Feeds

US giants move to can spammers

Litigious alliance

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

The US's biggest internet companies have launched yet another crackdown against spammers as part of their latest efforts to protect net users from junk email. AOL, Earthlink, Microsoft and Yahoo! filed lawsuits against dozens of people yesterday in federal courts under US "Can-Spam" anti-spam legislation as part of their on-going war against this scourge of the internet.

AOL filed lawsuits against 20 "John Does" accused of sending "SPIM" - spam instant messages - while another court action dealt with spammers peddling prescription drugs. Some of the actions were prompted following complaints from AOL's users in Canada and Europe.

"These lawsuits demonstrate that AOL's assault on spammers on behalf of our members continues unabated. AOL and our members continue to make spam-fighting a priority, and we continue to use the legal process on their behalf to help put a lid on the worst, most active spammers - no matter where they are, or how they send their unwanted junk," said Randall Boe, General Counsel of AOL.

He went on: "This means pursuing spammers who are either using new platforms, such as instant messaging or chat rooms, or those who are peddling junk to our members abroad, such as Europe or Canada, or pursuing spammers who are advertising dangerous drugs. Popping a pill prescribed by a spammer is akin to online 'Russian roulette' or online trick-or-treating - you never know what you're going to get, and it could end up being more than just a scary trick."

Yahoo! filed a lawsuit against "East Coast Exotics Entertainment Group, Inc." and "Epoth LLC" for sending sexually-explicit spam to its email users. Yahoo! general counsel Mike Callahan said that the internet giant was "holding spammers directly accountable for unlawfully disguising their identity and using this practice to deceive e-mail users".

EarthLink's lawsuits against numerous "John Does" targeted those flogging prescription drugs and low-rate mortgages. Microsoft's sweep also included spammers punting herbal growth supplements and get-rich-quick schemes which all breach the US's CAN-SPAM federal law.

This is the second time that AOL, Earthlink, Microsoft and Yahoo! - aka the Anti-Spam Alliance - have taken legal action against spammers. In March they filed six lawsuits against hundreds of defendants including people suspected of being among the US's most prolific spammers. ®

Related stories

Big US ISPs set legal attack dogs on big, bad spammers
Big six unite to can spam
US tops junk mail Dirty Dozen - again

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

More from The Register

next story
Infosec geniuses hack a Canon PRINTER and install DOOM
Internet of Stuff securo-cockups strike yet again
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
YouTube, Amazon and Yahoo! caught in malvertising mess
Cisco says 'Kyle and Stan' attack is spreading through compromised ad networks
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
Microsoft to patch ASP.NET mess even if you don't
We know what's good for you, because we made the mess says Redmond
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.