Maryland Anti-Spam Law Ruled Unconstitutional

from the tricky-jurisdictions dept

While the UK spam law may be ineffectual a state anti-spam law in Maryland may be unconstitutional. That’s the ruling today from a judge in that state, who said the law violates the prohibition on regulating commerce outside the state’s borders. The decision actually is based on a specific set of circumstances, due to an oddly worded portion of the law. Because the law is for those who send or receive spam in the state, someone set up a business in Maryland to fight spammers — but actually resides elsewhere. So, even though he’s not in Maryland, he’s using Maryland laws against non-Maryland spammers, claiming that it applies under those laws since the company is based there. The judge is basically saying the law is unconstitutional because it doesn’t account for this possibility where none of the actual activity takes place within the state of Maryland — thus, regulating commerce outside the state. This may seem like nitpicking, but cases similar to this are going to go a long way in determining the ever-present question of how do jurisdictions apply when it comes to the online world.

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