Microsoft Tries to Wrap Porn Spam

Microsoft continued its battle against spam Thursday by filing seven lawsuits against spammers violating the "brown paper wrapper" provisions of the CAN-SPAM act passed in November of last year.

The term "brown paper wrapper" alludes to the wrappers covering pornographic material in stores, which are required by law. The suit alleges that the defendants are not following the online equivalent, which is to put the label "SEXUALLY-EXPLICIT:" in the e-mail subject and in the portion of the e-mail body first seen by the reader.

This labeling helps spam filters to identify it before reaching the reader's inbox. Anne P. Mitchell, president of the Institute for Spam and Internet Public Policy (ISIPP) added that it also "protects consumers from unwittingly having to view content that they may deem offensive and troubling."

Advertisement

Aaron Kornblum, attorney for Microsoft, told BetaNews that these lawsuits are part of a "broader approach" by the company to curb spam on its Hotmail and MSN Internet service. He claims that Microsoft has had some degree of success in prosecuting these cases. "Defendants have filed for bankruptcy, or settled with Microsoft agreeing to stop sending spam," Kornblum remarked.

With most spam, it is difficult to identify who exactly is sending it. Kornblum explained to BetaNews that state and federal laws allow for an entity to sue another even without specific knowledge of the defendant in what is called a "John Doe" suit. "The court will then ask the suing party to identify the persons being sued within a reasonable amount of time," Kornblum added.

In total, Microsoft has supported over 115 lawsuits against spam worldwide. This includes 86 suits of its own within the United States, some of which were reported by BetaNews last June.

4 Responses to Microsoft Tries to Wrap Porn Spam

© 1998-2022 BetaNews, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy - Cookie Policy.