Microsoft Sticks it to Porn Spammers

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  • Microsoft Sticks it to Porn Spammers

Three cheers for Microsoft, who just announced that this week they have filed seven more anti-spam lawsuits, this time taking aim specifically at porn spammers.

The lawsuits, filed in the Washington State Superior Court in Kings County, were filed against seven “John Does”. A ‘John Doe’ lawsuit happens when the plaintiff doesn’t know the actual identity of the person or persons who has caused the harm, but has enough other information on which to predicate a lawsuit. Once the lawsuit has been filed, the plaintiff can use legal discovery tools to determine the actual identity of the defendant.

The defendants are being sued by Microsoft under several aspects of the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003, most notably what has become known as “the Plain Brown Wrapper” clause.

This section of CAN-SPAM requires that commercial email which is of an adult nature must not only adhere to the standard requirements of CAN-SPAM, such as not obfuscating the origin of the email, and providing working opt-out links, but must also provide clear notice that the content is potentially offensive by including in the subject line of the email a set of text which so indicates (Aunty is not going to quote it here, else none of you who read Aunty by email will get this column, as it will be intercepted by your spam filters). The law also requires that there be no adult graphic content in the email for the equivalent of the first screenful.

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Microsoft Sticks it to Porn Spammers

Each of the seven John Doe defendants violated the adult content provisions of CAN-SPAM, along with committing other CAN-SPAM violations.

 

Said Nancy Anderson, vice-president and deputy general counsel at Microsoft, “Sexually explicit materials and publications for sale in stores are required by [US] law to be covered from view with a brown paper wrapper, and it’s important that consumers are protected online in the same way.”

Aunty has always said that it will take a 3-pronged approach to rein in spam: we need successful legal action, good anti-spam technology, and effective user education.

Thanks for doing your part, Microsoft.

You can read more about this at ZDNet

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Microsoft Sticks it to Porn Spammers

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