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Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Virginia May Finally Can Spam

Spam. Ew. Not only is it a rather unappetizing meat in a can, it's also the tech term for unsolicited bulk email. Some of us receive HUNDREDS of these emails a day. Bulk, yes. Unsolicited, yes. I assure you, I have never wondered how to enlarge my non-existent male-member nor do I have any interest in helping the Surgeon General of Zimbabwe transfer his money to the States. And like it's meaty namesake, this vegetarian has no interest in the loads of crap that clog my inbox every fucking day.

And neither does the State of Virginia, apparently.

Around April 2003, Virginia passed new anti-spam provisions under its Computer Crimes Act, fondly nicknamed as the Can-Spam Act. These provisions made it the toughest anti-spam law in the US. Spamming can now be tried as a felony in the state of Virginia. This applies to all mail routed through Virginia based servers, including Virginia-based AOL. In fact, 80% of internet traffic flows through Virginia servers at some point, claims USAToday. However, as great as this seems, there were many a doubter when the act first passes as to whether this law would be enforced.

All ye of little faith, now be the time of reckoning.

Virginia began the nation's first-ever spam felony trial on Monday. Three defendants stand to receive 15 years in jail and $10,000 in fines. This will be the test to see how useful is this severe spamming law. Without boring you with details, there's a link to the USA Today article below for that, I'll sum this up real quick-like. If Virginia manages to push through and successfully prosecute these offenders, there will be a hella lot more trial cases like this popping up. Then maybe spammers will think twice before pushing that send button. And maybe, just maybe, I'll receive less than 500 spam messages a day about discounted herbal Viagra.

USA Today article- http://yahoo.usatoday.com/money/industries/technology/2004-10-25-spam_x.htm?csp=1
Virginia's Spam Laws- http://www.spamlaws.com/state/va.html
The Official Spam Website- http://www.spam.com/

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