America Online, EarthLink, Microsoft And Yahoo! Sue Over Spam

by WebProNews | Staff Writer

“Today is a red-letter day for big-time spammers, and the letters they should remember from this day forward are ‘CAN-SPAM,’” said AOL Executive Vice President and General Counsel Randall Boe.

America Online, Earthlink, Microsoft and Yahoo! today jointly announced that their spam-prevention efforts have resulted in the filing of the first major industry lawsuits under 2003’s the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing (CAN-SPAM). These are the first major industry lawsuits being filed under the new law.

CAN-SPAM, which went into effect on January 1st of this year, criminalizes specific tactics while providing new law enforcement tools to aid in preventing unwanted email.

“Congress gave [e-mail and Internet service providers] the necessary tools to pursue spammers with stiff penalties, and we in the industry didn’t waste a moment – moving with speed and resolve to take advantage of the new law,” Boe said. “Consumers should take note that the new law not only empowered us to help can the spam, but also to can the spammers as well — and we’ll do that, one spam kingpin at a time if necessary.”

Many infamous large-scale spammers are being targeted in the six lawsuits, which are being filed against hundreds of defendants. The complaints were spread across the United States and charge the defendants with sending a combined total of hundreds of millions of bulk e-mail messages.

Allegations include law violations such as deceptive solicitations, sending spam through open proxies (a common method used to disguise the sender’s point of origin), spoofing of “from” email addresses, absence of physical addresses in the email content, and the absence of an electronic unsubscribe option.

See what e-Business professionals are saying about CAN-SPAM on WebProWorld, your forum for e-Business news and information.