Thursday, January 19, 2006

First CAN-SPAM Conviction

The United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Michigan announced the first conviction under the CAN-SPAM Act [Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing] Act of 2003.  The criminal provision, 18 U.S.C. Sec. 1037, prohibits anyone from knowingly doing the following:

(1) accesses a protected computer without authorization, and intentionally initiates the transmission of multiple commercial electronic mail messages from or through such computer,

(2) uses a protected computer to relay or retransmit multiple commercial electronic mail messages, with the intent to deceive or mislead recipients, or any Internet access service, as to the origin of such messages,

(3) materially falsifies header information in multiple commercial electronic mail messages and intentionally initiates the transmission of such messages,

(4) registers, using information that materially falsifies the identity of the actual registrant, for five or more electronic mail accounts or online user accounts or two or more domain names, and intentionally initiates the transmission of multiple commercial electronic mail messages from any combination of such accounts or domain names, or

(5) falsely represents oneself to be the registrant or the legitimate successor in interest to the registrant of 5 or more Internet Protocol addresses, and intentionally initiates the transmission of multiple commercial electronic mail messages from such addresses . . . .

A press release issued by the USAO (here) states:

The information presented to the court at the time of the plea showed that between January 2004 and August 2004, Daniel Lin and others developed a business to market and sell certain products, including weight loss patches, so called "generic" viagra and cialis pills, and other products through the use of "spam" or bulk commercial electronic mail. Lin caused hundreds of thousands of email messages advertising these products to be sent containing falsified header information, or by routing the messages through other computers without authorization. In carrying out this scheme, Lin and others caused the introduction into the United States of prescription medications from India, in packages that did not declare their true contents, and sold these drugs in the United States without a prescription as required by the Food and Drug Administration.

A small step, but at least it's a start.  Now, if someone could figure out how to stop those e-mails soliciting my help in arranging the transfer of large amounts of money from overseas banks. (ph)

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