Convicted Spammer Claims Anti-Spam Law Is Unconstitutional

from the well,-he-would-say-that,-wouldn't-he dept

A few years ago, the state of Virginia convicted a notorious spammer under its state anti-spam laws, and sentenced him to nine years in prison. The spammer, Jeremy Jaynes has been appealing the decision ever since, without much luck. Last year, an appeals court upheld the conviction and noted that a nine year sentence didn't seem excessive. However, it appears Jaynes is now trying a totally different route to fighting the conviction: claiming that Virginia's anti-spam law is unconstitutional. The idea is that it violates first amendment free speech rights by banning even spam that's non-commercial in nature. The state, however, is responding that the law doesn't ban any kind of speech at all -- but it does ban falsifying information in order to trespass on others' systems for the sake of advertising. There may actually be a fairly fine line that's worth distinguishing here between banning the specific kind of speech and whether or not the "speaker" is falsifying information in order to get across that speech. It seems unlikely that the courts will rule against the anti-spam law, but if it does it would be interesting to see if spammers in other states follow suit.

Filed Under: constitution, jeremy jaynes, punishment, spam, spam laws, virginia


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  1. identicon
    Fascinatin, 14 Sep 2007 @ 12:29pm

    Re:

    "the cost of delivering by USPS is borne 100 percent by the sender"

    Primarily so... and the cost of delivering spam is also born by the sender.

    My whole point (which you apparently missed) was that the cost of disposing of spam is what is so bitterly complained of and that the cost of disposing of snail mail spam is considerably greater than that of disposing of email spam.

    Saying "spam is theft" may sound nice and dramatic but that doesn't make it so - and the 'theft' of my time and materials to dispose of junk mail can be as easily called the same thing.

    Let's face it: most of the whining about spam is just that. Any decent email system provides quite adequate spam filters and if it is really bothering you, you can easily find all the additional protection from the evilll stuff online - and often for free!

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