Spam - Ruling hits junk e-mail firms

The Boston Globe, 22-Dec-98, p. C2

A federal judge handed America Online a new weapon to battle junk e-mail in a ruling that could help Internet service providers stop firms that send electronic advertisements for pornography and get-rich-quick schemes. US District Judge Gerald Bruce lee ruled that LCGM of Michigan, which uses e-mail to promote pornographic Internet sites, committed fraud by sending e-mail to AOL's 15 million members despite AOL's rules against it. The courts have said that so-called spammers are guilty of trespass when they use an Internet service provider's networks to distribute messages without permission. Lee ruled the same behavior also constitutes fraud under the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, said Randall Boe, AOL's associate general counsel. The phone at LCGM's Madison Heights, Mich., office was disconnected yesterday and representatives from the firm could not be reached for comment.

From T h e V O G O N N e w s S e r v i c e, Edition : 4207, Monday 28-Dec-1998