California wins first state suit against spammers

California Attorney General Bill Lockyer claimed victory in the state’s first antispam lawsuit late last week, after a court ordered PW Marketing and its owners to pay a US$2 million fine for violating California laws against sending unsolicited commercial e-mail.

Spam costs U.S. businesses nearly $9 billion a year in lost productivity and screening expenses, and accounts for roughly 40 percent of all e-mail, Lockyer said in a statement released Friday. The Attorney General added that his office would continue to enforce antispam laws against the “high tech pollutant.”

The case was won one month after California passed tough new antispam legislation prohibiting unsolicited e-mail advertisements sent to or from any California residents. That statute takes effect Jan. 1, 2004.

PW Marketing and its owners Paul Willis and Claudia Griffin were charged under current California antispam law for sending millions of unsolicited e-mail advertisements promoting products that claimed to help recipients make money through sending spam that hawked books, software and lists of e-mail addresses, according to the attorney general’s office.

The lawsuit was filed in September 2002.

In addition to the $2 million fine, the company and its owners were prohibited from sending any unsolicited commercial e-mail, disguising their identity by sending e-mail that appears to originate from an e-mail address that is not their own and accessing and using computers and computer systems of persons without their permission.

Furthermore, they were barred for 10 years from owning, managing and holding any economic interest in any company that advertises over the Internet without first providing written notice to the attorney general.

Lockyer said in the statement that he would use the same “injunctive relief” provisions in future enforcement actions.

The court victory punctuates a time of increasing concern over spam among both politicians and Internet industry players who see it as a modern day scourge that curbs the Net’s legitimate business potential.

Representatives for PW Marketing were not available to comment on the Santa Clara County Superior Court verdict Monday.

Would you recommend this article?


Thanks for taking the time to let us know what you think of this article!
We'd love to hear your opinion about this or any other story you read in our publication.

Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

Featured Download

Featured Articles

Empowering the hybrid workforce: how technology can build a better employee experience

Across the country, employees from organizations of all sizes expect flexibility...

What’s behind the best customer experience: How to make it real for your business

The best customer experience – the kind that builds businesses and...

Overcoming the obstacles to optimized operations

Network-driven optimization is a top priority for many Canadian business leaders...

Thriving amid Canada’s tech talent shortage

With today’s tight labour market, rising customer demands, fast-evolving cyber threats...

Staying protected and compliant in an evolving IT landscape

Canadian businesses have changed remarkably and quickly over the last few...

Related Tech News

Tech Jobs

Our experienced team of journalists and bloggers bring you engaging in-depth interviews, videos and content targeted to IT professionals and line-of-business executives.

Tech Companies Hiring Right Now