Feeds

US Supremes flatline Virginia's hardline anti-spam law

AOL junk mailer ignored

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

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. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.