Feeds

Spamhaus fights US court 'pro-spammer' ruling

Change of tack

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

Spamhaus has switched legal tack and decide to appeal an $11.7m judgment against it by a US court obtained by a firm it labelled a spammer. The London-based anti-spam organisation had argued that the court has no jurisdiction over it, but the threat of domain seizure has forced it to take action.

In a default ruling made by a US court last month, Spamhaus was ordered to pay $11.7m in compensation to e360 Insight, pull the organisation's listing and post a notice stating that it was wrong to say e360 Insight was involved in sending junk mail. Spamhaus did not defend the case and the ruling was made in its absence.

The voluntary organisation ignored the Illinois court on principle, amid concern that fielding a defence might open it up to a barrage of nuisance lawsuits by spammers aggrieved that its activities are frustrating their ability to deliver junk mail. It continues to maintain that it was right to describe e360 Insight as a spam operation. If you think we're wrong, then sue us in Britain, Spamhaus initially said.

e360 Insight responded by upping the ante and calling on the Illinios court to order domain registrars to suspend Spamhaus's domain, Spamhaus.org. If carried through, this would have resulted in a huge volume of spam hitting email servers. The draft order called on either internet governance body ICANN or Canadian registrar Tucows to suspend the spamhaus.org domain. ICANN washed its hands of the affair by saying it didn't have the authority to pull Spamhaus's domain. In any case the order has yet to be signed by the judge.

But, e360 Insight's aggressive legal moves have prompted Spamhaus to switch strategy. Spamhaus has now filed an appeal against the original default judgment against it. US law firm Jenner and Block is representing Spamhaus in the case.

In an updated statement on e360 Insight's lawsuit, Spamhaus said it intends to "contest the ruling in order to stamp out further attempts by spammers to abuse the US court system". e360 Insight's rather different take on the case can be found here.

The cases has sparked a lively debate on the net with some deriding the court's decision while other, such as law professor Matthew Prince, commenting that Spamhaus has been ill-advised in its handling of the case. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.