Anti-Spammer Fined For DNS Lookup Of Spammer

from the ouch dept

Anti-spam activists often need to do quite a bit of hunting to track down the real identity of various spammers. Over the years, spammers have become increasingly adept at hiding from those trying to shine light on their activities. However, when one well-known anti-spammer used some standard whois and DNS lookup tools (the same kind many of us use every day) to find out the identity of a spammer, the spammer sued him... and won! The anti-spammer has to pay over $60,000 in fines, and possibly much more once lawyers' fees are added up. The judge ruled that some rather basic tools suddenly constituted "hacking" even though the details don't suggest any actual hacking. The anti-spammer simply used the tools available to get the information necessary. He didn't need to break through any security or do anything malicious to get the info. If you read the ruling, it sounds like a judge could define plenty of perfectly normal online activities as "hacking." Update: There's a good discussion in the comments, suggesting that there's a lot more going on here than is clear from the article itself. The judge's finding of facts suggest that the anti-spammer did some questionable things, including lying and ignoring an injunction -- which certainly hurt his case. However, others are suggesting that the judge's finding of facts are incorrect and there's much more to this story that will come out on appeal.

Filed Under: anti-spam, fines


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Jan 2008 @ 12:50pm

    Re: And Stupidity For All

    I don't expect judges to understand every subject they have to rule on. But wouldn't it serve justice for them to make a phone call to the local university, or somewhere, for some expert advise to consider before they decide?

    I think that's what expert witnesses are supposed to be for. I've also heard of better judges appointing special advisers to the court when they needed them.

    Or are they just too puffed up with their own importance to admit that they aren't competent in every field?

    You've hit the nail squarely on the head.

    Are these pompus jackasses even aware that the general population holds them in contempt?

    Such people seem to be drawn to become judges so people are obligated address them as "your honor" and to call them "honorable" whether they are or not. In fact, it can even be illegal to hold them in "contempt". It's a great fiction.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Special Affiliate Offer

Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.