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Virginia Anti-Spam Law; FTC Forum on Spam

michael posted more than 11 years ago | from the hopefully-we-can-stop-hearing-about-spam-for-a-while dept.

Spam 186

kiwimate writes "According to this press release, the state of Virginia has just passed a statute making 'the worst, most egregious and fraudulent kinds of spam' legally actionable. And yes, this includes header forging. The article reads like a big AOL PR piece in some places -- the VA governor led the signing at the AOL HQ in Dulles. The story also states this comes on the eve of the first-ever FTC forum on spam in Washington D.C." The FTC also made the insightful discovery that most spam is fraudulent in some fashion.

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early post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5838637)

Early Post in honor of the Maus Haus and LinuxDave

Re:early post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5838667)

you stole my thunder, you bastard!

die (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5838639)

fp

pretty early post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5838648)

PEP!!!!!!! heathens!!!

first (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5838651)

first

Going after header forgers? (4, Interesting)

Corvaith (538529) | more than 11 years ago | (#5838653)

This is the one that's always gotten me. It's obviously one of the worst possible things in spam. But how do you then track down who happens to be sending it and punish them for it?

Re:Going after header forgers? (2, Interesting)

AlphaSys (613947) | more than 11 years ago | (#5838671)

And better yet, do I have to live in Va. to benefit, or does my inconvenient mail just need to make a hop there?

Re:Going after header forgers? (2, Informative)

Fished (574624) | more than 11 years ago | (#5838930)

Most likely, either you or the sender would need to live in Virginia. Generally speaking, the rule is (and this is very approximate, as IANAL) that the person sued must have done *something* that they could reasonably have expected to have placed them under the laws of a given state. Marketing to someone in that state would qualify, connecting directly to a mailserver in that state would probably qualify, bouncing off a mailserver in that state would probably *not* qualify.

Re:Going after header forgers? (1)

Eric Savage (28245) | more than 11 years ago | (#5839399)

IANAL either, but I would imagine that spoofing the domain of a company (like AOL) registered in that state, or one with all of its mail servers (the recipient of bounces and thus victim of the aftermath) would likely qualify too.

Re:Going after header forgers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5838678)

Well, you could find your answer on google [google.com] , but then you would have had to wait a little longer before posting.

Re:Going after header forgers? (5, Insightful)

The Turd Report (527733) | more than 11 years ago | (#5838866)

Go after the site advertised in the spam. The spammer (or who paid the spammer) has to get replies about their ads somehow.

Re:Going after header forgers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5839376)

So we can kill off windows by sending lots of Microsoft.com spam ?

Re:Going after header forgers? (3, Funny)

k-0s (237787) | more than 11 years ago | (#5838897)

This is the one that's always gotten me. It's obviously one of the worst possible things in spam. But how do you then track down who happens to be sending it and punish them for it?


I don't know how you track them down personally but when you find out let me know and I can take care of the punishment part.

Re:Going after header forgers? (1)

Stonent1 (594886) | more than 11 years ago | (#5839437)

This is the one that's always gotten me. It's obviously one of the worst possible things in spam. But how do you then track down who happens to be sending it and punish them for it?

I don't know how you track them down personally but when you find out let me know and I can take care of the punishment part.


Spamcop [spamcop.net] can certainly help :)

At last, a fair use for slashdotting websites (2, Interesting)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 11 years ago | (#5838973)

You don't need to find who is behind the scene. Here are the steps to punish spammers without knowing them:

1. Write a small program that every user can run at home, on the seti model. Let's call it spammerSucker.
2. Identify an email as spam (this part is easy)
3. Find the website of the spammer (The email is generally full of http links)
4. Add the URL in the centralized DB of spammerSucker.
5. In minutes, millons of DSL/Cable users running spammerSucker are downloading every byte out of their server, initiating millions of sockets per second.
6. Their server is "slashdotted", and no one can access it.

Such a campaign would just result in destroying your website when you send a spam and so would make it a lot more dangerous for a company to send spam.

The danger is actually in step 2, because you don't want to blinbly suck any website...

Re:At last, a fair use for slashdotting websites (1)

gmack (197796) | more than 11 years ago | (#5839030)

The danger is in step 3 because it's hard to know what URL is the spammers' they often hide the url by by various means and include other sites in the email.

Re:At last, a fair use for slashdotting websites (5, Insightful)

amuro98 (461673) | more than 11 years ago | (#5839510)

There's also "joe jobs" where a spammer intentionally advertises a website of an enemy or competitor in an attempt to get the site yanked by the ISP.

I've also gotten "newsletter spam" where there are dozens of websites with different owners, none of whom are related to the spammer, nor given permission to have their website advertised in such a manner. I got one for a bunch of casinos - none of whom were thrilled at the attention. Since my complaint was CC'd to all of them, they had a handy mailing list to band together and take the spammer to court for defamation of character in a class action suit...

Yikes! (1)

clambake (37702) | more than 11 years ago | (#5839044)

This is definitly a good solution... but how do you protect it from abuse? I mean, if one skript kiddie wants to spam his enemy's server, what's to stop him from forging a fake spam that he sends to himself and then posts to the centralized DB as a "spammer"?

Re:At last, a fair use for slashdotting websites (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 11 years ago | (#5839081)

Ok, danger is in step 2 and 3:

2: How do you prevent company A from sending spam with http links to company B's website, just to shut them down.
3: How do you make sure the HTTP link is correct and represent the website of the spammer. Kind of the same issue actually...

Any ideas ?

I could very well implement something like that in the near future is I find answer to these issues...

Re:Going after header forgers? (1)

minas-beede (561803) | more than 11 years ago | (#5839468)

"But how do you then track down who happens to be sending it and punish them for it?"

Perhaps you don't. Perhaps you want for someone to run an open proxy honeypot and hope he catches the same spam and identifies the source ip.

Alternately, you could be the someone running the open proxy honeypot that someone else is waiting for. Maybe you are in Brazil running an open proxy honeypot and find out that a particular spammer is using Brazilian (and possibly other) open proxies to send out his spam. Looks like the trickiest part would be informing you of the actual source. If the open proxy opreator would tell Spamhaus what he learned they could report it - yoou'd look there to find the actual spammer information and start your action.

FUCK YOU MICHAEL (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5838657)

FUCK you IN the MORNING
fuck YOU in THE evening

YOU ARE AN UNCLE FUCKER
STOP POSTING YOUR STUPID NERDY HOMOEROTIC fascinations you bitch of a ass loving hobbit

Sadlly of shore spam would not be stopped (5, Insightful)

fozzy(pro) (267441) | more than 11 years ago | (#5838659)

This may be good for Spam originating in the US, for the residents of VA, however Spamers from other countries could still fill our inboxes.

Re:Sadlly of shore spam would not be stopped (1)

headchimp (524692) | more than 11 years ago | (#5838932)

And when was the last time you saw spam coming from a US server?

Most I've seen come from China!

Re:Sadlly of shore spam would not be stopped (1, Flamebait)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 11 years ago | (#5839080)

> And when was the last time you saw spam coming from a US server?

About the same time I started blanket-blocking 12.0.0.0/8 and 24.0.0.0/8 as well as all the other netblocks belonging to residential broadband users.

You're the CEO of rr.com? attbi.com? cogentco? telus.net? pacbell.net? swbell.net? ameritech.net? Until you start blocking port 25 by default - only enabling it when someone calls your support line and says "Yeah, I wanna run an MTA", I don't want to hear anything from any of 'em. Fuck the spammers and your idiot customers they ride in on, but at least your customers can claim ignorance as a defence. You can't, so fuck you for not controlling the damage your clueless fucktard customers do.

Even goddamn uu.net (!) blocked port 25 for its residential dialup luzers. Why the fuck are you you cable/DSL-providing assclowns so unwilling to control your customers? Aren't your businesses in enough trouble without being preemptively firewalled by every sysadmin from here to hell and back?

Re:Sadlly of shore spam would not be stopped (2, Insightful)

David_W (35680) | more than 11 years ago | (#5839239)

Why the fuck are you you cable/DSL-providing assclowns so unwilling to control your customers?

I find the idea that the providers are supposed to be in a controlling role offensive. I am the customer, I am paying for the service, I should be resonably free to do what I want with the connection. The attitude you present will lead us down the road of everything being blocked or filtered except for what our provider approves for us.

I agree that something needs to be done about spam, and that the providers should help, but please don't advocate them "controlling" us.

Re:Sadlly of shore spam would not be stopped (1)

amuro98 (461673) | more than 11 years ago | (#5839610)

Uh...

Most ISPs list spam as one of the things you are not allowed to do. Break the rules, lose your account. Don't like it? Go somewhere else.

Unfortunatly, too many providers don't actually ENFORCE their rules... I can think of over a dozen such ISPs in the US easily. Most of them are bell and cable companies. Some are government owned/operated, others are private.

Think of it this way. One of the neighbor kids breaks your windows. You call the parents to complain, but they just smile and nod. The next day, the same kid smashes your mailbox. Now then...would you invite said family over to your next BBQ? I certainly wouldn't.

Same thing here. If the ISP is unable/unwilling to curb their users' destructive behavior, that ISP (yes, the *WHOLE* ISP) isn't going to be allowed access to others' networks.

If anything, I think we should have laws that make the ISP liable for users' behavior. If a user spams, the ISP doesn't boot him after getting complaints and the same user spams again, then the ISP should be liable for the millions in damages as well as the spammer himself. A few such cases ought to convince these stupid ISPs that harboring spammers is neither a wise nor profitable business practice.

Re:Sadlly of shore spam would not be stopped (2)

angst_ridden_hipster (23104) | more than 11 years ago | (#5839445)

Hey, some of us run legit servers on our DSL lines.

That's why we pay for DSL.

Arbitrarily blocking the ports leads to bad things.

Wouldn't it be better to have ISPs scan for open relays, and port filter SMTP for IP addresses failing the test?

Sure, there will be wrinkles for the DHCP crowd (e.g., Cable Modems), but most of them forbid the running of servers in their User Agreements. Oh, it would be good if they enforced those consistently, too. Those old MediaOne agreements that ban "the running of servers" really need to be enforced against the standard Windows servers (NetBIOS/NetBUIE, IIS, etc) as well, not just Apache.

Sic Semper Tyrannis (3, Funny)

sulli (195030) | more than 11 years ago | (#5838664)

Will they drive a spear through the heart of the spammer? [state.va.us] I would move back to Virginia just to be part of that.

Re:Sic Semper Tyrannis (1)

chaserfromva (580541) | more than 11 years ago | (#5838925)

No, they'll make the spammer wear funny clothes and put them on the flag to shame them.

Muhahahahaha (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5838665)

Im number one

YOU FAIL IT F4GG0T!!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5838809)

Either it's all illegal or the law is wrong (3, Insightful)

ObviousGuy (578567) | more than 11 years ago | (#5838670)

So apparently we can use our 'common sense' to figure out what's 'the worst, most egregious and fraudulent kinds of spam'. I'm not sure I feel safe in a system where such a statute can be passed. The definition is too open for interpretation. Today it's porn spam with forged headers, tomorrow it's legitimate advertising getting outlawed.

If the state representatives don't have the balls to outlaw all spam outright, perhaps the residents of Virginia could grow some balls and vote these jokers out of office.

Re:Either it's all illegal or the law is wrong (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5838729)

There is no legitimate advertising through email.

Re:Either it's all illegal or the law is wrong (3, Interesting)

bgeiger (42769) | more than 11 years ago | (#5838792)

I don't mind legitimate advertising. Spam that clearly shows itself as such isn't a problem; I can just delete it without a second thought, like tossing out the fliers in my mailbox.

It's the bullshit that these scumbags pull that bothers me. Header forging is fraud. Making invalid claims is fraud. Sending spam and making it look like legitimate mail is fraud. Spammers should be prosecuted under existing anti-fraud laws.

(And by the way, at least the VA representatives have the balls to address the problem, unlike most states.)

Re:Either it's all illegal or the law is wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5838812)

Quite a few states are outlawing fraudulent spam outright or have state-wide opt-out lists.

This is just more of Virginia senators pretending to do something good for the people while actually being "good for business".

Re:Either it's all illegal or the law is wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5838889)

This is just more of Virginia senators pretending to do something good for the people while actually being "good for business".

Exactly. It sure takes a lot of balls to get motivated by some corporate interest, doesn't it?

Re:Either it's all illegal or the law is wrong (5, Informative)

ad0gg (594412) | more than 11 years ago | (#5838843)

From the article

To qualify for the felony provisions the sender must:

consciously (with intent) alter either e-mail header or other routing information (a technical characteristics common to most unsolicited bulk mail, but not present in normal e-mail messages); and

attempt to send either 10,000 messages within a 24/hr period or 100,000 in a 30-day period OR the sender must generate $1,000 in revenue from a specific transmission, or $50,000 from total transmissions.

Its a clear definition. Alter the headers and send over 10,000 emails in day and its illegal.

Re:Either it's all illegal or the law is wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5838864)

consciously alter either e-mail header or other routing information

This is VERY unclear and poorly defined. It's a mistake to assume that because English is your native language that legalities can be derived from such a poor understanding of your own language.

Re:Either it's all illegal or the law is wrong (1)

Condor7 (541565) | more than 11 years ago | (#5838871)



I can see it now: The companies that sell spam mailing software will offer upgrades that send 9,999 messages and then stop working for 24 hours.

Re:Either it's all illegal or the law is wrong (2, Informative)

gmack (197796) | more than 11 years ago | (#5839188)

9999 isn't enough to generate revenue for them. Alan Ralsky once told me he sends a million emails per day per product.

And even that only generated about $20 000 USD per month per porn site.

Re:Either it's all illegal or the law is wrong (1)

rfg (163595) | more than 11 years ago | (#5839543)

Its a clear definition. Alter the headers and send over 10,000 emails in day and its illegal.

So, the problems still remain. Send the spam from a throw-away email account. Not forged, just no one pays attention to it. And how in tarnation are you going to prove that the email you got had 10,000 siblings? Particularly if each batch of 9,999 came from a different address?

This law is next to useless.

Re:Either it's all illegal or the law is wrong (5, Insightful)

smashr (307484) | more than 11 years ago | (#5838849)

I am a voting resident of Virginia. I am quite happy with this law. You know, the people on /. spend so much of their time whining about how we must stop the spammers, and someone finnally comes along and passes a law that will help curb the worst types of spam, and suddenly it is a horrible trangretion.

You cannot have both sides of this argument. Any restriction the government places on things like this can be interpreted by some people as too broad. Either you take your government in small doses and shy away from government regulation, or you allow the government to regulate. You cannot be wishy-washy and take whichever side of the argument you feel like supporting that day.

Spam with forged headers is bad. I dont pretend to think that this will elimnate the mass amount of email i recieve, but I can only hope.

-Dan

Re:Either it's all illegal or the law is wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5839496)

Keep in mind that this is a big place. There are people with varying opinions. When a "Spam is Bad" story comes along, the folks who feel strongly against spam will post. When an "Anti-Spam Law" story comes along, the folks who feel strongly against overstict laws will post.

So it oftentimes looks like slashdot is against everything. It's not-- despite the nerd monoculture here, there IS actually some variety in people's opinions.

Re:Either it's all illegal or the law is wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5838896)

RTFA moron.

Re:Either it's all illegal or the law is wrong (2, Insightful)

MrLint (519792) | more than 11 years ago | (#5838950)

"legitimate advertising" wont be using forged headers. Try reading the article and look at the criteria for actually being a felony.

A legitimate business should stop bothering you if you tell them to.

A legitimate business with legitimate advertising should be oneou have done business with that you haved opted into.

Spam is none of these things.

Pud has a porn site! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5838677)

Bah, who cares about this.

Pud from fucked company has a porn site: http://www.pudtv.com [pudtv.com]

Look for that cute chick from the art department! Dotcom girlies! Yeah!

Suitable Remedy (2, Funny)

ferret70 (154171) | more than 11 years ago | (#5838681)

The convicted spammers should be forced to use AOL the rest of their lives! :)

Re:Suitable Remedy (1)

insecuritiez (606865) | more than 11 years ago | (#5838805)

In 1998 I got kicked off of AOL for sending 200 emails in 5 minutes. Sure, I was a stupid kid and I deserved it. That's the only positive thing I have to say about AOL. Generally they act first and ask questions later when it comes to their TOS.

for(!=FP; !="5, informative"; goatse++) (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5838682)

Why the fuck do i have to preview my comments? I am the 37337 gentoo troll! Looks like im trolling [jesusgeeks.net] elsewhere! [osnews.com]

FTC & FDA (0, Offtopic)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 11 years ago | (#5838687)

The FTC also made the insightful discovery that most spam is fraudulent in some fashion.

Yet, the FDA (also a bureau of the administrative branch of the U.S. goverment, for all you furriners who take exception to typical insensitive slashdot US-centric and clodish nature, just being clear), Food and Drug Administration, allows the marketing of 'Herbal Remedies', which effectively let all sorts of varmints claim to be marginally less illegal by offering these as body part enhancements, muscle mass builders, weight loss treatments, etc. This should make for more interesting fodder.

Re:FTC & FDA (1)

Blaine Hilton (626259) | more than 11 years ago | (#5838816)

The real question though is how much money did they spend figuring that one out?

Re:FTC & FDA (1)

sulli (195030) | more than 11 years ago | (#5838837)

They were forced to by Congress, which under pressure from the dietary supplement ("health food") industry banned the FDA from regulating such as drugs. It's a real scandal.

Re:FTC & FDA (2, Interesting)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 11 years ago | (#5839307)

They were forced to by Congress, which under pressure from the dietary supplement ("health food") industry banned the FDA from regulating such as drugs. It's a real scandal.

Unfortunately you're probably closer to the truth than they would have us believe. While the manufacturers, at least a chunk of them, could claim these do no harm (unless taken in absurd quantities, which nobody really knows how much as they aren't regulated or adequately tested), it's hard to disprove whether or not they do no good. So, it's like selling sugar pills, which can be very profitable, hence so much spam regarding all these great meds and supplements.

Spammers, of course, have used far from ethical tactics so they don't go to capitals very well armed to defend themselves, even if they could tote in some 'campaign contributions.'

Re:FTC & FDA (1)

andyring (100627) | more than 11 years ago | (#5839322)

Actually, you missed a word or two...


The real question though is how much of my money did they spend figuring that one out?

And in further news... (2, Interesting)

0WaitState (231806) | more than 11 years ago | (#5838690)

And in further news, a minimum of two-thirds of all types of intrusive advertising contain false claims--telephone cold-calls, loud tv commercials, the crap that hides the funnies in the sunday newspaper, the daily pound of paper cluttering your mailbox, you name it. The more intrusive the advertising, the more fraudulent the content.

Re:And in further news... (2, Interesting)

Bendy Chief (633679) | more than 11 years ago | (#5839312)

Tell me, do you see ads for "Doctor Approved!" penis enlargment in any of the media listed? Those media all advertise for identifiable, accountable corporate entities; scammers can't afford a huge publication of fliers in the Daily Rag, nor could they avoid a law-enforcement backlash after their scam is exposed.

It's due to the anonymous nature of electronic communication that these types are able to sell anything. Regulatory agencies would come down, BLAMMO, on a telemarketer phoning you and screaming pornographic lines at you. Spammers don't ask questions when taking jobs. Newspaper editors and TV commercial producers do.

Re:And in further news... (1)

0WaitState (231806) | more than 11 years ago | (#5839404)

It's due to the anonymous nature of electronic communication that these types are able to sell anything. Regulatory agencies would come down, BLAMMO, on a telemarketer phoning you and screaming pornographic lines at you. Spammers don't ask questions when taking jobs. Newspaper editors and TV commercial producers do.

You're talking about the tone of the advertising, not its fraudulent content. As for the fraud, regulatory agencies might get into the act after 5-10 years of abuse, by which time thousands of people will have been scammed. A few examples:

Predatory lending exploiting the elderly (telemarketing).

"zero interest" credit card offers with huge late fees and max interest rates if you're one day late (3-5 of these per day in my mailbox)

"Sale" prices for tires that are the regular price, and don't mention mandatory "service" charges per tire (the Sunday comics wrapper)

"Investment seminars" are advertised every week in the business section of the newspaper--the seminars are come-ons for such reputable schemes as multi-level-marketing, day-trading (past tense), REITs, etc.

Is their sample size really valid? (4, Funny)

psychosis (2579) | more than 11 years ago | (#5838718)

The FTC studied a random sample of 1,000 unsolicited e-mails taken from a pool of more than 11 million pieces of spam it has collected.

OK, so were they planning to sample more than 3 typical e-mail accounts worth of daily spam?

Re:Is their sample size really valid? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5838834)

Yes, this is a perfectly valid sample size...take a stats class sometime...there are severe diminishing returns of accuracy the more samples you take.

Re:Is their sample size really valid? (1)

fname (199759) | more than 11 years ago | (#5838944)

Their sample size is plenty big enough; they usually survey less than 1000 for opinion polls.

The question of whether they are valid is a different issue. If it's a random survey of all their messages, then that's what they are measuring, But that is probably not representative of all the spam. For example, maybe only a certain class of users (read: geeks) forwards the spam to the FTC. Or maybe people only forward the most egregious examples of spam. Or maybe the FTC sample is from one day's use, and they got lots of duplicates.

Fact is, 1000 is a large enough sample size, whether it's valid depends wholly on the validity of the sample pool

Re:Is their sample size really valid? (1)

psychosis (2579) | more than 11 years ago | (#5839189)

Ack! A meager attempt at a bad joke shot down by a statistician... What are the chances of that?!

Re:Is their sample size really valid? (1)

fname (199759) | more than 11 years ago | (#5839216)

Not as good as you think. I'm an engineer. :)

If this is Virginia... (-1, Offtopic)

Picass0 (147474) | more than 11 years ago | (#5838752)

....where are all of the virgins???

Re:If this is Virginia... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5838760)

where are all of the virgins???

Posting on Slashdot.

Re:If this is Virginia... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5838799)

Q : What is a West Virginia virgin?

A : It's a mountain girl who can run faster than her brothers.

Oh boy (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5838753)

I hope there can be a war on spam that is as effective as the war on drugs or the war on terrorism or the war on poverty.

Write to the Spam King (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5838762)

Alan M. Ralsky
6747 Minnow Pond Drive
West Bloomfield, MI 48322

If you think this will help youre right. (5, Insightful)

insecuritiez (606865) | more than 11 years ago | (#5838764)

This wont put even a tiny dent in spam. In Virginia or any where else. What it will do is set a precedent. This is one huge step in the right direction. Now you can write your local representative with "If Virginia can do it, why can't State X?" Lets take this spam victory and run with it.

Re:If you think this will help youre right. (1)

ad0gg (594412) | more than 11 years ago | (#5839041)

From the text of the bill:

The bill also adds a seizure and forfeiture provision allowing for forfeiture of all proceeds and equipment received from violations of the Computer Crimes Act. This bill is identical to SB 1139.

spamming software $99
list of emails $200
throw away dialup account $20
Having your house,car and other assests seized Priceless

Slashdot and Spam topics (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5838818)

Bloody Vikings!

I live in Virginia! (5, Interesting)

Tuzy2k (523973) | more than 11 years ago | (#5838827)

I hate to say it, but if AOL can throw their weight around to rid me of spam then I'll stop bitching every time I get an AOL cd in the mail :)

I wonder though- is there a place that we could report spam to the virginia prosecutors? Perhaps our state attorney general could setup a spam email and state residents could forward their spam there for the prosecutors to go after :)

how to stop AOL cds (2, Funny)

SHEENmaster (581283) | more than 11 years ago | (#5838985)

1. Beat the crap out of the disc and package. Stab it, crush it, bend it, shatter it, etc.
2. Either send the original package, or the package in a sandwich bag back by writing "Unsolicited, return to sender!" on it and placing it back in the mailbox.

I haven't recieved a CD in several months, down from once a week or so.

Re:I live in Virginia! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5839157)

Hey, AOL sends those CDs in nice storage tins or replacement DVD cases. It's nice of them, though I do miss the old free-floppy-disk-of-the-month-club. If they send it unsolicited, it's yours to keep. Thank you, AOL!

This isn't new (5, Informative)

RJ11 (17321) | more than 11 years ago | (#5838841)

Virginia has had an anti-spam law since 1997, which is part of the Virginia Computer Crimes Act (VA Code 18.2-152). It makes spam with forged headers illegal: http://www.spamlaws.com/state/va.html [spamlaws.com]

AOL, Verizon, and other large ISPs based in VA have been suing under this law for years (though they almost always go to federal court, pursuant to U.S.C. 85 1332). I have burninated a few spammers in small claims court under this law as well (I was actually in court today suing etracks.com). The law allows the recipient to seek civil relief for the lesser of $10/message or $25,000/day. For ISPs, it's the greater of the two.

Re:This isn't new (1)

amuro98 (461673) | more than 11 years ago | (#5838934)

Verizon is one of the SOURCES of spam. They don't act on complaints, and willing let scumbags and thieves operate on their network.

If the 1997 bill didn't stop them, I don't see what this new one will do, unless AOL decides to sue Verizon. Hah...I'd fly out to sit in the audience for that trial...

Re:This isn't new (2, Insightful)

nolife (233813) | more than 11 years ago | (#5839203)

Verizon is one of the SOURCES of spam.

Meaning Verizon itself or a customer using Verizon services for the initial internet connectivity? Very big difference. Claiming the provider responsible for the actions of specific users is a very sharp double edge sword that has far more reaching effects then spam.

They don't act on complaints, and willing let scumbags and thieves operate on their network.

Your perception of what they do behind the scenes may not be exactly what is going on. If that is the common practice of theirs, then it is a problem.

AOL HQ (2, Funny)

Red Warrior (637634) | more than 11 years ago | (#5838844)

they signed the anti-spam law at the AOL HQ?
Isn't that one of the seven signs, or something?
Or

Don't forget... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5838851)

The forum is the perfict time to charge the spammers for their crap.

If you have any antispam laws in your states make sure to use them.

Also try to prevent the media from mistaking them from anything but criminals and beliving the spammers lies that they run an honest bussiness. They are doing PR control, as well as the usual trying to redefine spam to the kind that they do not do.

The NY times was belived them in this [nytimes.com] "story" (also shows how bad they are, with them trying to spin things with quotes taken out of context [google.com] and spammers trying the "I am not a spammer, this hurts my business!" pitch).

Re:Don't forget... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5838915)

You're Stiffy Linfeed and I claim my $10!

Just for Ralsky (3, Interesting)

amber_lux (630446) | more than 11 years ago | (#5838861)

B: A person is guilty of a Class 6 felony if he commits a violation of subsection A and:
1. The volume of UBE transmitted exceeded 10,000 attempted recipients in any 24-hour period, 100,000 attempted recipients in any 30-day time period, or one million attempted recipients in any one-year time period;

I think Ralsky would get that many bounces in an hour, if he did not forge headers, and hijack mail servers.

Penalty is only $10.00 per email or $25K, whichever is less.

Not enough financial damage to spammers, but it is a start. If the statutory damages were higher, it might have a legitimate claim to being the toughest in the country.

Wind under Thy Wings

Amber

Re:Just for Ralsky (1)

bobbyt (260013) | more than 11 years ago | (#5839066)

Not enough? That's a lot of viagra emails to send to get to 25k

Re:Just for Ralsky (2, Informative)

amber_lux (630446) | more than 11 years ago | (#5839572)

That's a lot of viagra emails to send to get to 25k

2 500 emails at $10.00 is $25 000 dollars. AOL claims [computerworld.com] to block up to one billion spam messages per day.

Ralsky claims to be able to send 650 000 messages per hour [freep.com] on each of his 190 email servers.

If AOL sues Ralsky, the maximum they can get from him, per day, is $25 000. Meanwhile, he can throw 2 964 000 000 emails per day at AOL, if he so chooses.

Statutory damages should be $500.00 per email. ISPs could claim $500 multiplied by the number of undelivered emails in damages, with no maximum. That would change Ralsky's $25K per day habit with AOL, to a $250 000 000+ per day habit --- assuming that Ralsky is responsible for 10% of the spam at AOL.

Wind under Thy Wings

Amber

Spam an H-1B today! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5838967)

Indians are superior! You white homosexuals can't write code. I am Apu!

Re:Spam an H-1B today! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5838981)

Apu is Sri Lankan. Not Indian.

fraudulant?!?!?! (5, Funny)

edrugtrader (442064) | more than 11 years ago | (#5839010)

spam is in no way fraud. i make $50,000 a day posting to slashdot from home. you can too, email me back at ahk235hk2@yahoo.com. if that doesn't work, try my work email at 235hlj235hl2@hotmail.com.

Bye Bye Spammers.... (1)

Elpacoloco (69306) | more than 11 years ago | (#5839049)

Imagine what will happen when spamming is illegal in all but a few states....

I can see a federal anti-spam law on the rise, and for spammers it will not be pretty....

(-1 Redundant.)

Lick the cum off the Lord's knob (-1, Troll)

(TK2)Dessimat0r (669581) | more than 11 years ago | (#5839057)

-PENIS--PENIS--PENIS--PENIS-
P_______________________8..P
E__Bow down to the_____#~..E
N__Lord's penis_______8.',-N
I_____________________#',-.I
S__Jesus wants your__8',-..S
-__anus, and he_____#~',-..-
P__wants it NOW!____8_',-..P
E__________________##',-',-E
N__________________8',-',";N
I_________________##',-',";I
S_________________8',-',";.S
-________________##',-',";.-
P________________8',-',";,.P
E_______________#'',-',";,.E
N______________8(',-',";,..N
I_____________#(',-',";,.,.I
S__________#8#8_',-',";,.,.S
-_________#',-.8',-',";,.,.-
P________8~',-..#',-',";,..P
E_______#'',-',";8_',-',";.E
N_____8=',-',";.+#+',-',";.N
I____#=',-',";,._8',-',";,.I
S___#=',-',";,..(#',-',";.8S
-__8(',-',YOUR,.(8',-',";s#-
P_8(',-',MOTHER";#',-',-s8_P
E_#z',-',LOVES,";8',-..s#__E
N_8_.,#',"YOU',";~#,..88___N
I_#.##',-DEARLY,";~8,.8#___I
S_8##',-+~'',-',-~#'8______S
-_#.,..-',-',";.'=8#_______-
P_.8+_',-',";,.'88_________P
E___888',-',";~8___________E
N______8#888#88____________N
I__________________________I
S____.oO TrollKore Oo._____S
-_At the head of the game._-
P__________________________P
E___irc.freedomirc.net_____E
N_______#trollkore_________N
I__________________________I
S__________________________S
-PENIS--PENIS--PENIS--PENIS-

All you cock-loving fuckers out there, here is a special treat for you bastards, take a look at this knob. NOW SUCK IT, MOTHERFUCKERS!

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Whoring to Capitalists is The Problem (2, Insightful)

SubtleNuance (184325) | more than 11 years ago | (#5839074)

The article reads like a big AOL PR piece in some places -- the VA governor led the signing at the AOL HQ in Dulles.

Hm, thats what I want, my Legislators delivering law directly from the BoardRoom. The same people who send you "buy this penis pump" emails will, next month, be sitting next to this Virginian Politician at a $5000-a-plate fundraiser... and the viscious cycle begins again.

Most Spam is Fraudulent? (2, Funny)

X_Bones (93097) | more than 11 years ago | (#5839082)

Next thing you know, someone's gonna say the Pope wears a funny hat.

worthless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5839086)

Another drug war.

Spam is going to suddenly become alot more profitable to those who stay in the game.

FTC recruits rocket scientists (2, Insightful)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 11 years ago | (#5839095)

The FTC also made the insightful discovery that most spam is fraudulent in some fashion.

Duuuh. That's because nobody selling something legitimate wants the negative side effects of spam- mainly, the disgust it causes. Hell hath no fury like a consumer who's just been spammed for a product; they'll probably, even out of spite, go for your competition, if they just so happen to be in the market for your item. Remember those stupid little remote control cars? They learned the hard way that spam didn't work; retailers reported a backlash from the spam, people coming up to them and chewing out -the store employees- for the spam other resellers were sending.

bad law! (1)

JDizzy (85499) | more than 11 years ago | (#5839138)

This is a situation where the law is countering an effect of a bad protocal. SMTP is the badness here, not so much the people that abuse it (but *they* are bad). It should be the responsibility of the people on the internet to simply ignore the spam since they are willinging participating in email to start with. I realize that SPAM is bad, but it is only possible because SMTP sucks donkie's. Same as war driving, it is very possible to drive around and find a free AP to exploite just as it is easy to scan the net for open SMTP rellays to exploit. The laws should place the burden on the standards organizations that certify things like SMTP, and the conglamerations of multi-national coorporations that controll the internet backbone that don't lift a finger to halt the bad protocals. In other words, SMAP is a feature, not a bug. It's practicalyl built into the protocal. Altering headers is possible, and could even bee viewed as a legitimate form of self protection/security.

spammmmm?? (0)

lightningscorcho (638633) | more than 11 years ago | (#5839246)

I get sick of this spam shit! I see how it is legal that a company can send me something LEGALLY that I did not give them permission to. let me put that in another way, I own my mailbox- I bought it so that I can be contacted by whom I wanted to, by a company sending me mail that I did not give permission for, they are using MY PROPERTY without MY permision-- goes for the same for phones -instead of do-not-call lists, all though good hearted, there should be do-call lists -- the same thing should go for e-mail also, how can it be legal for a company to fill up my e-mail box that I paid for without my permission?? get the hell out of my mailbox, you bitches!

Permission and trespass (2, Interesting)

NewtonsLaw (409638) | more than 11 years ago | (#5839425)

An interesting debate arose from a story [aardvark.co.nz] I wrote earlier this week in which I published screenshots from a spammer's mailboxes.

One reader complained [aardvark.co.nz] that this was "hacking" and that it was an unjustifiable action.

In response to that complaint I asked my readers [aardvark.co.nz] (part-way down the page) whether there was any difference between a spammer trespassing on someone's mailbox with their crap and someone trespassing on the spammer's mailbox to expose their mis-deeds.

Gathering by the responses [aardvark.co.nz] it appears that the rule of "do unto others" can reasonably applied to spammers and their mailboxes.

I'm contacting the DA (1)

mikosullivan (320993) | more than 11 years ago | (#5839263)

Somebody has been sending out spam as if it were from Idocs.com [idocs.com] . I'm very angry about it. I save all the bounces. I'm going to get to work on figuring out who to contact in the VA government and see if I can get someone interested in pursuing this.

-Miko

Wow, shocks this Virginian (3, Interesting)

mao che minh (611166) | more than 11 years ago | (#5839274)

As a lifelong Virginian, I never saw this coming. This state's government is usually so in bed with the money hounds, nothing (and I mean nothing) gets done "legistlative-wise" until some big company lobbies for it.

I forgot that AOL has a huge datacenter up North from here. Hmm.....

Tasty! (2, Funny)

pcwhalen (230935) | more than 11 years ago | (#5839300)

Mmmm. Virginia Spam! The best kind. They cure it different there, Smithfield I think.

"And after a while, you can work on points for style.
Like the club tie, and the firm handshake,
A certain look in the eye and an easy smile." Rodger Waters

Virginia and the Law (4, Interesting)

The Ape With No Name (213531) | more than 11 years ago | (#5839359)

As a gennilman raised in Vehjenya, I can tell you this, they do not fuck around. Illegal gun: 5 years. Use a firearm in commission of a felony: 5 years on top of 20 years for whatever you did. Simple pot possession: 12 months. Radar detector: fat fine, car searched and mucho points on the license. It goes on and on. The old joke is that Virginia has a law against everything and two laws against most things, and never get busted in a state where the flag has a woman standing on a man's chest wielding a spear.


If any spammers are reading this, let me tell you about the Virginia correctional system. If you are lucky you will go to the big house. If they put you on the farm you are fucked. Most penal farms in Va grow their own food and cut their own fire wood, etc. You will come out tan and fit, my friend. I taught literacy in Wise County at the facility there. No slack for misdemeanors and light felonies. They also operate road gangs (no chains. Work is time off from your sentence with good behavior) with the Boss standing over you with a 12-gauge full of rocksalt if you decide to make like Cool Hand Luke. Also, the Virginia State Police are ruthlessly efficient and will get you. This was the best state to implement anti-spam legislation if we want spammers to hurt.


PS. It is "The Commonwealth of Virginia" not the "State of Virginia." I didn't get my hands whacked with a ruler by Mrs. Underwood to have y'all malign my beloved home with the lowly name of "state."

Text of the statute (1)

SlashdotMirrorer (669639) | more than 11 years ago | (#5839465)

Mirrored here [tinyurl.com] I'm not sure how they plan to track people down.

Bills (1)

dannyweb (321535) | more than 11 years ago | (#5839492)

Code Of Virginia: SB 1139 [state.va.us] HB 2290 [state.va.us]
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