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English Court Bans Man For Selling Spam Lists

A man aged 37 was selling lists of e-mail addresses used for sending spam mails through Microsoft's Hotmail, a free web-based e-mail service. Microsoft identified and stopped the man from taking the operation any further. By granting a summary judgment against Paul Martin McDonald, an English court has stopped the person from selling the lists. There will be an enquiry on McDonald for a possible compensation he might have to pay to Microsoft. If he does not go by the court orders, he may have to face prison charges for "contempt of court" and also pay huge fines.

Microsoft said McDonald's activity caused breach of 'Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations'. It got complains from a large number of people who were receiving the spam mails. This meant loss and damage of the goodwill Microsoft enjoyed as operators of Hotmail.

Mr. Justice Lewison came to know that McDonald was doing the offensive act of selling lists of e-mail ids of people who allegedly subscribed to obtain business opportunities via e-mail. He sold the addresses without the knowledge of their owners for 15 pounds for every bunch of 250 addresses to firms advertising electronic pornography.

Microsoft claimed that McDonald's company website www.bizads.co.uk told customers that they had filled an 'open-in-e-mail' form from the 'Bizad's' website and were waiting for the offer. Since then, the website has closed. However, Microsoft said that its Hotmail users whose e-mails addresses were picked did not fill any such form.

Judge Lewison granted the judgment on Microsoft's case. He said that Microsoft had the right to use the law framed to protect both e-mail subscribers and electronic communications networks.

A Microsoft spokesman said spam was causing damage to Internet users draining on both people's and organizations' resources. Microsoft was committed to develop technologies to help people prevent the flow of unsolicited e-mails into their Hotmail accounts and use legal means against those who unlawfully distribute spam.

After granting the injunction requested by Microsoft, which stops McDonald from pushing the transmission of commercial e-mails to Hotmail accounts, the judge noted that spam mails costs an expense of 39 billion euros per annum to European e-mail providers.

ยป SPAMfighter News - 12/21/2006

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