state. Otherwise, it falls under interstate commerce, something that the states have limited powers. Besides, even if it included people anywhere trying to sell stuff across state lines into California, whouldn't they be a little bit out of their jursidiction for prosecution?

Great. But now what? (2, Informative)

Kenja (541830) | more than 12 years ago | (#2780626)

While this is great and all it wont really reduce the amount of spam I get. Laws like this are not really enforceable given that most spam is anonymous and un-traceable unless you want to spend a lot of time sorting through mail logs.

What's being done to STOP spam? I for one am tired of sorting through my mail looking for valid messages (spam to real mail ration of about 100 to 1). What's more as the years go on (same mail box for five years) my spam gets stranger and stranger [] I get more messages in Japanese, Korean, German, Russian and Taiwanese then I do in English.

Stephen King, author, dead at 55 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2780628)

I just heard some sad news on talk radio - Horror/Sci Fi writer Stephen King was found dead in his Maine home this morning. There weren't any more details. I'm sure everyone in the Slashdot community will miss him - even if you didn't enjoy his work, there's no denying his contributions to popular culture. Truly an American icon.

fresh in my mailbox... (5, Funny)

jeffy124 (453342) | more than 12 years ago | (#2780641)

email from with the following subject


Very similar to the WA state spam law (2)

Masem (1171) | more than 12 years ago | (#2780681)

This case is very similar to what happened with the WA law, with the WA court ruling that a law that deals with the fraudulent aspects of spam (that includings not including valid return email addresses, or a way to opt-out of future mailings without significant hassle). Because the WA law allows WA residents to take on out-of-state spammers, the spammers were trying to argue that the law violated 1st Amendment rights and the Federal Commerce Clause. However, the WA state attorneys followed previous rulings that allowed states to regulate intrastate business when fraud was involved, and the law was kept constitutional. It sounds like the CA case was decided along similar lines since the law specific states that proper identifying and opt-out mechanisms must exist.

And WA state spam law upheld by US Supreme Ct (1)

WillSeattle (239206) | more than 12 years ago | (#2780704)

It should be noted that CA state spam law is not just similar to WA state spam law, but that the WA state spam law was also upheld by the state supreme court and an appeal to the US Supreme Court was denied, as it is inherently constitutional.

Sometimes George just lucky, i guess ...


Spammers are people too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2780689)

As a spammer, I am concerned this new law will stop me from being able to do my job. Spammers are people too you know, no matter how much you don't want to admit it. We have a family to feed just like the rest of you.

Such as the door to door salesman, the telemarketer, and so on, we all need a paycheck.

Should we issue a law that states Microsoft's employees shouldn't be able to code software because the company is "evil"? Spammers are just like those employees in the way that they work for an evil, unrelenting company so to speak.

So, I ask you, please recondsider this.

Bad News for Dmitry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2780690)

He's in California, right? His employer makes spam tools, right? Oooops!

Freedom of speech, except for Spammers... (1, Insightful)

Evro (18923) | more than 12 years ago | (#2780698)

"All animals are created equal, but some animals are more equal than others."
Napoleon, "Animal Farm"

I realize that spam is annoying, and that spammers often use resources that don't belong to them, but I find it odd that the Slashdot crowd, which so frequently touts Freedom of speech as one of the major benefits of "open source" or GPLed software, should be so dead-set against a certain group's speech. The law, as far as I can tell, makes illegal "unsolicited email documents" when "the documents (a) are addressed to recipients who do not have existing business or personal relationships with the initiator and (b) were not sent at the request of or with the consent of the recipient. ( 17538.4, subd. (e).) "

This will probably lead to 1000 people explaining to me that spam wastes bandwidth and all that, but really, I would expect less hypocrisy from a group that frequently appears to defend freedom of speech so vehemently. This isn't to say I don't like spam, but if fucking C++ source code can be considered speech, why isn't "Do you want a longer penis?" Honestly, I would consider spam more of an expressive medium than code. Maybe the guy selling penis enlargment sauce really feels deeply about it and wants the world to know how truly great his product is. Anyhow, before everyone pats themselves on the back for this "win" over spammers, maybe you should take a step back and look at it from the much-heralded freedom-of-speech angle you usually take on Napster/Ogg/Kazaa/Microsoft/DeCSS issues.

Re:Freedom of speech, except for Spammers... (1)

friartux (89443) | more than 12 years ago | (#2780739)

I often say "show me the code."

Do you say "show me the spam?" Unless someone asks for it, why should they have to look at it?

Do you understand the similarity between a spamologist and a proctologist? :-)

Re:Freedom of speech, except for Spammers... (2, Insightful)

marcus (1916) | more than 12 years ago | (#2780748)

The principle is so simple that it is amazing that it is so often misunderstood.

Your freedom of speech does not obligate anyone else to listen.

Your freedom of speech does not obligate anyone else to finance the distribution of your speech.

You are free to write all the emails you want, just don't expect me to spend my time and money receiving/storing/reading/deleting them.

If the guy wants to sell penis pills so bad, then let him buy a web site, a web writer, e-commerce software and some banner ads to advertise it.

He certainly cannot expect me to give him storage space and bandwidth any more than you can expect the local radio station or newspaper to give you space or airtime.

Freedom of speech != Force to Listen (2)

13013dobbs (113910) | more than 12 years ago | (#2780762)

Spammers can still email people. People who want to get ads about penis enlargement, or hot teen sex, or credit repair can still recieve it. But people who do not want it should not be forced to recieve it. This is what people have been begging for spammers to do since day one. People asked spammers to stop and they didn't. People started munging their email addresses when posting in public forums and spammers de-munged them.People blocked email addresses of spammers and spammers just changed addresses. People started blocking domains of spammers; spammers just registered new domains. If spammers won't listen to the people, maybe they will listen to the law. And if they still don't listen, the people can do something about it.

Re:Freedom of speech, except for Spammers... (1)

Ill_Omen (215625) | more than 12 years ago | (#2780775)

Whoa, hold on. Just because you have a right to say "Make Money Fast" doesn't mean you have a right to spraypaint it on my house, does it? Nowhere in the law does it say you can't loudly proclaim the virtues of your penis enlargement product, you just can't keep telling me about it after I've told you to go away.

Re:Freedom of speech, except for Spammers... (2)

UberOogie (464002) | more than 12 years ago | (#2780791)

Clearly a troll, but what the hell. Go brag to your under-bridge buddies.

You're missing the other meaning of free speech.

You are not allowed to make other people pay to execute your right of speech, especially commercial speech. That's why commercial faxes are illegal. That's one reason why spamming can be illegal. Most spam is also fraudulent, from making illegal commercial claims to forging addresses.

But you already knew that.


zmokhtar (539671) | more than 12 years ago | (#2780808)

This is something people keep forgetting. Spam for the most part comes from corporations. Corporations do not have constitutional rights (e.g. corporations don't vote). A corporation is not a citizen. This law does not apply to an individual that spams people saying, "Protect our rights!!!", or "Oppose the Government!!". It applies to businesses saying "Buy our products!!!"

People need to remember that there is a difference between citizens and corporations.

Clueless Court missed the details (1)

friartux (89443) | more than 12 years ago | (#2780699)

Did any of you read the judgement?

Many reasonable allegations against the spammer were dismissed in a way that suggests that the Court does not understand the issues involved.

Perhaps someone should suggest that spam is to a computer what random placement of raw eggs is to a judge's chamber: an annoyance and potential mess to clean up.

Think of poor windoze users reading html spam with cookies or javascript popups enabled, for example. Or any of the email exploits that monopolyware has enabled. (Yeah, they should be using Linux or *BSD. Doesn't help with the annoyance of spam, just makes it less messy.)

Perhaps when more e-clueful judges take the bench, the details in this sort of decision can be handled more appropriately.

E-mail is not speech? (0, Troll)

anthony_dipierro (543308) | more than 12 years ago | (#2780700)

Let me get this straight. Links are speech. Code is speech. But e-mail is not speech?

Spam prevention for the entire domain! (3, Interesting)

trenton (53581) | more than 12 years ago | (#2780707)

Check out 17538.4 (h) from the code [] :
(h) An employer who is the registered owner of more than one e-mail address may notify the [spammer] ... of the desire to cease e-mailing on behalf of all of the employees who may use employer-provided and employer-controlled e-mail addresses.
This is amazing! No more spam to my personal domain. No more spam at work. In fact, just start a free email system, run it as a non-profit, have everyone that signs up be a volunteer (volunteers are afforded the same considerations as employees), and you could have a spam-free deal for all!

What are the odds of getting someone big to do this, like Hotmail or AOL? Then we'll really see how against spam the big companies are.

Now for the next step . . . (2)

alecto (42429) | more than 12 years ago | (#2780713)

A replacement of or enhancement to SMTP to require secure, unforgeable authentication of an email's sender in order to make this enforceable. Otherwise it is for naught.

I dont know how this would mod, maybe i need help (3, Interesting)

t0qer (230538) | more than 12 years ago | (#2780722)

My friend has one of those fathers that left when he was a small kid and pops in once in while to give him a car, business, just sort of out of the blue.

Anyways we're going down to his house in bakersfield next week. Apparently his father has a T1 line going into a csu/dsu into a router on a pretty unsecured network into his house. All windows machines running IIS, can't remember the spam package he's using but here is the dilema I face, maybe my fellow /.ers can help me make the call on this.

Up until last year I was a happily working dot com guy. Every company needed sysadmins so for a guy like me that understood tcp/ip networking and o/s installation it was great. Jobs were everywhere. Then I got laid off a week after buying my house. Been surviving, still got the house, but you just don't derive as much pleasure from life living day to day on ramen and cigarettes your bought scraping the change that fell out of people pockets from your couch.

His father wants our help. He know's I can help him convert everything over to BSD, which in itself would secure him a bit, get a firewall in place and a billing system. Currently he is making $2,500 a week net and has customers lined up out the door to use his spamming services.

My moral dilema is, do I help the guy to make a quick buck (which also makes the wife happy) or do I stick to my guns and say spam is wrong?

It's a really hard choice to make when you're faced with the reality of well.. reality. Bills don't pay themselves. I sometimes wonder if the goverment is lying about how bad it really is out here because I got 5 sysadmin friends in the bay area out of work now. 5 sysadmins that I personally know and hang out with. Their job hunts have been the same as mine for the last year, HR ppl just bringing you in for an interview so its "make busy" work.

I dunno, today might just be a weird day, its an odd coincidence that slash would be posting a story on this a week before i'm supposed to go help it.

Re:I dont know how this would mod, maybe i need he (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2780800)

Fuck that. Go on and make that money, kid. that's the real reason we're all here on slashdot. People say it's for the love of tech. bullshit. if a linux administrator got paid the same as an HR administrator, then no one would really waste their time trying to learn cryptic perl strings and other assorted geek bullshit. Geeks are in it for the cash. We're no better than anyone else out there.

who cares if some whiny bitches think spam is annoying and "wastes bandwith" .. whateva gets that chedda.

Eliminate all spam (1)

anthony_dipierro (543308) | more than 12 years ago | (#2780724)

Now all we have to do is have another state pass a law which contradicts the CA law and we can eliminate all spam. Since the CA law requires first four characters of the subject to be ADV:, all we need is for another state (say VA) to require that the first five characters of the subject to be SPAM:.

Of course there's no way the federal courts are going to let this ruling stand.

But it's a pro-spam law (4, Insightful)

isdnip (49656) | more than 12 years ago | (#2780747)

Read it. The law says that spammers have to provide an "opt-out" address, and users have to send their real email addresses to them, the spammers.


So now the spammers will have a list of valid, guaranteed active email accounts. To sell, which is what opt-out addresses in spam are for. Not to opt out, but to verify that they're real.

And since this is a state law, the spammer can get away with this by being out of state. Not that spammers ever care about the law. The law merely encourages users to ACT LIKE IDIOTS and send real email addresses to spammers who will then use them as verified, premium spambait!

Don't be so quick to cheer..... (1)

volkris (694) | more than 12 years ago | (#2780765)

This ruling really worries me, actually.
I don't like regulation of the Internet in any form unless absolutely necessary, and while many will feel this is necessary I can picture this ruling being abused very very easily.

You people generally want to be able to do whatever you want on the net, yet at the same time you want to restrict what someone else can do. Tread carefully, or else you may find yourself being restricted next.

For instance, if this spam law involved reasoning about using resources without approval that could arguably be extended to something like pinging another point on the Internet just to measure your latency.

Just one example...

Read the ruling (1)

codepunk (167897) | more than 12 years ago | (#2780772)

Just put in ADV in the subject line and spam all you wish. I will never see any of it due to my client routing all ADV to my trash but hey sounds fair to me..

Double edged sword (2, Informative)

Ioldanach (88584) | more than 12 years ago | (#2780774)

Clearly, requiring spammers to behave with some sort of ethics is a noble goal. However, it appears that the judge has decided that this law does not violate the constitution for the wrong reasons. So, as much as it pains me, I must disagree with the judge. The law needs to be rewritten to be more restrictive. My logic follows below.

I read through the judges decision, and here are some interesting snippets which show the judge does not understand the nature of the internet, and the defendant clearly did not present sufficient argument in several areas.

First, respondents argue that the geographic limitations on the scope of section 17538.4 are ineffectual because of the very nature of the Internet. UCE is transmitted via the Internet which functions in cyberspace, a place respondents characterize as being "wholly insensitive to geographic distinctions." (Quoting American Libraries Association v. Pataki (S.D.N.Y. 1997) 969 F.Supp. 160, 170 (Pataki).) Thus, respondents maintain, an e-mail address simply does not logically correspond to a geographic residence.

The problem with this argument is that section 17538.4 does not regulate the Internet or Internet use per se. It regulates individuals and entities who (1) do business in California, (2) utilize equipment located in California and (3) send UCE to California residents. The equipment used by electronic-mail service providers does have a geographic location. And e-mail recipients are people or businesses who function in the real world and have a geographic residence.

That implies that (1) the geographic location of the electronic mail server can be determined by the sender of the mail, (2) that the servers which will be passed through (or at least are at the origin or destination) are known to the sender, and (3) that the residency of the recipient is known to the sender.

Respondents argue that, even if e-mail recipients do have geographic residences, it is simply not possible for senders of UCE to determine the residency of any particular e-mail recipient. Thus, respondents argue that the only way to avoid violating section 17538.4 is to comply with it in every instance. This argument has two fatal flaws. First, respondents ignore the second geographic limitation imposed by section 17538.4: it applies only when equipment located in the State is used. By limiting the scope of section 17538.4 to UCEs that are transmitted via equipment located in the State, our Legislature ensured that the statute would not reach conduct occurring "wholly" outside the State.

Second, the record does not support respondents' claim that it is impossible to determine the geographic residence of a UCE recipient. Both the Attorney General and Ferguson dispute this contention. They suggest that lists of e-mail addresses sorted by geographic residence exist already or can be created and utilized by senders of UCE.

Which implies, again, that the residency of the recipient is known or can be inferred. Both the Attorney General and Ferguson apparently don't know how the assembly of e-mail address lists occurs. When compiling a list of addresses who might be interested in a particular subject, address assesment almost never occurs.

If I were to decide to assemble a list of addresses that might be interested in my product, I could go to a newsgroup, download all the headers available, and compile the attached e-mail addresses into a list. However, that list of e-mail addresses has no other information embedded within it. Any of the e-mail addresses listed may be hosted with a server having a privacy policy which prevents disclosure of the end user's address. Therefore, I have no way of determining what the residency of those recipients is.

Respondents argue that another practical effect of section 17538.4 is that it conflicts with statutes regulating UCE that have been enacted by other states. Notwithstanding the fact that, to date, at least 18 states have enacted laws regulating UCE (Heckel, supra, 24 P.3d at pp. 411-412), respondents have identified only one actual conflict pertaining to one requirement imposed by section 17538.4. Section 17538.4, subdivision (g), requires that the subject line of the UCE include "ADV:ADLT" as its first eight characters if the message contains adult information. Respondents contend this requirement directly conflicts with a Pennsylvania statute which requires that the first nine characters of a subject line of a UCE containing explicit sexual materials be "ADV-ADULT" if the UCE is transmitted to a person "within the Commonwealth." (See 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. section 5903(A.1).)

Respondents' argument that section 17538.4 conflicts with Pennsylvania law fails at its base because they have not established that the geographic limitations imposed by section 17538.4 are ineffectual.

Here lies the most important part of the argument, conflicting state laws. The entire basis of the court's rejection of the unconstitutionality hinges on the assumption that the residency of a UCE recipient can be determined. If it is impossible to determine the residency of a UCE, the law becomes unconstitutional.

How many free e-mail services do not require an indication of a user's residency? How many of those servers that do require it verify identity? For an entire segment of the population, it is completely impossible to determine the residency of the users, thus, this law should be found unconstitutional.

Slashdot SPAMMMED ME! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2780781)

from :
to :
Subject : Snot and make money from home!

Would you like to make money from home just by taco snotting? Thosands of slashdot readers are taking advantage of this new wealth bringing in technique!

To learn more call 1-800-SNOTFROMHOME

To be removed click here []

Yes!!1 (1)

joebp (528430) | more than 12 years ago | (#2780792)

[jbirr jbirr]$ grep \\$ -c spam_law
[jbirr jbirr]$ ./move_to_california --with_lawyer_friends --with_open_relay --with_patience
Welcome to GNU Moving to California v1.02

Moving with lawyer friends...
Moving with open relay...
Moving with patience...
[jbirr jbirr]$ ./prosper
Prospering -- please wait...
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