Spam is not free speech, says the Supreme Court

Virginia’s Supreme Court on Friday upheld the first US felony conviction for spamming. The spammer will serve nine years in prison for sending what authorities believe to be millions of messages over a two-month period in 2003.

Jeremy Jaynes is the man who will make history. A Raleigh, North Carolina, resident who made Spamhaus’ top 10 list of spammers, Jaynes was arrested in 2003 even before the CAN SPAM act was passed by Congress. Jaynes was convicted in 2005, but his lawyers appealed the conviction. This past Friday, the Virginia Supreme Court upheld that conviction, but the vote was a narrow 4-3.

The prosecution presented evidence of over 53,000 illegal e-mails that Jaynes sent over just three days during July, 2003, but it is believed that he sent 10 million messages per day between July and August of that year. Though he is a North Carolina resident, Jaynes was charged in Virginia because the AOL servers he used for sending spam were located in Loudoun County, Virginia. (link)

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