In the last year or so, we've seen plenty of stories about just how woefully out of date the UK's Computer Misuse Act is. It seemed like every time a computer case hit the courts, we were told that since it wasn't covered by the Act, it was perfectly legal. One of these cases involved a teenager who email bombed his employer. The original decision found that the Computer Misuse Act didn't make that illegal -- suggesting that sending out email bombs was perfectly legal, at least until the act was changed (which they're working on). However, a higher court has now overturned that decision, saying that such email bombs are illegal under the act. However, unfortunately, the Reuters report on this story confuses the issue tremendously -- claiming that the judges said spamming was against the Computer Misuse Act (in fact, we now expect to see many copycat stories claiming exactly that -- even though it's not what they said at all). The details have little to do with spamming (for which folks in the UK have a different, but equally useless, law). Instead, the judges make it clear that their decision isn't about "spamming," but about sending a barrage of emails clearly designed to knock out a computer.
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