Feeds

US Supremes flatline Virginia's hardline anti-spam law

AOL junk mailer ignored

High performance access to file storage

A tough anti-spam law passed by the state of Virginia has officially been declared dead following the refusal by the US Supreme Court to reinstate a felony conviction prosecuted under the statute.

The high court on Monday declined to review an appeal challenging a lower-court ruling that declared the anti-spam law unconstitutional because it barred all anonymous, unsolicited mass emails, including those with political, religious, or other protected content. The September decision by Virginia's Supreme Court, threw out the nine-year sentence of notorious spammer Jeremy Jaynes, who was convicted under the state statute.

The law made it a misdemeanor to use fake IP addresses or headers to send unsolicited bulk email. The offense became a felony if more than 10,000 addresses received the email in a 24-hour period. In 2004, Jaynes's case resulted in the nation's first criminal conviction for spam. Jaynes remains in federal prison serving a 42-month sentence in an unrelated case.

Specifically, North Carolina-based Jaynes was convicted of three counts of junk email offenses for spamming tens of thousands of AOL addresses he got from a stolen database. He was once rated as the eighth worst spammer in the world by the anti-spam collective Spamhaus. Because his spam assault flooded AOL servers, Jaynes was prosecuted in Virginia, where the internet provider is headquartered.

Virginia Attorney General Bill Mims said he was disappointed by the US Supreme Court's refusal to hear his appeal "since the chance of the statute actually being applied in an unconstitutional manner is exceptionally slim," The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported. He has vowed to rewrite the law to address constitutional concerns. Additional coverage from The Washington Post is here. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Big Content goes after Kim Dotcom
Six studios sling sueballs at dead download destination
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
Jack the RIPA: Blighty cops ignore law, retain innocents' comms data
Prime minister: Nothing to see here, go about your business
Singapore decides 'three strikes' laws are too intrusive
When even a prurient island nation thinks an idea is dodgy it has problems
Banks slap Olympus with £160 MEEELLION lawsuit
Scandal hit camera maker just can't shake off its past
France bans managers from contacting workers outside business hours
«Email? Mais non ... il est plus tard que six heures du soir!»
Reprieve for Weev: Court disowns AT&T hacker's conviction
Appeals court strikes down landmark sentence
US taxman blows Win XP deadline, must now spend millions on custom support
Gov't IT likened to 'a Model T with a lot of things on top of it'
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.