Spammer's free speech defence fails

Posted by   Virus Bulletin on   Mar 7, 2008

Appeal against conviction turned down.

US spammer Jeremy Jaynes, the first spammer convicted in a felony case, has had his last appeal against the conviction, brought on freedom of speech grounds, turned down by a Virginia supreme court.

After a 2003 spamming spree accounting for several million messages in a two-month period, Jaynes was convicted under Virginia state anti-spam laws, which specify a maximum of 10,000 emails in a day before the case reaches felony levels, and was sentenced to nine years imprisonment. The case preceded the introduction of federal CAN-SPAM regulations.

Jaynes' defence team claimed that the conviction contravened his rights to free and anonymous speech under the First Amendment to the US constitution, bringing the case before several lesser courts without success. The Virginia supreme court last week found that his use of fake email addresses and attempts to defraud his victims denied him these rights, voting 4-3 in favour of upholding the conviction and sending Jaynes to prison.

More details on the case are in the Washington Times here or at arstechnica here.

Posted on 07 March 2008 by Virus Bulletin



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