Supreme Court Won't Consider Virginia Anti-Spam Law

from the spammers-have-rights-too dept

The US Supreme Court has passed on the state of Virginia's appeal to keep its anti-spam law in place. The state's Supreme Court had ruled the law was unconstitutional, following the appeal of a spammer that had been convicted under it. He argued that the law overstepped the boundaries by outlawing non-commercial, as well as commercial spam, including things like political and religious speech that have generally been protected under the First Amendment. By not taking up the case, the high court appears to be extending that protection to cover spam as well. On balance, that's probably a good thing -- particularly as this "loophole" is unlikely to really make the spam problem any worse.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    BillDivX, Mar 30th, 2009 @ 5:37pm

    Taste of Irony...

    This has nothing to do with this story, other than spam, but it's funny and timely.

    As I was emptying my gmail spam folder just now, I noticed that gmail had served me an ad for a recipe site. The site was advertising their recipe "French fry spam casserole".

    The timing just could not be better. I did realize that google's ad engine was capable of being very relevant, but i did not realize that "relevant" included "ironic" or "sarcastic"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 30th, 2009 @ 5:54pm

    Once again, consult your lawyers before making inaccurate statements like "By not taking up the case, the high court appears to be extending that protection to cover spam as well." The failure of a higher court to grant cert is not even persuasive authority that the higher court condones the lower court's ruling.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Just Saying, Mar 30th, 2009 @ 6:12pm

    Your statement that "particularly as this "loophole" is unlikely to really make the spam problem any worse." does not make any sense in the context that a commercial spammer is the one getting off the hook here. He is one of the countries most prolific spammers and now free to do his thing again how can you say that?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Weird Harold, Mar 30th, 2009 @ 6:22pm

    ...and this from a TIC expert. I wonder what the qualifications are to be an expert.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    zcat, Mar 30th, 2009 @ 6:41pm

    Re: Taste of Irony...

    So what do you expect them to advertise? Bulk mailing software? Not likely! Whenever I go into my gmail spam folder the advertisements are _always_ related to Hormel's processed meat product.

    Todays special; "Spam Imperial Tortilla Sandwiches - To serve, cut each roll in half"

    ..Every single time.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Carlo, Mar 30th, 2009 @ 7:02pm

    Re:

    1. The spammer in question is in jail on other charges.

    2. Has any anti-spam legislation ever done anything to reduce spam volume?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Carlo, Mar 30th, 2009 @ 7:12pm

    Re: Re:

    Sorry, #2 doesn't really help, let me explain it some more.

    Some might argue that not covering typically protected speech in spam gives spammers a loophole to exploit by masking their messages in political, religious, or other protected speech. The point is that it doesn't matter what's banned or what loopholes exist -- anti-spam legislation is wholly ineffective at stopping the problem, for any number of reasons, as current spam levels indicate. Further, stopping/enabling one spammer has no real impact on the overall problem.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 30th, 2009 @ 11:00pm

    Re:

    Your comment fails to make any sense. What, in particular, are you trying to complain about, this time?

    I know I shouldn't feed the trolls, but you all know how it is.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Dave, Mar 31st, 2009 @ 6:21am

    Re:

    Reduced to ad hominem attacks? Really? You can do better than that.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Weird Harold, Mar 31st, 2009 @ 6:27am

    Re: Re: Re:

    One only has to look at the spam out there today and the spam from a very few years ago to know there is a huge difference in what you are seeing, courtesy of anti-spam laws.

    Pretty much all the spam I see these days is aimed either at selling illegal medication (offshore sourced junk), stock picks, home loans, or an attempt to infect my machine with one or more back doors, adding me to a botnet.

    The spam has all moved far offshore, often using infected botnet PCs as proxies to other hosts, and almost all at some level a scam. Their volume is huge, but it is 90% repeats on an attempt to trick you, and not a huge number of different spammers.

    For most western (specifically US) companies, spam is no longer an acceptable way to operate.

    So while the volume of spam is up, the actual content is way down, and few American companies are involved anymore.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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