Virginia Supreme Court declares state’s anti-spam law unconstitutional

2008-09-14 20:27:55 (GMT) ( - Technology Top Stories News)

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anti-spam law unconstitutional

Cleveland, Ohio ( — In a surprising turn of events on Friday, the Virginia Supreme Court has officially declared the state’s anti-spam law unconstitutional. Adding to the new decision, the court also reversed the conviction one of the world’s most prolific spammers, Jeremy Jaynes.

According to a report by the Associated Press, all members of the Virgina Supreme Court voted unanimously with Jaynes’ argument that the anti-spam law violates the First Amendment of free speech since it did not solely restrict commercial emails. Most other U.S. states have anti-spam laws as well as the federal CAN-SPAM Act.

Justice G. Steven Agee wrote that Virginia law “is unconstitutionally overbroad on its face because it prohibits the anonymous transmission of all unsolicited bulk e-mails, including those containing political, religious or other speech protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.”

Jaynes was charged and convicted in 2004 of a felony for sending up to 10 million unsolicited bulk emails per day from his home in Raleigh, North Carolina, though he was charged in Virginia as his bulk emails were routed through an AOL server in that state. Jaynes was sentenced to nine years in prison.

In spite of the fact that the Virginia Supreme Court uphelp the conviction on more than one ground, they later decided to reconsider the First Amendment issue but gave not reason why. Jaynes was permitted to argue that “the law unconstitutionally infringed on political and religious speech even though all his spam was commercial.” - Press Release Distribution Service


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