Virginia Spam Law Is Overturned


Last Friday, the Virginia Supreme Court ruled that Virginia's unsolicited bulk electronic mail or so-called anti-spam 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 United States Constitution."

As told in a story in the Washington Post, the Virginia anti-spam law was used to to convict mass e-mailer Jeremy Jaynes in 2004 on a felony for illegally spamming. Police at the time found in Jaynes's home a cache of compact discs containing over 176 million full e-mail addresses and 1.3 billion e-mail user names, some of which were allegedly stolen from AOL.

While Virginia's Attorney General vows to appeal the ruling to the US Supreme Court, but I suspect bulk spammers will start popping up again in Virginia. When they do, I also suspect that the Virginia legislature will tried to craft a new law that avoids the problems identified by the Virginia Supreme Court.


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Robert Charette
Spotsylvania, Va.
Willie D. Jones
New York City