Spammer Demands And Receives Access To Accuser's Hard Drive
from the bad-news dept
There’s a fascinating, if somewhat confusingly titled, post on Slashdot discussing a lawsuit in Washington state against a spammer. Washington State, of course, put in place one of the earliest anti-spammer laws, allowing individuals to sue spammers for $500/spam if they can track down the spammer. A few people have done nicely forcing local spammers to pay up. In one such case, however, the spammer countered by getting a computer “expert” to demand from the judge that the spammer get an image copy of the accuser’s hard drive to look at the “evidence.” Even under normal conditions this would be ridiculous — but it was even more ridiculous here because the spam messages in question were sent to webmail accounts at Hotmail and Yahoo Mail, meaning that they never directly touched the recipient’s hard drive. It was clearly a tactic designed to frustrate the guy suing the spammer — and, unfortunately, it worked. The judge agreed with the “expert” that the hard drive image should be turned over to the spammer. The Slashdot article is confusing, because that’s the story it gives, but the title says that the person doesn’t have to hand over the hard drive. The explanation appears to be that the guy in question has “settled” the case with the spammer before he needed to hand over his hard drive, though terms of the deal aren’t clear at all. Either way, this is a bad decision and will encourage other similar tactics when spammers are brought to court in the future. Hopefully, other judges will recognize that this serves no good purpose other than intimidation and won’t allow it.