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Canadian court rules against spam

Judges it to be in breach of netiquette

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A Canadian court has ruled that sending junk email -- or spamming -- is in breach of the Net's unwritten code of conduct. The decision by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice is believed to be the first time that spamming has been judged to break the abiding principles of netiquette, according to reports on US newswires. The case arose after a serial spammer sued Toronto-based Nexx Online for breach of contract after the ISP terminated his account. Nexx Online argued that since the spammer was responsible for sending 200,000 junk emails a day it was he who was in breach of the ISP's terms and condition. In particular, Nexx Online pointed to the section about adhering to netiquette -- which includes an undertaking not to send spam. "Sending unsolicited bulk commercial email is in breach of the emerging principles of netiquette, unless it is specifically permitted in the governing contract," the judge said. The ruling is in sharp contrast to Europe's approach. Here, politicians voted in May to legitimise spam. ®

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