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Court Finds Spamming Not Protected By Constitution

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the squirming-pretty-hard dept.

The Courts 416

eldavojohn writes "In a split (4-3) decision, a Virginia court has upheld the verdict against the spam king making it clear that spam is not protected by the U.S. Constitution's first amendment or even its interstate commerce clause. 'Prosecutors presented evidence of 53,000 illegal e-mails Jaynes sent over three days in July 2003. But authorities believe he was responsible for spewing 10 million e-mails a day in an enterprise that grossed up to $750,000 per month. Jaynes was charged in Virginia because the e-mails went through an AOL server in Loudoun County, where America Online is based. '"

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Since when is an apellate court a jury? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22612244)

Since when is an appellate court a jury? I don't mean to troll, but seriously, talk about confused and sensationalist headlines.

Re:Since when is an apellate court a jury? (2, Informative)

Mavrick3020 (1174511) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612838)

There was no Jury. The appeal was taken to a Superior court, which usually consists of a panel of judges.

Re:Since when is an apellate court a jury? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22612898)

Mod parent up---s/he's absolutely right.

Serves him right (0, Flamebait)

colinrichardday (768814) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612248)

Serves him right

The comment is the subject (1)

Breakfast Pants (323698) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612652)

The comment is the subject

uncomfortable... (5, Funny)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612256)

Talk about uncomfortable...

Prosecutors presented evidence of 53,000 illegal e-mails Jaynes sent over three days in July 2003.
Email 1 - Do you want enlarge your penis? g39
Email 2 - Order Viagra - Fast, Easy and Confidential. Special suggestion for you!
Email 3 - Most popular ma|e organ enlargement

..... 15 Hours later .....

Email 52,999 - C|al_is 20mg x 10 p1lls = $89.95
Email 53,000!

*hears a sigh of relief from the jury*

Re:uncomfortable... (1)

infonography (566403) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612590)

........

Email 52,999 - C|al_is 20mg x 10 p1lls = $89.95
Email 53,000!

*hears a sigh of relief from the jury*
Clearly thats Jury Tampering (or Bribery).

Re:uncomfortable... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22612886)

Spam. Do you need it? She won't be satisfied until you have a r3al p3n1s! Spam is the ultimate free market decoder for all possible combinations of meanings from symbols. If you're annoyed, you by definition understand it, to be annoyed by it. Not only that, how *else* could it be anything BUTT ... "unconstitutional". Spam. Free Speech. Art. Suppression Technique. Take One. Sold!

please type the word in this image: "drafted"

Re:uncomfortable... (2, Funny)

LynnwoodRooster (966895) | more than 6 years ago | (#22613008)

Hey, how are you reading my inbox???

You should be able to send all the spam you like (3, Insightful)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612258)

...so long as there is one corresponding piece of regular mail, sent to "Resident" if nothing else, at a distinct address in another zip code, for every email.
That would let people express themselves with all sincerity, and help keep the postal system afloat.
An all-around Win!

Re:You should be able to send all the spam you lik (4, Insightful)

Duncan Blackthorne (1095849) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612412)

I've got mod points and almost used them, but I think it'll be more useful if I comment on your comment instead.

Do you realize that 'mail to resident' is where SPAM first got started, all those years ago? If it weren't for that then it's postulated less likely that email SPAM would have ever been conceived of in the first place. I don't know if you're in the United States or not, but what was the last time you really took a look at all the junk snail-mail you get every month? Try this experiment: save all your junk snail-mail for a whole year, and then weigh it, measure it's volume, and multiply that by every household in this country. Do you really think that the amount of money they're paying to get that unasked-for (lack of) content into your mailbox really does anybody any good? Or is it just a waste of natural resources, and furthermore making an already fat, slow, outdated U.S. Postal Service slower than it has to be?

Neither thing, or it's offshoots (telemarketing, junk FAX, etc) should exist, simply because they're all so highly abused, and it's basically impossible IMHO to regulate them.

Re:You should be able to send all the spam you lik (5, Insightful)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612456)

Do you really think that the amount of money they're paying to get that unasked-for (lack of) content into your mailbox really does anybody any good?


Yes. Sometimes there are things in the junk mail that are useful, such as ads from supermarkets. Also, people are paid money to create those ads, print them, address them and mail them. Not only that, the USPO is paid at bulk mail rates for carrying them. If it weren't for junk mail, first class mail would cost considerably more than it does. Junk mail subsidizes regular mail and helps keep costs down. The big problem with spam is that it doesn't cost the spammer anything to send, the costs are spread out among everybody receiving it and ISP fees would be lower if there weren't spam. It's not that it's junk that makes it so bad, it's the expense to the recipient.

Re:You should be able to send all the spam you lik (3, Insightful)

Duncan Blackthorne (1095849) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612514)

Ah, I see. I would agree with your original argument in spirit at least, but in practical terms it would never work because you'd more or less be asking spammers to self-regulate, and historically speaking it's already been proven at least a million times over that they're unwilling and incapable of doing so. That leads us right back to where we already are. Really it's a case of excesses, and this chap who is going to be doing jail time is as good a poster-boy for these sorts of excesses as any other spammer could be. Beyond that, if there was some sort of actual cost involved in mass-market direct emailing, then legitimate operators still wouldn't go for it because in their perception they'd be spending twice as much to accomplish the same thing, whereas the draw of spamming is that it costs little to nothing comparatively.

Re:You should be able to send all the spam you lik (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612716)

I'm not sure who you intended to reply to, but it certainly wasn't me! I made no suggestions of any sort in my post, just pointing out that junk snail-mail helps subsidize regular mail as compared to the economic drag of spam.

Re:You should be able to send all the spam you lik (2, Insightful)

MorePower (581188) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612632)

If it weren't for junk mail, first class mail would cost considerably more than it does. Junk mail subsidizes regular mail and helps keep costs down.

I hear this said a lot, could somebody please explain to me how larger, heavier mail which costs much much less could possibly subsidize smaller, lighter mail which costs much more?

Seems to me that is junk mail was eliminated, the Post Office could get rid of much of its trucks, drivers and infrastructure. Without junk mail, I'd say residential delivery could be scaled back to one delivery per week, meaning one truck could serve six different routes instead of six different drivers and trucks going out every Mon-Sat. All that overhead eliminated would raise first class rates how? And now the remaining trucks would be loaded with letter sized full-rate first class mail instead of giant heavy bundles of newsprint mailed out for a few pennies each. How is that not better revenue for the post office?

Re:You should be able to send all the spam you lik (3, Informative)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612740)

I don't know about you, but I, at least, would not find one First Class delivery a week acceptable! I get checks, appointment notices and medicines from the VA through the mail and would prefer to continue to receive them in a fairly prompt and timely manner, TYVM.


AIUI, junk mail helps keep First Class rates down because that's the way the bulk mail rate was designed. It's less than First Class, but more than it costs to process, leaving some extra to help defray other expenses. The way it works is, bulk mail must be pre-sorted by zip code in order to qualify. This cuts down on the amount of work considerably, so that even at a reduced rate, bulk mail costs the Postal Service less to deliver than they charge. Also, of course, much of it is sent locally, which lowers expenses even more.

Re:You should be able to send all the spam you lik (2, Insightful)

budgenator (254554) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612884)

the cost of overhead is averaged among all classes of mail, reducing one class increases the expenses of the remaining classes. This is like the problem we see in business went they start closing departments, they ask who much expenses are assigned to the department to be eliminated, not how much expenses will be saved, so the overhead gets reassigned and reduces the profits of the remaining departments, wash, rinse, repeat.

Re:You should be able to send all the spam you lik (5, Insightful)

pokerdad (1124121) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612828)

Yes. Sometimes there are things in the junk mail that are useful, such as ads from supermarkets.

Four years ago my wife and I moved into a house, having lived in an apartment before that, and discoverd that the amount of junk mail we were receiving was much much more. Within a short time I was getting so upset about it I was going to put a No Flyers sign out (Canada Post and many flyer delivery companys in Canada won't leave unadressed junk at your home if you simply put a sign saying "No Flyers") when my wife stopped me, explaining that while she disliked the quantity of crap we were receiving, there were certain flyers she had to have and as such a "No Flyers" sign was unacceptable.

I shudder to think of how many trees died so my wife could know what was on sale each week at Zellers and Walmart.

Re:You should be able to send all the spam you lik (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612940)

Yes. Sometimes there are things in the junk mail that are useful, such as ads from supermarkets.

Around here, those come in newspapers, usually Sunday's newspaper.

Re:You should be able to send all the spam you lik (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612612)

If the postal service didn't like junk mail they would raise the rate and get rid of it.

Re:You should be able to send all the spam you lik (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22612668)

I've got mod points and almost used them.. .
No one gives a fucking shit if you have mod points. Get a life.

Re:You should be able to send all the spam you lik (1, Funny)

Duncan Blackthorne (1095849) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612708)

..and again, I still have them and wish I could use them now, effing Flamebait! :P

Re:You should be able to send all the spam you lik (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22612836)

Do you really think that the amount of money they're paying to get that unasked-for (lack of) content into your mailbox really does anybody any good?
I can use it to heat my house in the winter...

Re:You should be able to send all the spam you lik (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612928)

Neither thing, or it's offshoots (telemarketing, junk FAX, etc) should exist, simply because they're all so highly abused, and it's basically impossible IMHO to regulate them.
Which is why I'm saying to admit that legal regulation is a largely a waste of time. What we're after here is a negative feedback signal into the system, and I'm contending that costs to the spammer are worth considering. Requiring a physical component could open up new ways to a) monitor the spammers, and b) hold them accountable, or c) make operations less profitable.

Re:You should be able to send all the spam you lik (5, Informative)

NetSettler (460623) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612932)

Do you realize that 'mail to resident' is where SPAM first got started, all those years ago? If it weren't for that then it's postulated less likely that email SPAM would have ever been conceived of in the first place.

I don't think you're selling people short. I think it's "obvious" that it was inevitable that it would be tried. I'll explain why...

I think where you're right is that there is a commonplace two-step meta-pattern where an idea is tried for an innocent reason and after succeeding someone tries to repurpose the idea for other purposes. So in your case, you're suggesting that if 'mail to resident' hadn't happened, variations and repurposing would not have been able to happen. Probably. But 'mail to resident' wasn't a one-time shot that if it didn't happen on a certain day wouldn't exist. It would have come another day. And even if not, other equivalently powerful and repurposable ideas would have.

For example, 'mail to many' is capable of being repurposed in the same way. Multiple-recipients could be said to be just as enabling. It wasn't in paper mail, after all--a piece of mail mostly went to one recipient (except those interoffice memo things where you could keep re-forwarding the same junk, checking off your name). So once the cost of sending to many was lowered to just naming who gets copies, that was also an enabling factor.

Many years ago (somewhere around 25 years ago, I think), when email was still young (not brand new, certainly, but still not heavily evolved) and when there were not many machines on the then-ARPANET, I obtained a piece of software written by someone at a certain texas university that was on the net. I wanted to reach the author, but had no idea how to find him. So I sent an email to smith, asmith, bsmith, etc. up to zsmith hoping to find someone at that site that knew the guy I wanted to reach. We didn't get tons of email back then, so this wouldn't have been obnoxious like it was now... There was no web back then, and no search engine. I don't even know if there was the 'postmaster' convention yet. (Maybe if there was I'd tried it and failed to get a response.) And hsmith replied, by the way, offering just the helpful info I'd hoped for. The rest of the mail bounced. I never used the technique again, but would not have hesitated to recommend it to another if they were desperate. My point in telling the story is just to say that ideas like this do present themselves when people are faced with barriers. It's the natural way things go.

So I doubt any claim that if 'mail to resident' hadn't happened, SPAM wouldn't have either. Because if someone could come up with the idea of blasting out a query for benign reasons, someone could conceive of pushing that to whatever limit made financial sense.

You could almost make the case that if 'mail for free' had not been invented, no one would have wanted to send tons of mail to people who might not care. That would have reduced volume. But there is a large and thriving junk mail industry even when stamps cost money, so even that isn't true.

I do think that "free email" is the real culprit. We all say we like it, but most of us pay more per year in time and money getting rid of spam than we would pay to deliver mail. In effect, we all subsidize spam in the guise of getting something for free... On net (pardon the pun), we don't get email free, and it would be lower cost if we charged for it.

The same is true for physmail junk mail, by the way: We subsidize it by the lower prices it gets. That's a business decision by the post office, but in the interest of the overwhelming resource usage and waste disposal concerns, I think it's ever more clear it should be at least the same price, if not much higher. But the problem isn't (any more) send to resident, since now they all swap mailing lists. The problem is, again, 'send to multiple'. And with global warming upon us, the stakes are even higher than with email spam.

First Post! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22612260)

First Post!

My first "You're advocating a ..." (5, Funny)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612262)

Your finding advocates a

( ) technical (X) legislative ( ) market-based ( ) vigilante

approach to fighting spam. Your idea will not work. Here is why it won't work.
(One or more of the following may apply to your particular idea, and it may
have other flaws which used to vary from state to state before a bad federal
law was passed.)

( ) Spammers can easily use it to harvest email addresses
( ) Mailing lists and other legitimate email uses would be affected
(X) No one will be able to find the guy or collect the money
( ) It is defenseless against brute force attacks
( ) It will stop spam for two weeks and then we'll be stuck with it
( ) Users of email will not put up with it
( ) Microsoft will not put up with it
( ) The police will not put up with it
( ) Requires too much cooperation from spammers
( ) Requires immediate total cooperation from everybody at once
( ) Many email users cannot afford to lose business or alienate potential
employers
( ) Spammers don't care about invalid addresses in their lists
( ) Anyone could anonymously destroy anyone else's career or business

Specifically, your plan fails to account for

( ) Laws expressly prohibiting it
(X) Lack of centrally controlling authority for email
( ) Open relays in foreign countries
( ) Ease of searching tiny alphanumeric address space of all email addresses
(X) Asshats
(X) Jurisdictional problems
( ) Unpopularity of weird new taxes
( ) Public reluctance to accept weird new forms of money
( ) Huge existing software investment in SMTP
( ) Susceptibility of protocols other than SMTP to attack
( ) Willingness of users to install OS patches received by email
( ) Armies of worm riddled broadband-connected Windows boxes
( ) Eternal arms race involved in all filtering approaches
(X) Extreme profitability of spam
( ) Joe jobs and/or identity theft
( ) Technically illiterate politicians
( ) Extreme stupidity on the part of people who do business with spammers
( ) Dishonesty on the part of spammers themselves
( ) Bandwidth costs that are unaffected by client filtering
( ) Outlook

and the following philosophical objections may also apply:

( ) Ideas similar to yours are easy to come up with, yet none have ever
been shown practical
( ) Any scheme based on opt-out is unacceptable
( ) SMTP headers should not be the subject of legislation
( ) Blacklists suck
( ) Whitelists suck
( ) We should be able to talk about Viagra without being censored
( ) Countermeasures should not involve wire fraud or credit card fraud
( ) Countermeasures should not involve sabotage of public networks
( ) Countermeasures must work if phased in gradually
( ) Sending email should be free
( ) Why should we have to trust you and your servers?
( ) Incompatiblity with open source or open source licenses
( ) Feel-good measures do nothing to solve the problem
( ) Temporary/one-time email addresses are cumbersome
( ) I don't want the government reading my email
( ) Killing them that way is not slow and painful enough

Furthermore, this is what I think about you:

( ) Sorry dude, but I don't think it would work.
( ) This is a stupid idea, and you're a stupid person for suggesting it.
( ) Nice try, assh0le! I'm going to find out where you live and burn your house down!

(My first of these; how did I do?)

Re:My first "You're advocating a ..." (4, Informative)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612340)

Great job! Except for the niggling fact that they did, in fact, catch him [wikipedia.org] .

Form "You're advocating..", side .b (4, Funny)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612472)

Your finding advocates a

( ) technical (X) legislative ( ) market-based ( ) vigilante

approach to fighting spam. It worked in this instance. Here is why it won't work again. (One or more of the following may apply to this particular criminal, and (s)he may have other flaws which are not listed.)

( ) The spammer was dumb
(X) (s)he lived inside the united states
(X) They made too much money
(X) They had been doing it too long
(X) They stole from a corporation
(X) Didn't leave the country quick enough

Specifically, your technique fails to account for

(X) few spammers get caught

and the following philosophical objections may also apply:

(X) taking out one spammer, 10 more pop up

Spam and the first... (1)

thegiantsnail (1242598) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612268)

I have to disagree with the decision... I think... It's not exactly "fire" in a crowded theatre, it's just internet noise pollution. It's the stuff you see on LA skyscrapers, really. They need to go after the junk sellers that pay the spammers.

Re:Spam and the first... (4, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612392)

Spam is not, and has never been a free-speech issue. It's a property rights issue. The spammers' right to speak does not include a right to use other people's equipment to do so.

This spammer has committed millions of counts of unauthorized use of property, along with fraud.

-jcr

Spam is a freedom of speech issue (4, Insightful)

2901 (676028) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612446)

My emails to my friends get caught in the aggressive spam filters that they are forced to use. Spamming is depriving me of my freedom of speech. Spam is shutting down email. That is a freedom of speech issue and jailing spammers protects freedom.

Re:Spam is a freedom of speech issue (5, Insightful)

EVil Lawyer (947367) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612710)

From your post, one might think you don't know what "freedom of speech protection" really means. The protection is from the government's interference with your ability to speak freely, not with anyone else's interference. If you and your friend communicate by shouting at each other through open windows in buildings close to each other, and someone erects a building in between your and your friends', which now makes it impossible for you to communicate in the way you'd prefer, this is not a violation of the protection of freedom of speech.

Re:Spam is a freedom of speech issue (1)

EVil Lawyer (947367) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612850)

Perhaps this wasn't even a great example, since the government erecting a building in this instance wouldn't be a violation of the protection of freedom of speech either, as long as the decision to erect the building was neutral with respect to the content of the speech between you and your friend.

Re:Spam is a freedom of speech issue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22612942)

IAAL and this is simplistic. the government gave a permit for that building. therefore, you do have some rights. for real world examples see the tall building in boston (prudential center?) which had to be constructed with mirrored glass since it was violating a churches right to daylight/natural light.
 

Re:Spam is a freedom of speech issue (1)

Paradoks (711398) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612792)

In the same way that the reaction to a Klu Klux Klan event tends to shut down roads, and thus stop people from easily getting from point A to point B?

I'm all for jailing spammers, but your logic is awfully indirect.

Re: Speech, as is a can of free SPAM (1)

theNAM666 (179776) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612834)


WRT "this thread needs editing": fine:

Emailed SPAM from my friends are caught in the aggressive CAN-SPAM filters that I am forced to deploy. Freedom of speech is depriving me of my SPAM. Email is shutting down SPAM. This is a freedom-AS-IN-BEER-AND-HAM issue and SPAMMING JAILERS protects freedom.

Hungry. Give me CAN of SPAM!!!

There. Edited.

WAS:

My emails to my friends get caught in the aggressive spam filters that they are forced to use. Spamming is depriving me of my freedom of speech. Spam is shutting down email. That is a freedom of speech issue and jailing spammers protects freedom.

Re:Spam and the first... (1)

MacDork (560499) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612790)

The spammers' right to speak does not include a right to use other people's equipment to do so.

Ahh, so you bill the senders of legitimate email that you receive? No? Then that's an extremely weak argument.

Re:Spam and the first... (2, Insightful)

Naturalis Philosopho (1160697) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612852)

No, his argument is not weak, and for a reason which you yourself pointed out. We don't charge-back legitimate e-mails because they're, well, legitimate. I paid for a computer, and pay monthly for my internet access, in part, so that my friends, family, and associates can send me e-mail. I gave them my e-mail willingly and told them to write. It's a cost I willingly incur. Unsolicited e-mail uses resources that the sender does not pay for, and has not been invited to use. Hence, they have no right to use it. Also, my correspondents don't create bot-nets to hide the origin of their e-mails, forcing the infected computer's owners to foot the bill for the computing resources and bandwidth to send their messages.

Strong enough for you?

Re:Spam and the first... (0, Troll)

MacDork (560499) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612952)

It's a cost I willingly incur. Unsolicited e-mail uses resources that the sender does not pay for, and has not been invited to use.

You knew of the existence of spam before you agreed to pay for the bandwidth you are using... strike one. Uploading uses just as much bandwidth as downloading, so the sender has spent at least as much as you have to send the message... strike two. The nature of SMTP invites anyone to use the resource... strike three. You're out.

Also, my correspondents don't create bot-nets to hide the origin of their e-mails

Botnets are already illegal and rightfully so. Outlawing botnets isn't a free speech issue.

Re:Spam and the first... (1)

Harmonious Botch (921977) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612794)

Nice post. Short, accurate, and to the point. Wish I could mod +6.

Others Pay for It... (5, Informative)

Phoenix-IT (801337) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612284)

When you're sending millions of messages a day to people who don't want them and other people (usually the ones footing the bandwidth bill) are paying for the connection, you are guilty of stealing at the very least... And in the case of mass spammers you're stealing a whole lot of bandwidth you're not paying for.

Re:Others Pay for It... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22612566)

So according to you if I e-mail someone to ask something about his website, and he happens to "not want that e-mail", I'm a bandwidth thief?

I know there's a desire to concisely explain why spam is wrong, but your attempt fails this simple sanity check.

Re:Others Pay for It... (1)

Phoenix-IT (801337) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612646)

The difference is between you asking an unwanted question and a spammer sending millions of emails is quite simple: You're not sending 10's of millions of solicitations that you profit from and asking others to pay your postage. Then going to court and trying to say that your act of stealing bandwidth and hijacking people's computers (if he used a bot net) is an act of free speech protected by The Constitution. You made an apples to oranges comparison. Try again...

Re:Others Pay for It... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22612798)

Your original post didn't mention "profiting from", or using a free-speech defense, or "hijacking people's computers" as reasons why spam is wrong. Are you trying to fix your original post? Thanks for agreeing that it was bad.

Re:Others Pay for It... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22612756)

So according to you if I e-mail someone to ask something about his website, and he happens to "not want that e-mail", I'm a bandwidth thief?

Yes, you are a thief. You, like the spammer, should pay something like $0.01 per unsolicited e-mail sent.

Re:Others Pay for It... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22612700)

it's not stealing, it's copyright infringement.

Re:Others Pay for It... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22612746)

Following this logic: If FedEx were to send out their drivers every morning with equipment to jack people's vehicles so they could go use them to deliver their packages would be copyright infringement? I don't think so... It's theft, period. Stealing the car and stealing and the gas in it to make a profit is no different than taking control of PC's the person is not authorized to use and then using it's connection to mail off spam that will ultimately generate a profit. This is not about misappropriated intellectual property... It's about stealing equipment and services that the spammer has neither the desire, nor the inclination to pay for to make a profit. Try again...

Re:Others Pay for It... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22612772)

You could say I'm playing the devil's advocate, but I don't mean it that way. Your argument is similar to the argument of the ISPs who say that Google becomes rich by using someone else's infrastructure without paying for it. The spammer pays for internet access just like Google pays for internet access. If Google can do as it pleases with its network connection, then why should the spammer not be allowed to use the access he paid for? The network bandwidth argument is really not applicable: The packets are no more troublesome than any other packets. The recipients pay their email hosts for the servers and maintenance because they want to participate in the email system, which is set up to accept mail from anybody about anything. Nobody steals, not even figuratively. Am I stealing from you when I ping your computer? How about when I try to connect to some TCP ports? Your computer expends processing time and network bandwidth to receive those requests and to accept or reject them, because it is part of the internet. You may think this is silly, but what is the difference between an ICMP packet and a spam email? What is the difference between a DDoS and a slashdotting? The answer is obvious: Intent. Not bandwidth, not server resources, only intent.

From a technical perspective, the issue is rooted in the "dumb network" architecture of the internet, which places all "intelligence" in the communication end points. That means the network has no way of not sending you unwanted packets, because the arbiter of that is the node which can not or does not want to accept the load. When the email arrives at the node which can reliably decide whether you want to hear from that stranger or not (i.e. "you"), it is a moot point because all costs associated with that transaction have already been incurred. There are very few options: 1) Make the network intelligent, 2) improve end-point filtering to make spamming uneconomical, 3) hand the problem over to the fuzzy legal system, where judges and juries decide about intent or 4) unite against autonomous systems which tolerate antisocial behavior (there used to be something called a "Usenet Death Penalty", or even more severe an "Internet Death Penalty", where ISPs refused to carry traffic for and from certain uncooperative networks.) If you look at these options and think each of them through, you'll realize that there is no single perfect solution and that simplistic "he steals ma bandwidth" cries don't achieve anything but giving fodder to the people who want to sterilize the net.

Re:Others Pay for It... (1)

sowth (748135) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612956)

Your argument is similar to the argument of the ISPs who say that Google becomes rich by using someone else's infrastructure without paying for it. The spammer pays for internet access just like Google pays for internet access.

There is no such connection between Google and spammers. Google is sending information requested by user's web browsers, spammers are not. Not only that, spammers often break into other's computers, forge headers and take advantage of open relays. In fact, if spammers didn't do such unsavory things, I doubt there would be such an outcry over them, as the people who don't want spam could easily filter it, and the spam sent would be much more closly targeted.

The reason ISPs complain about or want to charge Google is because not only do they want to claim they give their customers unlimited service but only wish to give out enough usage for email and light web brosing, they also want to charge everyone (including those on the other side of the pipe) huge unfair amounts of money, just like the cellphone racket.

Re:Others Pay for It... (0, Troll)

MacDork (560499) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612910)

When you're sending millions of messages a day to people who don't want them and other people (usually the ones footing the bandwidth bill) are paying for the connection, you are guilty of stealing at the very least...

When the subject is bittorrent, it's the ISPs' fault for not building out their infrastructure. Bittorrent accounts for roughly one third of internet traffic. [torrentfreak.com] ALL email accounts for less than 2%. In both cases, the one footing the bill for extra bandwidth is generally not the end user.

argh (5, Informative)

nomadic (141991) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612286)

Can we get a little editing please? You don't have to be a lawyer to know that a jury would never be able decide on the constitutionality of a statute, so you should know something is wrong with the headline right off the bat. The Virginia Supreme Court is not a jury.

Re:argh (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22612596)

Can we get a little editing please?
We already get "little" editing - very little, in fact. I'd prefer we get a whole lot of editing. From qualified editors.

Where does Slashdot dredge for their editors, anyway? Do they get hot tips from McDonald's managers who fire employees?

Re:argh (2, Insightful)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612644)

What surprises me is that people keep expecting something different. There has never been actual 'editing' on Slashdot. That's just how it is. I fail to see why people continue to complain.

They are not editors; they are posters. It's no different than someone aggregating news articles and posting them on all the other 'geek' sites. It was just one of the first to add discussion to the mix and thus became famous.

Do not expect editing here, ever. It will not happen.

Re:argh (2, Informative)

value_added (719364) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612858)

They are not editors; they are posters. It's no different than someone aggregating news articles and posting them on all the other 'geek' sites. It was just one of the first to add discussion to the mix and thus became famous ... Do not expect editing here, ever. It will not happen.

I don't think that's accurate. Story submission is not automatic, and editing does happen. From the FAQ [slashdot.org] :

Slashdot gets hundreds of submissions every day. Every day our authors go through these submissions, and try to select the most interesting, timely, and relevant ones to post to the homepage. There are probably as many reasons for stories to get rejected as there are stories, but here are some of the more common ones: ... Badly worded subjects, Broken or missing URLs, Confusing or hysterical sounding writeup, It might be an old story, It might just be a busy day and we've already posted enough stories, Someone already submitted your story, Your story just might not be interesting!

Any of the above can be, and typically is, defined as editing. Unfortunately, what is missing from the list of criteria is a Common-sense Review of the Content (an onerous, time-consuming task, impossible to perform with a high school education or a quick Google or Wiki search, no doubt).

As to why that omission exists, my guess is that it's deliberate.

Re:argh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22612856)

You don't have to be a lawyer to know that a jury would never be able decide on the constitutionality of a statute
Wrong. [wikipedia.org]

the verdict (5, Funny)

hoto0301 (811128) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612288)

the verdict should have been announced to him over 50,000 times

While part of me dislikes restraining speech (4, Insightful)

Chas (5144) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612292)

The pissed off SOB whose network bandwidth is consumed, the guy who sees a 400-1 spam to signal ratio, and the one who has to actively clean this shit for everyone I host, I'm HEARTILY glad that this fucker got himself leaned over the judicial bench and was probed, rectally, with the judges' gavels.

And the dissenting judge's comments about restraining speech for political and religious spam? If a Hari Krishna or a LDS evangelist, or a Politico I don't like comes to my door, I have the right to slam the door in their face and choose not to "receive the message". And if they drop their crap on my doorstep, I get fined for littering.

People buried under torrents of spam don't get this option.

Re:While part of me dislikes restraining speech (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22612624)

The pissed off SOB whose network bandwidth is consumed, the guy who sees a 400-1 spam to signal ratio, and the one who has to actively clean this shit for everyone I host, I'm HEARTILY glad that this fucker got himself leaned over the judicial bench and was probed, rectally, with the judges' gavels.
What is the matter with you? Who talks like this? The point that you were making is good, but I can't think of any reason why you needed to deliver it in such an offensive way. Grow up.

Re:While part of me dislikes restraining speech (3, Insightful)

domatic (1128127) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612656)

Try working as a mail admin for awhile. The guy WAS being restrained. I could use much worse language and still get nowhere near the grief and frustration spammers cause me.

Re:While part of me dislikes restraining speech (2, Insightful)

chromatic (9471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612914)

I could use much worse language and still get nowhere near the grief and frustration spammers cause me.

How does that make it okay to equate rape with justice?

Re:While part of me dislikes restraining speech (0, Flamebait)

budgenator (254554) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612946)

Holy Hell man, if you found that offensive you should swim in the kiddie pool, your too thin skinned to read /. and for the love of God, don't look at this site [goatse.ch] !

Free speech? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22612298)

As much as I HATE spam... to take away the right of free speech from an annoying speech... where does it stop?

Re:Free speech? (3, Insightful)

mashuren (886791) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612554)

It's not a free speech issue, it's a harassment issue. We all know that there are limits to speech when someone else's livlihood is at stake (shouting "fire" in a crowded theater, to use the classic example.) To say spammers have the right to spam is like saying the first amendment gives someone the right to follow you around with a megaphone shouting advertisements into your ear.

Re:Free speech? (1)

Harmonious Botch (921977) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612844)

Ummm...pardon me for quibbling, but, no, someone else's livlihood does not limit another's speech. It's a property rights issue, not an employment issue. It is easy to confuse the two because in most instances that make it to a courtroom, the property in question is being used by the owner to make a living. But it still applies even if the property is being used by a charity, or is residential, or whatever.

Eh, not really (3, Insightful)

StealthyRoid (1019620) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612328)

1.) The VA Supreme Court made the ruling, not any federal court, and certainly not a jury.
2.) Because it was a state court that made the ruling, what they say about whether or not SPAM is protected free speech is completely irrelevant. State courts have no jurisdiction over federal questions. They can no more declare SPAM not protected than they can declare that you really only have to be 32 to be President.
3.) This will obviously be appealed to the Supreme Court (that's the only outlet left after traversing the State courts), and, my guess is, it'll be shot down. The defendant's attorney is correct when it states that the VA law doesn't make exceptions for explicitly protected free speech, such as political speech, and the Supreme Court's strict scrutiny standard for this kind of thing won't let it through. VA may re-write the law to prevent commercial SPAM as different from SPAM that's simply expressing an opinion, but that'd be open to a variety of challenges as well.
4.) Nine years? What the fuck?! I mean, I hate SPAM as much as the next guy, and I spend a stupid amount of time keeping it out of the inboxes of my users, but nine years?!

3.) This will obviously be appealed to the Supreme (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612360)

...all of whose inboxes will receive a merciless pounding until they agree to hear the appeal.

Re:3.) This will obviously be appealed to the Supr (1)

unixluv (696623) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612476)

If you RTFA, this decision was handed down by the Va Supreme. Unless you can file a federal action, this case law is binding in Va.

Re:3.) This will obviously be appealed to the Supr (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612966)

If you RTFGP, you'd see that TFGP assumed the VA decision would be appealed to TFSC.
My (possibly awkward) attempt at a jape was based on the concept that the spammer would attack TFSC inboxes until they agreed to hear the appeal, which would be an obnoxious, counter-productive, and quintessentially American approach to the problem.

Re:Eh, not really (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22612498)

2.) Because it was a state court that made the ruling, what they say about whether or not SPAM is protected free speech is completely irrelevant. State courts have no jurisdiction over federal questions. They can no more declare SPAM not protected than they can declare that you really only have to be 32 to be President.


Yes, but since nobody knows the physical location of a user who uses email, any mass spamming will inevitably mean that Virginia residents will be sent spam, thus Virginia can prosecute the spammers. The only reasonable defense would be to claim that it was not a malicious sending of spam to Virginia residents because the spammer didn't know that any specific e-mail was being sent to a Virginia resident. It would be tough to convince a jury of that though when log files indicate that even though you have sent millions of spam, you didn't actually try to target any Virginians.

Re:Eh, not really (2, Informative)

belmolis (702863) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612538)

Many states have freedom of speech provisions in their constitutions, sometimes provisions that are stronger than the First Amendment. State courts certainly do rule on these. Furthermore, a state court can and will rule on whether a state law violates the federal constitution. The US Supreme Court of course has the last say, but that doesn't prevent a state court from addressing the issue.

Re:Eh, not really (1)

mr_matticus (928346) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612640)

State courts have no jurisdiction over federal questions.
False. Both state and federal courts have jurisdiction over federal questions, and the choice of venue is made by the plaintiff, depending on a variety of factors. State courts are courts of general jurisdiction. Their decisions are subject to appellate review, but they are free to interpret federal law and do so on a daily basis.

They can no more declare SPAM not protected than they can declare that you really only have to be 32 to be President.
Sure they can, and the age requirement to be president isn't a federal question. It's a black-letter Constitutional provision. It is no more a "federal question" than claiming that there is no Amend. XVII.

strict scrutiny standard for this kind of thing won't let it through.
Someone doesn't understand strict scrutiny. Regulation of commercial speech is exactly the kind of thing that has been permitted in the past, and demonstrating a compelling interest even without that lengthy history would not be difficult: free speech does not extend where you have not been invited. Spam does not respect those boundaries unless the spammer has entered into an agreement with the mailbox operator (e.g. working out a deal with Yahoo to transmit messages to its users), just as junk mail must be paid for on a bulk rate and must be delivered to "postal customers". They don't randomly generate mailing addresses, and the random generation of email addresses could easily be seen as an invasion of privacy. Spam from mailing lists you get on, just like junk mail addressed to you from the sale of your information, is different from the viral spam that just gets pumped into the Internet.

What's most worrisome (4, Interesting)

reboot246 (623534) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612356)

is how close it was. A 4-3 decision isn't very comforting. Who were the three?

Re:What's most worrisome (2, Informative)

mr_matticus (928346) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612416)

Lacy, Lemons, and Koontz. 10 seconds on Google would have gotten you the answer.

Re:What's most worrisome (4, Funny)

dissy (172727) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612548)

Lacy, Lemons, and Koontz. 10 seconds on Google would have gotten you the answer.
I think what we all wanted to see posted to slashdot is their email addresses ;}

Re:What's most worrisome (1)

fohat (168135) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612738)

Lacy, Lemons, and Koontz? That's either the name of a fictitious law firm or a description of my next girlfriend(s).

added the (s) to keep hope alive...

Re:What's most worrisome (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22612658)

Five bucks says Lacy, Lemons, and Koontz all bought ED meds off that guy.

The dissenters (2, Interesting)

Harmonious Botch (921977) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612918)

Before we get too uncomfortable with this, let us look at why they dissented. None of them said that spam was a good thing.

Judge Lacy wrote that the law was "...unconstitutionally overbroad on its face because it prohibits the anonymous transmission of all unsolicited bulk e-mail including those containing political, religious or other speech protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution."

She is trying to protect the free speech rights of non-spammers here.

He alienated himself with the males... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22612402)

by letting them know that he could help increase their P3N1S size

How can an e-mail be illegal? (2, Insightful)

kbolino (920292) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612432)

The write-up states: "Prosecutors presented evidence of 53,000 illegal e-mails"

The e-mails can be sent in violation of the law and the person who sent them is an offender, but the e-mails themselves cannot be "illegal." Their mere existence does not constitute a violation of the law. If somebody said there were "illegal letters," "illegal phone calls," or "illegal documents," then it would be tantamount to saying that the government restricted the existence of information.

We live in a world where the flow of information is controlled, and indeed there are rational arguments on both sides about whether or not such restrictions constitute censorship. But the existence of information and the possession of it are not crimes. If such things were criminal, no rational mind could argue that the related laws weren't tantamount to censorship.

They are not "illegal e-mails." They are illegally sent e-mails.

Re:How can an e-mail be illegal? (3, Insightful)

corsec67 (627446) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612488)

There are very much files that the existence of the file is illegal:
"Illegal pictures"

Specifically, pictures of people under 18 years of age in certain states of undress, or having sex.

What is worse is when the act itself is legal, but a picture of that act is illegal, like a 17 year old taking a picture of their genitals.

My big problem with having entire categories of illegal files is that it is easy to frame someone. Just copy some files off a memory card, or spam someone with images, and then they can be charged with several felonies.

Sexual assault is something else, and that should be illegal. But someone taking a picture of themselves and then because of that getting convicted of a felony? That is just insane [blogdenovo.org]

Re:How can an e-mail be illegal? (1)

smallfries (601545) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612494)

No.

An email is not simply some text. It is the actual message that is sent containing the text. If I write a letter to somebody and save it on my harddrive it is not an email. But if I attach an SMTP header and transmit it then it becomes an email. These messages only became emails when they were sent, and so their very existence is infact illegal.

If you are going to be anally pedantic on the use of language then have the fucking decency to apply some actual thought to your argument.

Re:How can an e-mail be illegal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22612534)

You are ridiculously over-parsing English. Natural language is not that exact. The e-mails are illegal in the sense that they are "Not according to, or authorized by, law...." [1913 Webster]

Illegal aliens, for example, aren't illegal because they exist, but because of their circumstances. So too these e-mails.

Too bad ... (1, Flamebait)

macdaddy357 (582412) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612480)

It is good that they have allowed the law to stand up. Too bad spammers can't get the death penalty. I would volunteer for the firing squad.

Any Chance... (2, Insightful)

KipEsquire (1249224) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612522)

...that we can limit posting here to people who know the difference between a "jury" and the Virginia Supreme Court?

No Jury (4, Informative)

frovingslosh (582462) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612558)

Leave it to slashdot to get the headline dead wrong. Actually, this was an appeals court decision, there was no jury involved in this ruling. A jury finding of guilty was several years ago, and the spammer has been out free on appeal enjoying his ill gotten gains ever since. The ruling on interstate commerce issues and first amendment issues was not made by a jury. Curiously, there seems to be no word on him actually reporting to serve his sentence, so he may still be free.

Excesses (1)

Duncan Blackthorne (1095849) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612572)

This guy, and anyone else who is prosecuted for spamming, is guilty of being excessive more than anything else (aside from actual criminal offenses). Most things advertised with SPAM are complete ripoffs and/or total junk: fake (or even harmful fake) drugs, illegally copied commercial software, fake diplomas, and more gray-market things like porn sites, pseudo-porn sites (pretends to be an 'adult dating site', har har har), etc. These people are incapable of self-regulating or even self-controlling their greed and therefore will do almost anything to amass more money, which is really what brings us to the root of the problem. Technology, legislation, and criminal action will only ever be partially successful at best. The real solution will have to come from society at large.

Re:Excesses (2, Funny)

Detritus (11846) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612678)

The real solution will have to come from society at large.
I'll bring the tar, you bring the feathers.

What does the nature of the speech matter? (4, Insightful)

argent (18001) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612578)

If you run a blaring loudspeaker van through a residential neighborhood at 4AM it doesn't matter whether the material you're playing is "constitutionally protected speech" or not. You're still subject to noise abatement laws.

The whole issue of freedom of speech is a red herring.

Nice strawman... (0)

IonOtter (629215) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612616)

...it prohibits the anonymous transmission of all unsolicited bulk e-mail including those containing political, religious or other speech protected by the First Amendment

Sorry sweety, but in all my years on the net, getting spam, I've NEVER seen an email asking me, "Dear Sir, would you like a bigger God?" or "Dear Sir, would you like a more honest politician?".

And at the end of the day, both politics and religion are just another form of porn, viagra or stock scam.

Protected speech? Not the issue. (2, Insightful)

Todd Knarr (15451) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612692)

I always thought that the question of whether spam was protected speech or not was simply beside the point. Think about it. Political expression is definitely protected speech, but does that give the candidates the right to put their campaign signs up on your front lawn without permission? No. It's your lawn, their right to speak doesn't include a right to use your lawn as their venue. They want a place to speak, they get to hire their own hall or use strictly public spaces.

And no, there's not a parallel with snail-mail. With physical mail, the sender pays. I pay absolutely nothing for my mailbox, nor to receive mail, the sender's the one who has to foot the bill for the postage. With e-mail, though, I'm the one footing the bill for the mailbox it arrives in, and the bandwidth to receive it, and the storage space to hold it until I read it. The sender, by contrast, spends nothing whatsoever on postage sending the message.

Re:Protected speech? Not the issue. (1)

cetialphav (246516) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612968)

And no, there's not a parallel with snail-mail. With physical mail, the sender pays.
Yeah, I hate hearing comparisons between spam and junk snail mail. The major reason that they are different is that junk snail mail is not a real problem. The people responsible for delivery (the post office) get paid for each mail, so they don't care. Mail fraud is taken seriously, so the vast majority of snail mails are for legitimate items (even if you aren't interested). And everyone has plenty of storage to deal with the 3-5 small items per day they are receiving. If an 18 wheeler was backing up to my door to drop off a palette of junk mail each day, it would be a totally different story. The burden of dealing with that would certainly change the view of junk mail.

The issue isn't really who pays, it is just the scale of the problem. If I got 3-5 spams a day, it would be a minor nuisance. When I get over 150 per day, I don't really care whether the sender is paying for things or not. I just want it to stop. The vast majority of what I get is simply fraud. If this stuff was investigated the way that mail fraud is investigated, I think this would greatly alleviate the problem.

Interstate Commerce Clause? (0)

MSTCrow5429 (642744) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612780)

How would anyone use the Interstate Commerce Clause as an argument that spam is protected speech? Was this a nonsensical defense brought up in the case, or does the uber-parent or original article have a non-existent grasp of Constitutional Law?

Re:Interstate Commerce Clause? (2, Informative)

cetialphav (246516) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612906)

How would anyone use the Interstate Commerce Clause as an argument that spam is protected speech?
No one is using that argument. The spammer is arguing that Virginia's anti-spam law violates both the Interstate Commerce clause and Free Speech. He is arguing that because his spam mails crossed state lines, then only the federal government would have jurisdiction because the federal government regulates interstate commerce. The spammer is also arguing that spam itself is legitimate speech that is protected by the first amendment. He is arguing that the law is invalid because it violates two parts of the constitution. If the judges were to agree on either point, he would be set free.

Nobody Likes Spam (1)

saibot-k7 (1242596) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612796)

But it should be LEGAL. I've lost two email accounts because of spam: in the sense that I chose to abandon those account due the the amount of spam I was getting. So, sure ... I hate spam. But you don't go making things illegal just because you don't like them. I should be able to send an email, to who I feel like sending an email to (right now), without worrying about legal issues. Everyone should be able have that. It doesn't matter if they don't like what you wrote, or they don't agree with what you wrote, or they don't care what you wrote, or they are offended by what you wrote. The person on the receiving end can very easily delete the email without even reading the subject line (or have that done automatically based on whether or not it came from someone they don't know). It's a load of peanuts to make this type of behavior a crime. Hey if you are a spammer, I don't agree with what you do, and I probably don't agree with what you have to say, but I will defend for you to be able to keep on doing what you do. One day, the tables might turn, and you might be doing something other people don't like, and it would be a shame if they put you in jail, because they simply didn't like what you were doing, as opposed to that it was actually wrong.

First amendment!!! (3, Interesting)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612890)

This is a bad day for the first amendment, damn that bush for taking all our rights away.

Maybe the guy should attempt to argue jurisdiction like the wikkileaks guy was, maybe then he could get around it.

Seriously now, I don't like Spam as much as anyone. Well, I guess I don't like it less because I simply don't get that much but that is another story. Anyways, I find it ironic how temperamental we are with who's causes we want to support. A site leaking banking account numbers and personally identifiable information is a champion while a guy who mass mails flyer's through a computer system instead of the postal system is scum. I'm not sure where the big difference is. I have heard people claim it is because people pay for their bandwidth yet I don't see a anyone setting up a sender has to get permission first policy for all email. I mean the dork who forwards every joke he can find multiple times to everyone who already is listed in the forward marks of the email because he somehow added them all to his address book isn't getting in trouble. I don't know how many times I got that stupid Microsoft is giving you a cup holder email, I have to forward it to an account I could check in windows just to see what it does- tell me that isn't junk.

I think we are seriously going in the wrong direction here. Not because I think anyone has a right to spam, but because spam is now not covered by the first amendment and you should ask how this will play out when there is a mailing list or something for a political action commity or group. Will the leaders of that be jailed and fined because their spam isn't covered by the first amendment? You know, if the treasurer of Ohio can call five times in 2 days with a recorded message saying that Ohio will make sure you get to the polls if you vote for obama just call some number, and Sears can call me 2 or 3 times saying they are having a sale on items I am interested in, I see no different then this guy sending spam out.

Judge Finds Spamming Not Protected By Constitution (4, Insightful)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612892)

> Jury Finds Spamming Not Protected By Constitution

No. The jury found him guilty. The judge disallowed his First Amendment defense. Constitutionality is not a jury question.

Next step (1)

rhenley (1194451) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612924)

Great, so now we've decided that what spammers do is, in fact, illegal. Next step: convincing everyone that execution is the only viable punishment. (Yes, I'm joking...maybe.)

$750,000 A month? (0)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#22612938)

Hell, where do i sign up?

Virginia Supreme Court decision link (2, Informative)

cetialphav (246516) | more than 6 years ago | (#22613006)

The full text of the Virginia Supreme Court's decision is available here [state.va.us] .
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