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Microsoft sues eight alleged spammers

Smallfry first to fall in war on spam

Microsoft has filed lawsuits against eight alleged spammers under a new US antispam law that went into effect in January.

Microsoft accuses the defendants of violating the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing (CAN-SPAM) Act by spoofing and otherwise falsifying their domains, routing email through open proxies, deceiving customers with misleading subject lines and failing to include unsubscribe options in their emails.

Each of the defendants allegedly sent millions of email messages, soliciting a variety of products including body-part enlargement pills, prescription drugs, dating services, university degree programs and work-at-home and get-rich-quick scheme offers. The eight new lawsuits don't include major spammers, but some of the defendants have sent out hundreds of millions of pieces of unsolicited e-mail, according to a Microsoft spokesman.

Microsoft intends to continue filing spam lawsuits until spammers stop sending unsolicited email, the spokesman said.

Four of the spam cases were filed on 2 June, with four more filed on Thursday. In addition, three spam cases that Microsoft filed in December have been amended within the last two weeks to name defendants. The cases, filed in Washington state, ask the court to order the alleged spammers to stop creating Microsoft Hotmail accounts, and to stop hijacking Microsoft computers to send spam. Microsoft is seeking unspecified damages.

One of the eight new cases is against a defendant listed on the Register of Known Spam Operations (ROKSO), operated by the Spamhaus Project. Over the past year, Microsoft has filed more than 80 legal actions against spammers, including 51 in the USA, according to the company. Nine of the US lawsuits were against alleged spammers on the ROKSO list, including five on ROKSO's top 10 list.

In late April, the US Federal Trade Commission filed CAN-SPAM-related legal charges against two alleged spamming companies.


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