Feeds

Spammers ordered to pay tiny ISP whopping $2.6m

$650,000 per employee courtesy of CAN-SPAM

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

A small internet service provider has been awarded nearly $2.6m in a lawsuit it filed against a company that sent just under 25,000 spam messages over an 18-month period.

Although it's questionable whether Asis Internet Services will ever see a penny of that windfall, the judgment is testament to the awesome power of CAN-SPAM, short for the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act, which was passed by Congress in 2003. It allows judgments of as much as $100 for every unsolicited email, and damages can be tripled for a variety of reasons.

The judgment was awarded by Magistrate Judge Elizabeth D. Laporte of the US District Court in Northern California. It comes in a case filed against the principals of a business called Find a Quote. A four-employee ISP in Garberville, California, Asis said it receives about 200,000 junk messages per day and spends about $3,000 per month to process them.

Laporte calculated that the ISP was entitled to damages of $865,340, but went on to triple the amount, to 2.596m, because, she said, the Find a Quote spammers, including defendant Edward Heckerson, had employed automatic scripts to send their messages.

"Plaintiffs have provided persuasive evidence that Heckerson engaged in conduct that warrants aggravated damages," Laporte wrote.

The judgment may be look like a king's ransom for the ISP, but it's by no means a record. Facebook was awarded $711m against Spamford Wallace last year, and in 2008, an Arizona ISP won a $236m judgment against a mom-and-pop spam shop.

The judgment is also less than the $3m Asis sought. But so far, no one from the ISP is complaining. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
'Regin': The 'New Stuxnet' spook-grade SOFTWARE WEAPON described
'A degree of technical competence rarely seen'
You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes
Free anti-virus software, expires, stops updating and p0wns the world
You stupid BRICK! PCs running Avast AV can't handle Windows fixes
Fix issued, fingers pointed, forums in flames
Regin: The super-spyware the security industry has been silent about
NSA fingered as likely source of complex malware family
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
HACKERS can DELETE SURVEILLANCE DVRS remotely – report
Hikvision devices wide open to hacking, claim securobods
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The hidden costs of self-signed SSL certificates
Exploring the true TCO for self-signed SSL certificates, including a side-by-side comparison of a self-signed architecture versus working with a third-party SSL vendor.