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Michigan sues firms punting booze to minors

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A pair of firms accused of sending unsolicited emails about gambling and alcoholic drinks to children are being sued by the State of Michigan.

RR Media Inc of Cathedral City, California, and Data Stream Group Inc of Bonita Springs, Florida, allegedly violated criminal and civil anti-spam laws by spamvertising gambling websites and alcoholic beverages to kids, according to a statement by Michigan attorney general Mike Cox.

Messages promoting gambling and booze were allegedly sent by these firms to email addresses registered under Michigan's Child Protection Registry Act, which obliges firms to remove the addresses of registered kids from distribution lists "before sending messages advertising goods or services that children cannot legally buy", a provision (we'd note) that stills leaves the door open to bombard kids with many other varieties of junk mail.

Each firm faces fines of up to $10,000 if found guilty as well as other possible penalties not detailed by Michigan law enforcement officials.

Michigan and Utah are the only US states that have adopted a registry law. Michigan describes its prosecution as the first of its kind in the US. A court date is yet to be set in the case, the result of an investigation by the State of Michigan.

This probe began following complaints by parents of children whose details were included in the Protect MI Child registry but who subsequently still received adult-themed junk mail. ®

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