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Spamhaus nemesis e360 Insight sued over junk mail

Twist of fate

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

e360 Insight, the Illinois-based mass mailer suing Spamhaus for calling it a spammer, is being sued in California for spamming.

David Linhardt, individually, and his firm e360 Insight are among the defendants in a lawsuit brought by William Silverstein, an aggrieved spam recipient. Bargaindepot.net, a firm which shares offices with e360 Insight, is also named in the suit.

Silverstein, a self-employed engineer who runs a web hosting business, claims in the suit to have received at least 87 spam messages promoting the defendants' websites since May 2005. These messages violated Federal anti-spam laws and California state laws because they were allegedly sent through compromised machines and with forged headers, offences against the Federal CAN-SPAM Act. Silverstein is asking for the court to apply an injunction against the defendants along with the imposition of statutory and punitive damages.

The lawsuit, the merits of which are yet to be determined, represent a reversal of fortune for e360 Insight, which is a plaintiff in a lawsuit against anti-spam organisation Spamhaus.

e360 Insight sued Spamhaus after the anti-spam organisation blacklisted its domains over alleged spamming. In a default ruling made by an Illinois court in September 2006, 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. UK-based Spamhaus did not defend the case and the ruling was made in its absence.

Initially, Spamhaus ignored the ruling. e360 Insight responded by upping the ante and calling on the Illinois court to order domain registrars to suspend Spamhaus's domain, Spamhaus.org. e360 Insight's motion was denied in Illinois but it continues to fight on1 in its attempts to get hold of Spamhaus.org.

The introduction to Silverstein's lawsuit alludes to e360 Insight's sustained legal offensive against Spamhaus in explaining why he's suing the bulk mailing firm.

"e360 insight and David Lindhardt [are] in the business of sending illegal unsolicited commercial email, many of which are relayed networks without authorisation. Both e360 Insight and David Lindhardt have intentionally misrepresented to the Courts the nature of their business and have sued people who have exposed the true nature e360 Insight's business."

Bootnote

As the case progress, e360 Insight's invective against Spamhaus has become increasing strident. After earlier criticising Spamhaus's "improper, vigilante" tactics in terms of righteous indignation, Linhardt has entertainingly progressed to describing Spamhaus as "nothing more than a vigilante, cyber terrorist organisation with a dangerous God complex".

Spamhaus's rather more restrained view on e360 Insight can be found here. ®

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