Monday, May 15, 2006

In UK spam could be a crime

London's High Court ruled last Friday (12 May), that people who bombarded innocent victims with a blizzard of unsolicited emails, spam, were breaking the law and could be prosecuted under the 1990 Computer Misuse Act. In a test case that put spammers in the same league as people who spread computer viruses, two judges said that these cyber-spammers could face up to five years in jail . The judges two overturned a lower court judge's previous ruling that 18-year-old David Lennon had no case to answer after being accused of using a computer programme to send five million emails to a firm which had fired him. They said that the consent given to being sent some emails did not extend to receiving a barrage of such messages. Ruling that the extent of consent should be decided on a case-by-case basis, the judges said it plainly did not cover emails sent intentionally to jam a receiving computer rather than for the purpose of communication. The case must now go back to the original court to be reconsidered.

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