Technology and Business Law Blog

A Spammer Convicted for the First Time

Spamming is one of the ways to get access to personal information to commit crimes like Identity theft and fraud. Now for the first time the Supreme Court of Virginia convicted Jeremy Jaynes of Raleigh, North Carolina for the crime of illegal spamming and sentenced to nine years in prison.

The court held that illegal spamming was not protected under the First Amendment of free speech and said misleading commercial speech is not entitled to First Amendment protection. Even though Jaynes was a resident of North Carolina, he was tried and convicted in Virginia because the unsolicited junk emails were sent to millions of America Online customers through the company’s server located in Loudoun County in Virginia where AOL is based.

The judges also rejected the defense of Interstate Commerce clause of the Constitution and held that “the effects of this statute on interstate commerce are incidental and do not impose an undue burden.” I think this is a great precedent which will deter spammers since Jaynes was not let off just with some fine, a nine sentence should send a message that spamming is a serious offence and will not be tolerated.

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March 3, 2008 Posted by | Spam. Identity theft | Leave a comment