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E-MAIL, USENET, AND SPAM
Who's reading your email? And can you even find your email amidst all the spam?




Oklahoma Man Wins $10 Million Judgment Against a Spammer
"On Thursday the 22nd, Robert Braver, an Oklahoma ISP owner who is a long time activist against both spam and junk faxes, received a default judgment of over $10 million against high profile spammer Robert Soloway and his company Newport Internet Marketing. Soloway has frequently been cited as one of the ten largest spammers in the world."
Full story - CircleID
Submitted by Anonymous, Tue Sep 27 14:41:16 EDT 2005



Consumer protection agency sets up spam hotline
"Computer users are to send unsolicited e-mails that they find in their inboxes to a new hotline at the consumer protection agency. As the German consumer protection agency (vzbv) announced today, the forwarded e-mails will be reviewed to see if legal action can be taken against the senders and their clients."
Full story - Heise
Submitted by Anonymous, Thu Sep 22 12:12:00 EDT 2005



Cliff Stanford to appeal email snoop verdict
"Cliff Stanford, founder of Demon and Redbus, is planning to launch an appeal after receiving a suspended prison sentence for illegally intercepting emails... This is a landmark legal case as this is the first time anyone has been prosecuted for this offence under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (Ripa) 2000, according to the defence counsel."
Full story - silicon.com
Submitted by Anonymous, Fri Sep 16 16:32:44 EDT 2005



Spammers Add Use of Legitimate Katrina Relief Websites to Growing Arsenal of Tools, Warns SurfControl
"SurfControl's Global Threat Analysis & Research Center Sees Unauthorized Use of Legitimate Katrina Donation Sites as Ploy to Condition People to Click on Unsolicited E-mail"
Full story - Yahoo
Submitted by Anonymous, Thu Sep 15 09:19:49 EDT 2005



Yahoo Ordered to Share Reporter's E-Mail
"Yahoo had to comply with a demand by Chinese authorities to provide information about a personal e-mail of a journalist who was later convicted under state secrecy laws and sentenced to 10 years in prison, the company's co-founder Jerry Yang said Saturday."
Full story - news-tribune.net
Submitted by Anonymous, Sat Sep 10 09:12:48 EDT 2005



EU has spam and youth protection filters tested
"Spam filters are a dime a dozen - but how good are they? In October, the EU Commission's Safer Internet Action Plan will be devoting a half a million euros to this issue, as announced at the 3rd anti-spam summit of the ECO association and the Cologne Chamber of Commerce. Philippe Gerard of the EU Commission's Directorate-General for Information Society explained, "we would like to see how effective anti-spam tools are.""
Fulll story - Heise.de
Submitted by Anonymous, Fri Sep 9 05:30:47 EDT 2005



AOL Awards $85,000 To Spam Sweepstakes Winner
"America Online played Robin Hood on Thursday, delivering more than $85,000 in cash and gold bars, as well as the keys to a Hummer H2, to 53-year-old welder Marc Daniels."
Full story - Security Pipeline
Submitted by Anonymous, Thu Sep 8 17:31:18 EDT 2005



Yahoo says it obeyed Chinese law by turning in e-mail
"Yahoo Inc. was only following Chinese law when it provided evidence that helped land a local journalist a 10-year jail sentence, the company said Thursday."
Full story - ITWorld
Submitted by Anonymous, Thu Sep 8 11:32:22 EDT 2005



European SpamSpot to store list of spammers
"... According to the 3rd German anti-spam summit in Cologne, the Internet organization Eco and Microsoft have announced that the EU Commission will approve the "Self-regulatory Plan on Tackling Spam" or "SpamSpot" in the next few days."
Full story - Heise
Submitted by Anonymous, Thu Sep 8 08:32:04 EDT 2005



Clarke tells EU to share terror email data
"Charles Clarke, the Home Secretary, has attacked European laws for leaving Britain to combat terror "with both hands tied behind our backs". In a combative speech at the European Parliament, he called for improved co-operation on e-mails and phone data between member states."
Full story - news.telegraph
Submitted by Anonymous, Wed Sep 7 13:46:01 EDT 2005



Privacy International demands Yahoo boycott
"Privacy International (PI) has called on Internet users to boycott Yahoo over allegations that the Web giant provided information that helped Chinese officials convict a journalist accused of leaking state secrets."
Full story - ZDNet
Submitted by Anonymous, Wed Sep 7 13:44:34 EDT 2005



Rights group says Yahoo's cooperation helped China jail journalist
"A French media watchdog said Tuesday that information provided by Internet icon Yahoo Inc. helped Chinese authorities convict and jail a writer for leaking state secrets... Reporters Without Borders said court papers showed that Yahoo Holdings (Hong Kong) Ltd. gave Chinese investigators information that helped them trace a personal Yahoo e-mail allegedly containing state secrets to Tao's computer. Yahoo Holdings (Hong Kong) Ltd. is part of Yahoo's global network."
Full story - FortWayne.com
Submitted by Anonymous, Tue Sep 6 15:46:10 EDT 2005



Ireland convicts spammer, mulls prison sentences
"Ireland's Data Protection Commissioner, Billy Hawkes, has secured his first conviction for a breach of the country's anti-spam law. A similar law exists in the UK but the UK Commissioner, Richard Thomas, has taken no such action to date. Ireland is also considering stiffer penalties for spammers."
Full story - Out-Law.com
Submitted by Anonymous, Tue Sep 6 13:11:03 EDT 2005



Is unsubscribing from spam enough?
"If I ended up on those two mailing lists without subscribing in the first place, now that I can't remove their record of me from their systems, what will prevent me from being involuntarily subscribed again? Shouldn't I be able to remove myself from the company's database altogether?"
Full story - ZDNet
Submitted by Anonymous, Tue Sep 6 12:32:50 EDT 2005



Give us the power to can spam, says ICO
"The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has said it needs more power and resources to deal with spammers. Speaking at today's Westminster eForum on spams and scams in London, David Evans, senior guidance and promotion manager for the ICO, admitted the government was failing to stop spammers."
Full story - Silicon.com
Submitted by Anonymous, Tue Sep 6 09:14:32 EDT 2005



Big Brother is watching your e-mails
"Many organizations actively monitor Web use by employees to ensure it complies with corporate policy, according to Max Messmer, chairman of Accountemps, a temp agency for accounting and financial positions. "Many people are unaware that a permanent record exists of their Internet and e-mail use at work," Messmer said in a release"
Full story - The Morning Call
Submitted by Anonymous, Sun Sep 4 10:29:05 EDT 2005



Suckers For Spam
"Last week's bizarre tale of a Los Angeles record producer claiming he was being chased by Nigerian scam artists is a high-profile example of the pervasiveness of the activities still evident today. According to a report by the L.A. Times Sunday, Christian Irwin was found after a five-day search initially prompted by the producer's disappearance and a frantic phone call he made to friends."
Full story - Internet News
Submitted by Anonymous, Fri Sep 2 15:06:48 EDT 2005



Spam still growing, research shows
"Spam now accounts for 79 per cent of all emai, [sic] according to figures from email security firm BlackSpider Technologies. This represents a 10 per cent rise from the start of the year."
Full story - Computing
Submitted by Anonymous, Fri Sep 2 09:36:16 EDT 2005



Labels won't reduce spam, FTC concludes
"The Federal Trade Commission's conclusion that labeling unsolicited commercial e-mail won't reduce spam has struck a chord with e-mail marketers. "It's consistent with what people are thinking about e-mail these days," says Keith Wardell, CEO of Exmplar. "The spammers or bad players in the industry would not comply.""
Full story - Internet Retailer
Submitted by Anonymous, Thu Sep 1 17:25:43 EDT 2005



Five indicted over e-mail spyware program
"Federal authorities on Friday announced the indictments of the man behind a spyware program called "Loverspy" and of four others who bought it to illegally intercept and read the e-mails of people they suspected of cheating on them."
Full story - Sign On San Diego
Submitted by Anonymous, Fri Aug 26 19:06:53 EDT 2005



Candler student settles lawsuit, will pay Baylor $77,000
"An Emory theology student was ordered by a Texas judge on July 15 to pay $77,000 for allegedly using fake identities to send more than 1,000 pornographic and racist e-mails to Baylor University (Texas) employees."
Full story - Emory Wheel
Submitted by Anonymous, Fri Aug 26 17:12:41 EDT 2005



Three indicted in major spam case
"A federal grand jury on Thursday indicted three people accused of sending pornographic bulk e-mail in a major international spam case, the U.S. Department of Justice announced. The case centered on allegations that the three distributed bulk e-mail advertising pornographic Web sites and containing explicit images of adults having sex. The unsolicited e-mails may have numbered in the tens of millions, the Justice Department said."
Full story - CNet
Submitted by Anonymous, Fri Aug 26 12:07:17 EDT 2005



On the Front Lines in the War on Spam
""There are different initiatives happening, but we do not expect anything that would dramatically reduce spamming in the next 12 months," said Arabella Hallawell, e-mail security analyst at Gartner."
Full story - T*p Tech News
Submitted by Anonymous, Thu Aug 25 15:32:33 EDT 2005



Minn. Spammer Indicted on Pharmacy Charges
"A Minnesota man considered one of the world's most prolific e-mail spammers was indicted on more than a dozen federal charges related to the operation of his business, Xpress Pharmacy Direct. The indictment against Christopher William Smith, 25, was unsealed Wednesday after he was arrested at his home in Prior Lake."
Full story - TBO
Submitted by Anonymous, Thu Aug 25 08:58:58 EDT 2005



Businesses should be mindful to avoid criminal email interception
"In the recent case United States v. Councilman, a full federal appellate court based in Boston recently concluded that the interception of an email message in temporary, transient electronic storage does state an offense under the Wiretap Act, as amended by the Electronic Communications Privacy Act. The court therefore reinstated a criminal indictment that had been dismissed by a federal trial court."
Full story - USA Today
Submitted by Anonymous, Wed Aug 24 20:02:05 EDT 2005



Good News, Bad News For Internet Privacy
"... "Privacy laws are not adequate to protect your personal data being misused by the government or private companies," McGuire says. Specifically, the ECPA should be amended for a more blanket protection for email: under current rules, opened mail is afforded less privacy protection from government searching than unopened messages, and mail more than 180 days old has even fewer rights. "It's a meaningless distinction," McGuire says."
Full story - InternetWeek
Submitted by Anonymous, Sun Aug 21 16:23:56 EDT 2005



Diversification Helps Spammers Make Fortune
"... Smith got all that through his successes in massive unsolicited e-mail marketing, authorities say. The Spamhaus Project, an anti-spam group, considered him one of the world's worst offenders. He was just 25 when the feds in May shut down his flagship company, Xpress Pharmacy Direct, and seized $1.8 million in luxury cars, two homes and $1.3 million in cash held by Smith and associates."
Full story - WFMY
Submitted by Anonymous, Sun Aug 21 16:16:47 EDT 2005



Top officials give up e-mail to avoid liabilities
"Attorney General Gonzales said last week that he worries about "perfectly innocent" electronic communication being twisted by critics of the administration. With that in mind, he has gone cold turkey: "I don't get e-mail and I don't send e-mail," he said. Bush, his boss, has sworn off it as well... Top lawyers have been urging that kind of caution for years... "They pop up in virtually every investigation. It's almost like a legal wiretap.""
Full story - Duluth News Tribune
Submitted by Anonymous, Sun Aug 21 08:44:13 EDT 2005



Ex-AOL worker sentenced to 15 months in spam case
"A former America Online employee was sentenced to 15 months in prison on Wednesday for stealing 92 million e-mail screen names from the Internet company and selling them to a spammer."
Full story - CNet
Submitted by Anonymous, Wed Aug 17 15:10:44 EDT 2005



E-mail case sent for fall jury trial
"... Previously, Dorsey ruled that police violated the federal Electronic Communications Privacy Act by faxing an unsigned search warrant to America Online to determine who sent anonymous e-mails to supporters of town Police Commissioner Mary Carroll-Mirylees, who was running for first selectman at the time. Dorsey this week agreed with the town's position that Freedman did not have an "objectively reasonable expectation of privacy" in his AOL subscriber information and that the town therefore could not have violated Freedman's Fourth Amendment rights."
Full story - Connecticut Post
Submitted by Anonymous, Tue Aug 16 10:11:16 EDT 2005



Even in vain, swatting spammers feels good
"IT just had a banner week in its antispam crusade. On Tuesday, Microsoft announced that Scott Richter, whose company in Colorado, OptInRealBig.com, was considered by antispam activists to be one of the world's most prolific junk e-mail operations, had agreed to settle a lawsuit with the company for $7 million."
Full story - CNet
Submitted by Anonymous, Mon Aug 15 10:26:07 EDT 2005



E-mail wiretap case can proceed, court says
"In a closely watched case governing Internet privacy, a federal appeals court has reinstated a criminal case against an e-mail provider accused of violating wiretap laws. The 1st Circuit Court of Appeals, in a 5-2 vote, ruled on Thursday that an e-mail provider who allegedly read correspondence meant for his customers could be tried on federal criminal charges."
Full story - CNet
Submitted by Anonymous, Fri Aug 12 06:42:18 EDT 2005



UK failing to fight spam
"Anti-spam campaigners have branded the UK's anti-spam laws 'a waste of time and public money' as the Information Commissioner admits it hasn't prosecuted anyone for sending junk emails."
Full story - ZDNet
Submitted by Anonymous, Fri Aug 12 06:39:29 EDT 2005



AOL, MSN seize spam assets
"America Online and Microsoft are hitting spammers where it hurts most: They are confiscating their assets and giving them away."
Full story - USA Today
Submitted by Anonymous, Wed Aug 10 10:54:25 EDT 2005



Anti-Porn Group Targets Cox
"The Alliance for a Safer Internet is taking aim at Cox Communications Inc.'s high-speed-data service... "Cox is distributing newsgroups that are generally known to carry child pornography and other obscene images," Alliance for a Safer Internet president Paul Cardin said in a prepared statement. "It's been going on for years, and it's time that Cox put an end to it.""
Full story - Multichannel.com
Submitted by Anonymous, Tue Aug 9 16:25:45 EDT 2005



Tech Trends: Whamming the spammers
"Life just got a bit harder for spammers trying to reach one coveted audience - college students. Last week, a federal appeals court ruled against an online dating service called White Buffalo Ventures, which had been battling the University of Texas-Austin for the right to send unsolicited E-mail come-ons to UT students."
Full story - USNews.com
Submitted by Anonymous, Tue Aug 9 08:49:40 EDT 2005



Spammer to pay Microsoft $7-million
"A man once accused of being one of the world's top three spammers has agreed to pay $7-million (U.S.) in a settlement with Microsoft Corp., the software maker announced Tuesday. The money from Scott Richter and his company, OptInRealBig.com of Westminster, Colo., will be used to boost efforts to combat the illegal mass sending of unsolicited and misleading e-mail known as spam and other computer misuse, said Microsoft's chief counsel, Brad Smith, in a news release issued before business hours."
Full story - AP
Submitted by Anonymous, Tue Aug 9 08:44:42 EDT 2005



Internet Scammers Keep Working in Nigeria
"LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) -- In Festac Town, an entire community of scammers overnights on the Internet. By day they flaunt their smart clothes and cars and hang around the Internet cafes, trading stories about successful cons and near misses, and hatching new plots. Festac Town is where communication specialists operating underground sell foreign telephone lines over which a scammer can purport to be calling from any city in the world. Here lurk master forgers and purveyors of such software as "e-mail extractors," which can harvest e-mail addresses by the million."
Full story - AP
Submitted by Anonymous, Sun Aug 7 04:20:39 EDT 2005



Spammers go droopy on porn
"Spammers are shifting their focus to healthcare and finance rather than porn, according to the monthly Spam Index report from Clearswift. Healthcare and finance accounted for 80 per cent of all spam filtered by the company in July 2005, compared with 30 per cent in June 2003 when the index began."
Full story - vnunet
Submitted by Anonymous, Fri Aug 5 10:52:21 EDT 2005



Court rules UT can block on-line dating e-mails
"The University of Texas didn't violate the constitutional rights of an online dating service when it blocked thousands of unsolicited e-mails, a federal appeals court panel ruled Tuesday. White Buffalo Ventures, which operates LonghornSingles.com, had appealed to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, saying it had complied with all anti-spam laws. The company argued that the university violated its constitutional rights by filtering out 59,000 e-mails in 2003. White Buffalo also claimed a federal act that allows certain e-mails superseded the university's anti-spam policy."
Full story - DentonRC
Submitted by Anonymous, Wed Aug 3 01:40:18 EDT 2005



Cannon authors bill to enhance e-mail privacy
"... A federal circuit court ruled last year that an Internet provider didn't break the law when it systematically copied e-mails sent to its users and then looked at the information. The court said that because the e-mails were in temporary, millisecond storage, the company didn't "intercept" the messages in violation of the Federal Wiretap Act. Rep. Chris Cannon, R-Utah, says that's wrong. He filed legislation this week to ensure the law provides protection for e-mails between hitting the "send" button and the "You've got mail" message."
Full story - Salt Lake Tribune
Submitted by Anonymous, Sat Jul 30 08:41:51 EDT 2005








Other resources on E-MAIL, USENET, AND SPAM:
  • US v. Councilman - Files (EFF)
  • Opinion by First Circuit Court of Appeals Affirming Email Privacy: U.S.A. vs. Councilman, Aug. 2005 [PDF]
  • Cotse.Net: How to Read Usenet Headers
  • Cotse.Net: How to Read Email Headers
  • What is Spam?




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