Feeds

Spammers ordered to pay tiny ISP whopping $2.6m

$650,000 per employee courtesy of CAN-SPAM

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Rupert Murdoch says Google is worse than the NSA
Mr Burns vs. The Chocolate Factory, round three!
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Germany 'accidentally' snooped on John Kerry and Hillary Clinton
Dragnet surveillance picks up EVERYTHING, USA, m'kay?
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
Who needs hackers? 'Password1' opens a third of all biz doors
GPU-powered pen test yields more bad news about defences and passwords
Think crypto hides you from spooks on Facebook? THINK AGAIN
Traffic fingerprints reveal all, say boffins
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
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.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
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.