Six lawsuits were filed by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) AOL, Microsoft, Earthlink and Yahoo! on March 9, 2004 against hundreds of defendants, including three Canadians, accused of sending spam Emails. The lawsuits are based primarily on the new U.S. anti-spam law known as the CAN SPAM Act of 2003 (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing), which became effective on January 1, 2004.
The ISPs are confident that the identity of many of the defendants, unknown at the time of filing, will be revealed through investigation. Yahoo! has named three residents of Kitchener, Ontario, and the companies that they control, in its California-based lawsuit. Jurisdiction against the Canadians was asserted partly on the basis that they intentionally used Yahoo!'s California servers to cause harm to Yahoo! and other residents of California.
In a related manner, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is seeking public input into regulations to be made under the CAN SPAM Act designed to define ".the relevant criteria to facilitate the determination of the primary purpose of an electronic mail message." It is hoped the comments will provide guidance as to the Act's scope.
For more information on the lawsuits, visit:
For information on the CAN SPAM Act regulations, visit: