Court Tells Spammer That It's Not Illegal For An ISP To Filter Its Emails

from the in-no-uncertain-terms dept

If the name e360 sounds familiar to you, it may be because it was the company that sued Spamhaus for including it in its spam filter list. e360 insists it’s not a spammer and anyone filtering its messages is somehow infringing on its rights. Of course, there seems to be ample evidence that e360 has been spamming, and the company has been sued directly as well. e360’s latest lawsuit was against Comcast for filtering its emails, but as Slashdot lets us know, a judge has tossed that suit out of court while also declaring in no uncertain terms that e360 is a spammer.

Plaintiff e360Insight, LLC is a marketer. It refers to itself as an Internet marketing company. Some, perhaps even a majority of people in this country, would call it a spammer.

The key in this case was that the judge relied on section 230 of the CDA — a section of the law that we often talk about for shielding service providers against the actions of its users. In this case, it’s a different part of section 230, which also shields ISPs from liability for “good faith” efforts to block objectionable content — and then the court says that it’s clear that Congress and the courts have determined that spam is objectionable content.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen cases like this. A few years back a series of courts all ruled against a spam company which claimed that it had followed the “rules” in CAN SPAM, so filtering its spam was illegal. It’s nice to see the courts recognize that’s simply not true.

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Companies: comcast, e360

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Comments on “Court Tells Spammer That It's Not Illegal For An ISP To Filter Its Emails”

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I'm Not a Bubba (user link) says:

Some and Perhaps

Um, no!

Last time I checked, “some” and “perhaps” the two operative words here were in no way certain!

Let’s put this to the test…

I would prefer “some” of the gold.
I would prefer “all” of the gold. ding-ding-ding!

I am certain I want “all” not “some” of hte gold.

Let’s try this again shall we? 🙂

“perhaps” I shall eat a pile of dog poop.

Um, I am dammed “certain” that I will not eat a pile of dog poop. ding-ding-ding!

Andy says:

English Class

Hey I’m Not a Bubba,

“Perhaps” you and e360 “shall” sit down together and eat “some,” if not “all” of that pile of dog poop.

SPAM is bad on many levels. Regardless of semantics, the court was absolutely right in its judgement.

Are you a lawyer? That was a lame lawyer comment if I ever saw one. “Your Honor, the car only *slightly* killed the pedestrian.”

Consider changing your handle to, “I Am Definitely a Bubba.”

Grady says:

Re: English Class

Hate to break it to you Andy, but “Bubba” and the AC weren’t referring to the case directly. They were referring to Mike’s use of “while also declaring in no uncertain terms that e360 is a spammer.” When in actuality, the ruling he quoted does leave wiggle room. Maybe you need to take an English class regarding literature and the flow thereof.

dualboot says:


So much spam still gets through, that it’s nice the courts are sticking up for spam filtering. I’m one of those who forwards emails regularly to the spam department at my isp and email providers because it makes me angry that if I don’t log in for a few days, when I do finally log back in, I have 100 emails, and only about 7-8 are from people or companies that I even know or care about. So e360… I’m glad you lost.

About the majority/all statement… a judge could not possibly make the statement that ‘all’ people view it as spam… It would be an extremely broad generalization since he can’t read the minds of all Americans to find out what we all think, and he’s obviously not going to survey us all just to make sure. I think the original author was pretty accurate when they said “in no uncertain terms.”

Kim Berry - Programmers Guild (user link) says:


My ISP blocks any OUTGOING email that I try to send that contains the word “LOTTERY.” It wasted about an hour with tech support to determine why the email was stuck in the outbox.

The outcome? “Too Bad, we’ve determined that emails that contain the word LOTTERY have a higher probability of being spam. My ISP is

Thoughtful Citizen says:


I wondering if this is such a good thing, im not knocking getting rid of spammers i hate them also but in the broader spectrum along the laws that got there case dismissed doesn’t it allow any ISP to filter any of your emails? that they deem of objectionable content even though it may not be to you? newsletters you may signed up for or your friend sending you an email? im just wondering, i may be wrong and ill appreciate it if someone will point out how i am.

Kim Berry - Programmers Guild (user link) says:

Where does this leave free speech rights of non-spammers?

I have one-year contract with my ISP, and since my email address is tied to my ISP for many uses, it is not convenient to switch. And and since ISPs don’t advertise the list of words they block, how can I make a choice?

I cannot send emails that contain the word LOTTERY. There is no claim that I am spamming – I’m involved in political issue on the H-1B LOTTERY – and I can’t even send email to media and Congress that contains that phrase.

REAL SPAMMERS would use LOTERY, L(zero)TTERY, or such anyway, so the only harm is to legit users.

victor louis says:

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Ferris Research estimates that spam will cost $140 billion worldwide in 2008, of which $42 billion will be in the United States alone. If you compare these numbers with Ferris’s 2007 estimates of $100 billion and $35 billion, you’ll see that the cost of spam has increased substantially over 12 months.

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Zirbes says:

Objectionable Content?

Am I the only one who thinks that this part of section 230 of the CDA which “shields ISPs from liability for ‘good faith’ efforts to block objectionable content” is extremely DANGEROUS?

I mean, who gets to decide what is and what is not “objectionable” and therefore blockable?

I believe that giving ISPs free rights of censorship is not in the best interest of the people and can lead to serious damage to our freedom of speech rights.

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