Friday, August 26, 2005

Spamming Indictment

DOJ has decided to stop individuals who are spamming - especially ones that send out unwanted pornographic emails.  In a press release here DOJ tells of its recent indictment of three individuals for a violation of the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 and "[a] fourth defendant involved in the conspiracy outlined in the indictment has pleaded guilty to related charges, marking the first conviction related to the transmission of obscene spam e-mails."

Prosecuting cases related to computers and the internet pose unusual difficulties for law enforcement.  One of the major issues often faced by law enforcement is discerning who in fact committed the crime. This appears to be an issue in this case as well, as the DOJ press release states that:

"the spam e-mails were sent in a manner that would impair the ability of recipients, Internet service providers processing the e-mails on behalf of recipients, and law enforcement agencies to identify, locate, or respond to the senders. This deception was accomplished in a number of ways, including the following: sending the spam e-mails from Internet Protocol addresses registered in the Netherlands and domain names registered in Mauritius; falsifying the “From:” line in the e-mails; installing the computers sending the e-mails and related equipment in the Netherlands; and remotely controlling these computers from the United States."


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