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Appeals Court Tosses $11M Spamhaus Judgement 134

Posted by kdawson
from the still-say-you're-a-spammer dept.
Panaqqa writes "In a not unexpected move, the US 7th Circuit Court of Appeals threw out the $11 million awarded to e360 Insight and vacated a permanent injunction against Spamhaus requiring them to stop listing e360 Insight as a spammer. However, the ruling (PDF) does not set aside the default judgement, meaning that Spamhaus has still lost its opportunity to argue the case. The original judge could still impose a monetary judgement, after taking evidence from the spammer as to how much Spamhaus's block had cost them. This is unfortunate considering the legal leverage the recent ruling concerning spyware might have provided for Spamhaus."
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Appeals Court Tosses $11M Spamhaus Judgement

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    In a not unexpected move...
    I don't think it isn't impossible to misunderestimate when a non-judge will unpredictably overrule a malignant case.
  • Oh yeah? (Score:5, Funny)

    by toleraen (831634) on Wednesday September 05, 2007 @10:54AM (#20479571)

    In a not unexpected move...
    Well, then I'm not unglad to hear about this. I still can't not unbelieve that their initial lawyer didn't know how to handle the very basics of the case. I wasn't not hoping to hear that this case would just get thrown out completely...how much can't the US government not do about this though? Inquiring minds don't not want to know...
    • Re:Oh yeah? (Score:5, Funny)

      by GweeDo (127172) on Wednesday September 05, 2007 @11:01AM (#20479683) Homepage
      Could you not un-use more double negatives in that one post?
      • by ookabooka (731013)
        Of course he could have, he could have used an infinite number of negations. . or rather, he could have (not^(2n)) used an infinite number of negations. Where n is any whole number greater than 0.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      Would the term doubleplusexpected be more to your liking?
    • Re:Oh yeah? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by misleb (129952) on Wednesday September 05, 2007 @11:21AM (#20479979)
      I think "not unexpected" is valid and meaningful statement. It doesn't quite mean the same as "expected." Though perhaps "unsurprising" would be a better way of expressing the meaning.

      -matthew
    • Re:Oh yeah? (Score:4, Informative)

      by nickname225 (840560) on Wednesday September 05, 2007 @11:22AM (#20479999)
      The court would have had a hard time justifying throwing the case out completely. It's probably true that the court initially didn't have jurisdiction, but according to the article, Spamhaus made an initial appearance in the case. Generally, if you make an appearance, you have submitted to the jurisdiction of the court. It's not quite the catch-22 it seems, since you can make an appearance SOLELY for the purpose of challenging jurisdiction without submitting to the jurisdiction of the court. So - basically Spamhaus' attorney messed up and their client has to live with the consequences. Btw - I am an attorney.
      • Re:Oh yeah? (Score:5, Informative)

        by tinkerghost (944862) on Wednesday September 05, 2007 @11:46AM (#20480351) Homepage

        It's probably true that the court initially didn't have jurisdiction, but according to the article, Spamhaus made an initial appearance in the case. Generally, if you make an appearance, you have submitted to the jurisdiction of the court.

        FWIR, Spamhause showed up in state court & said, 'you have no jurisdiction, the US court system has no jurisdiction & even if it did, it would have to be a Federal court'. The state judge threw it out properly judging that with no presense or assets in his district, he didn't have jurisdiction. 360 then went to a Federal Judge to redo the case & Spamhause's lawyers in the UK rightly asserted that "fuck the US court system, they have no jurisdiction, don't waste your money." or words to that effect. The problem is that the Federal Judge forgot that US law applies in the US not the world and ruled that being in another country doing things that are perfectly legal & not tortable (is that a word?) in that country is no reason that US law shouldn't be applied to them. In accordance with the new ruling on spyware, 360's case isn't actionable in the US anymore either, but that didn't seem to bother the appeals judge at all in denying the appeal of the ruling.

        • Sort of (Score:5, Informative)

          by www.sorehands.com (142825) on Wednesday September 05, 2007 @11:52AM (#20480481) Homepage
          Spamshaus came into Court and filed an answer that in part said, You didn't serve properly and you have no jurisidiction. Then they said, we are not going to play this game, we want to withdraw our answer.

          If you don't answer at all, a default is entered. This is what happened.
        • Personal jurisdiction is a tricky thing. Just being a citizen (human or corporate) of a foreign country doesn't by itself exempt you from U.S. court jurisdiction. Now, not having any business dealings or assets in the U.S. might make a judgment against you noncollectable, but you may still be subject to U.S. jurisdiction. The issue really comes down to - does the nature of your contacts (either direct or indirect) with the U.S. make it reasonable for you to expect to be "haled into court". It's a comple
      • by pilgrim23 (716938)
        In America; once lawyers get envovled; you loose. Even a "win" means a financial loss no citizen could (nor should have to) bare. The only ones who ever win are the Lawyers from the judge down; it is a phase locked loop that only takes money as an input and outputs...absolutely nothing benifical at all.
        • So it's a broken PLL then. A working PLL in beneficial as it can smooth a jittery clock or re-time the clock to a different frequency multiple.
        • Some states make the loser pay. People forget that the US is not a homogeneous nation. And that at one time States were actually states and had pretty free authority over their own governance, including their judicial system.
  • Next up (Score:5, Funny)

    by UPZ (947916) on Wednesday September 05, 2007 @10:56AM (#20479605)
    Anti-virus company gets sued by Win32Trojan maker for 'loss of business'
  • Anyone know the email of the judge that would charge him money? ...

    Err.... :D
  • by BubbaFett (47115) on Wednesday September 05, 2007 @11:04AM (#20479735)
    Shouldn't I be able to list any domain or IP in any database I please? Isn't it the responsibility of the people using the database to determine whether it's a bad idea? Isn't the real issue between the people blocking email and their customers who are missing email?
    • by fbjon (692006) on Wednesday September 05, 2007 @11:16AM (#20479919) Homepage Journal
      Presumably not if you advertise it as being reasonably accurate for some specific purpose.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by misleb (129952)
        Right, but isn't it up to the users of Spamhaus to determine the accuracy for their purposes? I'm sure if the *users* of Spamhaus really cared about getting mail from e360 they'd let Spamhaus know about it. Sounds like the only people who care that Spamhaus lists e360 is e360.

        -matthew
        • by r3m0t (626466)
          I'm going to create a list of murderers.

          It's up to the people who /use/ my list, such as employers, to determine the accuracy of the list, and whether they should use it for their purposes. I give no warranty and I have no liability of the information in the list.

          So is it OK with you if I put you on the list?
          • by michrech (468134)
            Certainly. A simple background check (which has been done at every job I've ever held) would reveal your list to be shite, and I'd still get the job (assuming I was qualified, had good references, blah, blah, blah).

            I'm going to create a list of murderers.

            It's up to the people who /use/ my list, such as employers, to determine the accuracy of the list, and whether they should use it for their purposes. I give no warranty and I have no liability of the information in the list.

            So is it OK with you if I put you on the list?

            • I very rarely have to go through a background check. But anyways if he were to make a list of lazy employees, or a list of employees that steal pens. That's not going to show up on a background check. And if a company actually used this theoretical list, they would not even spend the money on the background check anyways, they wouldn't even bother with an interview.
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by DragonWriter (970822)

              A simple background check (which has been done at every job I've ever held) would reveal your list to be shite

              Most places that do background check pay some third party to do it. If that third party relied in whole or in part on the list in question, perhaps to fill gaps in other records, then, no, the background check would not reveal the list would be wrong, it would return the results of relying on the list.

              Now, what would happen in the real world today is that the first person to find out they were flagg

              • by michrech (468134)
                You don't get it, either. The list that was proposed was a list of murderers. A check with the police department (or whatever other department) would reveal that, no, I am not a murderer, and the employer would no longer put stock in the list that was proposed.

                If it were a list like the first person that replied to me proposed, it would be much more time consuming to check (assuming the potential employer wanted to do as thorough a job as possible), but being as I've not stolen items like pens, paper, and
                • by Kijori (897770)
                  That rather depends. If I had two candidates, equal in every way except that one was on a list of murderers, I'd hire the one that wasn't a listed murderer. There's always the possibility that the police have got it wrong, or you're in witness protection, or you've stolen someone's identity, and the only person to have found out the truth is the PI that made the list.

                  But anyway, the Spamhaus list is much more like the list of employees that have stolen pens and pencils. If you are given a list like that, yo
                  • by michrech (468134)
                    There are so many things wrong with your statement, it's pathetic. You are taking *way* too many assumptions, and using WAAAY to many "what if's" just to try to make your point valid. It doesn't work. For one, there are laws that protect people in situations like the ones you are attempting to use as examples, especially for what I've quoted below.

                    This will be the last reply from me, to you. The only conclusion I can come to is that you are a spammer that was, in some way, affected by what Spamhaus was
                    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

                      by Kijori (897770)
                      It's nice to know that there are so many things wrong with my statement that you can't name any of them. You must have been overwhelmed, I suppose.

                      Your last reply? That was your first reply. I don't understand what you mean by my "replies" and "statements". There has been one. Which you have picked apart cleverly by calling it pathetic and calling me a spammer. I just don't know what to say... I'm going to have to think hard to come up with a reply to that logic!

                      Now I know you said you wouldn't reply again
                  • by misleb (129952)

                    If it doesn't matter what I say as long as I don't guarantee it's true, would you not hold me responsible for anything? What if I put up a billboard near your local school with your photo and "PEDOPHILE". In small print it will say "we don't know, but he might be". When people smash your windows at night will you still be quite so at ease with libel?

                    Is it libel we're talking about here? Is that what the spamhaus vs. e360 case is about? If it isn't then your points are moot.

                    -matthew

                • A check with the police department (or whatever other department) would reveal that, no, I am not a murderer, and the employer would no longer put stock in the list that was proposed.

                  The problem is that there are many different jurisdictions that would be checked, and employers that "do" background investigations do not, for the most part, "do" the investigations themselves, they pay someone else, who uses private databases collected from various public sources.

                  So, yes, while checking the right sources woul

          • by hkmwbz (531650)
            The list of murderers would only include people convicted of murder. Just like Spamhaus only adds someone to their list if it's been reported by at least three major sources as being s spammer.
          • by misleb (129952)
            There are already "lists" for that sort of thing. It would be somewhat redundant for you to create one yourself. So it is kind of a bad example. If you mean to start a background checking service and decide to report me as a murderer, go ahead. Just beware that if you keep producing inaccurate results like that, nobody is going to want to use your services.

            -matthew
    • Re: (Score:1, Redundant)

      by garcia (6573)
      Shouldn't I be able to list any domain or IP in any database I please? Isn't it the responsibility of the people using the database to determine whether it's a bad idea? Isn't the real issue between the people blocking email and their customers who are missing email?

      You can, as long as that database doesn't infringe on the rights of other companies to do their business. If you listed Microsoft, SCO, and Apple all in a database of "douchebag companies", posted that on your site, and then told everyone to bl
      • by ajs (35943)
        The problem is in defining what it is that Spamhaus does. I think it's fair that they market a means by which people can block email. They give very specific instructions on how to use their service for this purpose.

        That said, they're providing a service that their customers ask for. They clearly outline their criteria and let their customers decide if and how to use it. It seems to me that the spammers only have a legitimate complaint against the ISPs that use the Spamhaus data. Even then, it would be a ha
      • So you're saying, barring the Apple part, that slashdot is in trouble?
      • by SCHecklerX (229973) <thecaptain@captaincodo.net> on Wednesday September 05, 2007 @11:29AM (#20480111) Homepage
        Why? The receiving end is the one with the power to use or not use your list, or to whitelist certain entities in that list. On my own mail servers, I reject stuff that is on zen. The sender will get that error, and can talk to their own mail admins, who should see *why* they are on the list and work to get themselves removed. If that is impossible, and this is, indeed, a legitimate company trying to contact one of our employees (this has never happened, if they are legit, getting off the list is trivial), then the receiving end is the one who has the power to make the decision whether those messages should come in or not.

        I don't see the problem with keeping a list. If it is a bad list with too many false positives, then nobody would use it. Sheesh.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by misleb (129952)

        You can, as long as that database doesn't infringe on the rights of other companies to do their business. If you listed Microsoft, SCO, and Apple all in a database of "douchebag companies", posted that on your site, and then told everyone to block them for being douchebags, I have a feeling you would get sued (and rightfully so).

        Oh please, how many sites out there list "douchebag companies" and tell people not to buy from them? It is called free speech.

        -matthew

      • by Phroggy (441) <slashdot3&phroggy,com> on Wednesday September 05, 2007 @12:37PM (#20481209) Homepage

        If you listed Microsoft, SCO, and Apple all in a database of "douchebag companies", posted that on your site, and then told everyone to block them for being douchebags, I have a feeling you would get sued (and rightfully so).
        Nope, you're wrong. Since you mentioned Apple...

        Carl Sagan once sued Apple for calling him a "butt-head astronomer." Sagan lost the suit, because according to the judge:

        There can be no question that the use of the figurative term 'Butt-Head' negates the impression that Defendant was seriously implying an assertion of fact. It strains reason to conclude that Defendant was attempting to criticize Plaintiff's reputation or competency as an astronomer. One does not seriously attack the expertise of a scientist using the undefined phrase 'butt-head.'

        I'm sure "douchebag companies" would fall into the same category.

        Spamhaus' Register Of Known Spam Operations (ROKSO) is a list of "known professional spam operations that have been terminated by a minimum of 3 Internet Service Providers for spam offenses." That's a much more serious accusation than "butt-head" or "douchebag." If it's true, of course, then the plaintiffs can burn in hell... but they claim it's not true, and they've been falsely labeled by Spamhaus, which has damaged their reputation and cost them business.
      • by h2_plus_O (976551)

        Unless you can prove to a judge that Microsoft, SCO, and Apple are all douchebags then I suggest that you don't go forward with that plan [If you listed Microsoft, SCO, and Apple all in a database of "douchebag companies", posted that on your site, and then told everyone to block them for being douchebags] or you might end up with an 11 million dollar judgment against you.

        Wow, it's a good thing that slashdot hasn't been doing exactly that for the last decade then. Oh, wait...

    • An idea I had a while ago was this:

      Spamhaus could have list A, the spammer list. This is what the judge prevented them from putting e360 on.

      So then they could have list B, the "list of people we wrongly suspected were spammers and have been ordered not to characterize as such, wink wink".

      Then Spamhaus sends everyone lists A and B. Then everyone using Spamhaus's list to filter says, "Hey, why not just block A *and* B?" Spamhaus assists in this process by making the default when you sign up to be that you
    • by plague3106 (71849)
      No, you're still responsible for failing to keep a list up to date or whatever. I ran into this recently; we had an IP blacklisted, but the lister disappeared. So emails (order confirmations) were being bounced due to the black list, and it was impossible to get off the list.

      Its like slander or liable; just because you say its spam, doesn't make it true. You can't setup any arbitrary rules you like, and say anything that violates them is spam without some kind of proof. Getting an email you didn't want
    • Shouldn't I be able to list any domain or IP in any database I please?

      at YOUR site you can choose to drop any IP datagram you want. any. you are NOT required by law (ianal) to HAVE to receive (let alone read) any or all data that hits your site.

      freedom means you have the right to allow or disallow anyone into your 'home' unless they have a warrant and are an official gov rep (eg, police).

      in this case, spamhaus makes 'recommendations' (not unlike MS in yesterday's article letting the religious nutjobs tell
    • by Kjella (173770)
      When you put then on a spam block list, then you're making a claim that they're spamming and if false that is slander. It doesn't really work to say "these are just a list of IP addresses, I didn't make any claims". If I made up a list of a bunch of pedos and your name on it, then released it as a list of "people I don't like" and that maybe you don't like them either *wink, wink, nudge, nudge* you'd have a pretty good slander case. The only thing that's sad is that they're probably guilty as hell, but Spam
      • So you don't call it a spam block list. You call it "the list of IP addresses we were ordered to state are not sources of spam by the US Federal court". That's a neutral and true description of the contents of the list. If mail server admins use that list as well as the regular block list to block messages, well that's their business.
      • by devilspgd (652955) *
        Except that Spamhaus' claims are backed up with evidence on their website, as well as kept private.

        The only issue is the way their first legal team handled the case, by first submitting to jurisdiction, then second, claiming the courts don't have jurisdiction and withdrawing.

        Either answer would have been fine. Both isn't.
    • Shouldn't I be able to list any domain or IP in any database I please?

      Listing a domain or IP in a database is making a claim about it. Should anyone be able to claim anything about you, regardless of truth or falsity, regardless of the resulting harm, with the responsibility only on the listener to decide if it is true or false? Perhaps they should be, but it is pretty well established that there are boundaries to this in general, hence laws regarding slander, libel, etc., and I don't see any reason that an

  • Spamhaus? (Score:2, Interesting)

    I didn't realize you could make German haute cuisine using SPAM...I knew about all the uses in pan-Asian cuisine, but German food with SPAM could be interesting!

    I can see it now: SPAMwurst, mit Kraut
    • by Adambomb (118938)
      Shouldn't that be Spamwurst, Spamwurst, Ei und Spamwurst, mit Kraut?

      Also, I hear that doesn't have much Spamwurst in it.
    • by jimicus (737525)
      Germany, IIRC, still has food purity laws. You can't sell a product as "beer" unless its only ingredients are water, yeast, hops, malt and barley. Sausages must be 100% meat from a named part of the animal (and the animal should not have been named "Fido").

      Spam, I suspect, would fall under the category of "cheese".
  • by aim2future (773846) on Wednesday September 05, 2007 @11:16AM (#20479923) Homepage
    that I get sued by the spammer if I reject their spam
    • by simong (32944)
      I'm looking forward to Google suing me for using Adblock Plus with Firefox.
    • by reebmmm (939463)
      IAAL, and, frankly, nothing stops a company like e360 from suing you, or, indeed, winning if they are able to obtain a default judgment like in this case. The reason why that seems genuinely unlikely is because you're not a big target and any damages would be pretty small.

      Reading the opinion, the judge seemed to recognize that Spamhaus availed itself of the U.S. court systems and then, in a really stupid move, wanted out and gave up its rights in the process. Unsurprisingly, it lost at the district court, a
  • Woe be gone (Score:3, Insightful)

    by packetmon (977047) on Wednesday September 05, 2007 @11:24AM (#20480019) Homepage
    I wonder how long will it be before some company like these fools [accucast.com] comes along and starts lobbying the powers that be to tweak "CAN-SPAM" like fables. I say get to the hardcore bottom of it all. Oh more Viagra spam eh... Sue the damn pharmaceutical companies for allowing their advertisers to break laws. That will minimize a whole slew of spam. Think about the monies pharmaceutical companies would have to even dish out to hear a case if half the US started filing small claims cases, class action cases, etc.
    • by Stu101 (1031686)
      Thing is, it's not the "proper" drug companies that are doing it. *IF* it was indeed viagra, it would probabily be a generic back street marketed version.

      As for "herbal" viagra, well there such a wide definition, it could literally be anything, and anything from anywhere.

      Also a lot of the spam for porn sites is actually known about by the companies who own the porn sites. Plausable deniability.
      • by jonwil (467024)
        Here is an idea that might help stop the medical spam.

        Lets assume that these spammers actually have some kind of product (whether it works/does what is claimed or not is irrelevant, what matters is that they have a product) and are actually sending it out to people who buy from their crappy .biz website.

        If the place where the pills are coming from is located outside of the US, the drugs can be stopped in the mail (I believe mailing drugs into the US from outside of the US is illegal). If the place where the
        • by jimicus (737525)
          If enough people bought these "generic drugs" and didnt actually get them, they might care enough to complain to the supplier.

          This is only a wild guess, but I'd imagine someone that's too embarrassed to ask their doctor for viagra is hardly going to write a letter of complaint to (or, indeed, telephone) a total stranger and say "Dear Sir, I can't get it up".
        • by Sigma 7 (266129)

          Lets assume that these spammers actually have some kind of product (whether it works/does what is claimed or not is irrelevant, what matters is that they have a product) and are actually sending it out to people who buy from their crappy .biz website.

          If the place where the pills are coming from is located outside of the US, the drugs can be stopped in the mail (I believe mailing drugs into the US from outside of the US is illegal). If the place where the pills are coming from is located inside the US then the places they are being sent from could be shut down for not having a license or something. If enough people bought these "generic drugs" and didnt actually get them, they might care enough to complain to the supplier.

          The spam sites don't have a real product - they simply collect the credit card information from users for use in further criminal activity (e.g. ident theft, child porn, etc.) For at least one of these sites, the process is described in great detail: http://spamtrackers.eu/wiki/index.php?title=My_Can adian_Pharmacy [spamtrackers.eu]

          In my opinion, placing orders using randomly generated contact/CC info would do more damage, as they would have to filter through these false orders. If done to enough of a degree, it makes ope

    • by jimicus (737525)
      Sue the damn pharmaceutical companies for allowing their advertisers to break laws.

      Seeing as Viagra is still very much under patent protection, I think it's safe to say that any "generic" alternative on general sale in the Western world is likely not an alternative at all, and may contain pretty much anything.

      Now I think of it, I'm pretty certain rat poison (at least as sold in the UK) has a distinct blue colour. I wonder....
  • I don't get it (Score:4, Insightful)

    by SCHecklerX (229973) <thecaptain@captaincodo.net> on Wednesday September 05, 2007 @11:24AM (#20480029) Homepage
    Certainly if someone wanted to receive e360's messages, or if they were EXPECTING a message from e360 and didn't get it, they can talk to their own mail admins and have e360 whitelisted. Why is it so hard to effectively explain to the courts that Spamhaus has nothing to do with whether e360's messages get through or not, other than responding to a query from the receiving end asking if Spamhaus believes they are a spammer?

    In reverse, is the do-not-call list something that will be targeted next?
    • Re:I don't get it (Score:5, Informative)

      by DaleGlass (1068434) on Wednesday September 05, 2007 @11:33AM (#20480175) Homepage

      Why is it so hard to effectively explain to the courts that Spamhaus has nothing to do with whether e360's messages get through or not, other than responding to a query from the receiving end asking if Spamhaus believes they are a spammer?

      Because Spamhaus didn't show up in court to explain it. From Wikipedia:

      Spamhaus initially succeeded in moving the case from state to federal court, but then stopped defending itself against the lawsuit, because it is based in the United Kingdom and outside the jurisdiction of United States courts. The American court had no choice but to award e360 a default judgment totaling $11,715,000 in damages. Spamhaus subsequently announced that it would ignore the judgment.
  • Sues MS, and others for blocking there popup, err, targetting purchasing opportunities. Seriously, the ISP or who ever the end user is, chose to use the service, so they implcitely said 'they don't want to hear from you'.

    I can't remember the original source but it was a few years ago I read an article about spam. Very interesting, most of the cost of advertising went to the advertiser (as it should) with paper media. Not so with spam, almost all the cost of spam goes to the recipient and hardly any to the

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Phil246 (803464)

      I think corporations that get spammed, including ISP's should be able to go to companys like DoubleClick and e360 and bill them for the aggregiate costs. "You sent 2 million emails through our network last month, here is your bill for 200k for bandwidth + costs for the end users"

      unfortunately that same logic could be applied to other sites that the ISPs want to extort
      "Hello Google, you sent x Gigabytes of data through our network to our customers, here's the bill for the bandwidth used..."

      • Possibly, but there is a fundamental difference in the situations. The user requested the data from Google, so there ISP fees apply for the bandwidth. The spammers are flooding the ISP's network, but aren't necessarily costumers of the ISP. The logical originator isn't a customer, so the ISP's customers are having traffic associated with their accounts that isn't their desire to initiate. The ISP can either block the stuff from coming so you don't get the bogus download fee, or they can bill someone else. I
        • Possibly, but there is a fundamental difference in the situations. The user requested the data from Google, so there ISP fees apply for the bandwidth.
          How so? I have never, ever requested Google's Ads when I'm looking at a website, yet I'm inundated with them at every turn. In a fundamental way, push ads are no different than spamming, but, for some reason, they are considered more "acceptable" to the populous.
          • ---yet I'm inundated with them at every turn.

            Yet, I'm not.

            Try using Firefox with heavy blockers. Even a tailored hosts file on your router would help, assuming you are running bind or something similar on your router.
          • Some of Google's adds are paid for hits from your search. They are a valid response to your query, imho. It is a potential answer to the query, just the order of the listing is gamed. I agree ads in pages often aren't requested by the user. However, sites that you log into, often say in there EULA that they make there revenue by offering ads, so the user in that case actually has agreed to take the ads with the content they want. Either way though the user initiated the content stream, it was a pull, not a
      • by idontgno (624372)
        Oh, so you're actually well read up on the current network neutrality [wikipedia.org] controversy. I find it particularly interesting you cite one of the major proponents of NN (Google), as well as one of the major "villains" in the eyes of the opponents of NN (because Google is such a significant source of traffic on the network).

        Good work.

    • Quote: I think corporations that get spammed, including ISP's should be able to go to companys like DoubleClick and e360 and bill them for the aggregiate costs.

      That's the logic that the big ISPs and telcos are using for their arguments in the net neutrality debate: "If you send a lot of traffic through my network, I'm going to bill you for it." And all (or a lot of) the end users (including, to some extent, me) got up in arms about that, effectively saying "I'm already footing the bill f
      • Thats the problem though. You are paying for the bandwidth, for the spam, ads etc. that you don't even want. I propose that the person initiating the traffic pay, so if you are pushing spam and popups, you pay for the full bandwidth, not just the hop from your server to the targets ISP mail server. But also the hop from the targets mail server to the end user.
        • I see the point you are making, but I don't think it's something that would work very well in practice. At the layer 1 level, the ISP will just see a virtual circuit between the end user, and another host on the network, be that Google or DoubleClick or e360. So who do you bill -- the local user or the remote end? Okay, an ISP can use something along the lines of a stateful firewall to help with the billing. This sounds okay so far -- if I request a page from Google, I get billed; if someone spams me, t
  • by Kazoo the Clown (644526) on Wednesday September 05, 2007 @11:48AM (#20480403)
    The suit was mistargeted. Spamhaus doesn't force anyone to use it. It is the ISPs that impose it on email accounts, not Spamhaus, and consequently, THEY should be liable if they do not allow their users to disable such blocking. Use of Spamhaus contributes to email unreliability and should not be imposed by ISP services. An email account carries with it some expectation of usability, which IMHO cannot be simply TOS'ed away in the fine print. Email is unreliable enough without blacklist (or for that matter, even greylist) techniques being applied by lazy ISPs who are looking for a brainless way to reduce their email traffic load. Either ISPs are a common carrier or they are not, the imposition of blocking techniques should carry along with it some responsibilities for its failures.
    • If they sue an ISP in the US, the ISP probably would show up. Linhardt only sues people he thinks will default. When he sued several NANAE participants, including me, he dismissed the case (a 2nd time) when the judge was about to rule on two motion to dismiss for lack of jurisidction. Mark Ferguson (www.whew.com) included documentation regarding Linhardt creating fake signup documents.

      If an ISP was sued, both CAN-SPAM and the CDA gives immunity to the ISP for filtering and blocking. See White Buffalo Ventu
    • by Phroggy (441)
      My understanding is that they're not suing Spamhaus for blocking their mail, they're suing Spamhaus for falsely labeling them with "known professional spam operations that have been terminated by a minimum of 3 Internet Service Providers for spam offenses." The plantiff claims that this isn't true, that they're not a spam organization, and that they've never been terminated by any ISP for spam offenses. Plaintiff further claims that being falsely labeled as such by the defendant has damaged Plaintiff's re
      • Obviously you don't run a mail server, and have no idea how much spam is being blocked for you. If your e-mail wasn't being filtered, you would either stop using it, or desperately try to find a way to filter it.

        I have an unfiltered account that I manage Spambayes to filter it. Using that, I have full access to its results, can tune it as I like and can recover any messages that have been misfiltered. So far it has not yet misidentified legit email as spam, and I only get a couple of spam messages a da

    • by Boogaroo (604901)

      Either ISPs are a common carrier or they are not, the imposition of blocking techniques should carry along with it some responsibilities for its failures.

      Repeat after me, ISPs are not common carriers. They are data services. They don't want to be common carriers.
      There are many reasons they don't want to be common carriers, but the most often stated is because they would have to share the lines with the competition. Cable companies don't want to share and neither do the telcos(but the telcos are stuck with i

  • Whether e360 is now a spammer is not a fact determined by the default judgment. The fact determined by the judgment is that e360 was not a spammer when Spamhaus so identified it on the date of the action giving rise to the complaint.

    This is a HUGE gift from the appeals court.
    • by seebs (15766)
      Yes, because spamhaus has been accumulating evidence ever since, so at this point, they can list e360 forever. :)
  • by www.sorehands.com (142825) on Wednesday September 05, 2007 @12:01PM (#20480665) Homepage
    Though the default judgment still stands, the trial court judge will have to look harder at any injunction and money damages -- not take Linhardt's word for it.

    The reason for this is my case against him, at http://www.barbieslapp.com/spam/e360/timeline.htm [barbieslapp.com] , because in my case, I argued (and lost) personal juridiction of Linhardt, in part because he said (and the court believed it) that he had no business in California. I pointed out in his affadavit in the Spamhaus where he said "e360 and I lost contracts..." and "e60 and I lost business opportunities.." and that of the 7 companies listed, 4 are in California, he explained it away by saying that he really meant that when he said, e360 and I he meant e360 and I in my role as president. If you don't suffer harm personally, you have no standing to bring a lawsuit. I filed a motion for reconsideration, on Linhardt's personal jurisdiction, in part based on this.

    Spamhaus's lawyers are aware of this.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Okay, here's my idea to reduce spam:

    1) Send a massive spam campaign selling pharmaceuticals (viagra, weight loss, zoloft, hair regrowth, you name it)
    2) When the orders come in, send out authentic-looking prescription medication, but instead of medicine the pills are made of fast-acting poison.
    3) Thousands of people who are stupid enough to actually respond to spam, buy medication from spammers, and ingest said medication, are killed.
    4) Massive media coverage of the event makes spamming seem "dangerous" to t
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by SpamIsLame (1021333)

      2) When the orders come in, send out authentic-looking prescription medication, but instead of medicine the pills are made of fast-acting poison.

      This is unfortunately already happening:

      Vancouver Sun: Online drugs can prove deadly: coroner [canada.com]

      Not a joke: real people are dying from these scumbags.

      There are also several mentions of death via overdose or fake prescriptions containing harmful particles in the recent court documents released on the Chris "Rizler" Smith conviction as well:

      http://spamsuite.com/node/195 [spamsuite.com]

    • The downside? Well, in case anyone's still reading:

      Your post advocates a

      ( ) technical ( ) legislative ( ) market-based (x) vigilante

      approach to fighting spam. Your idea will not work. Here is why it won't work. (One or more of the following may apply to your particular idea, and it may have other flaws which used to vary from state to state before a bad federal law was passed.)

      ( ) Spammers can easily use it to harvest email addresses
      ( ) Mailing lists and other legitimate email uses would be affected
      ( ) No o
  • by Mathinker (909784)
    I skimmed the ruling, and he really goes through logical contortions to vacate the injunction, while having to accept that everything that e360 claimed was factual, because of the egregious legal errors that Spamhaus made.

    He really had to work hard to "do the right thing".
  • I am satisfied with blocking e360. I don't care if it hurts their business, because they shouldn't be sending me or any of my users emails. Spamhaus provided a means to ensure that we don't get such emails.

    I think Spamhaus could have avoided the issues they are dealing with now by not labeling spammers as spammers, and came up with a more politically correct term that is legally bulletproof.
    • by nuzak (959558)
      I think Spamhaus could have avoided the issues they are dealing with now by not labeling spammers as spammers, and came up with a more politically correct term that is legally bulletproof.

      David Linhardt, DBA e360, is a complete out-and-out spammer -- Spamhaus and others have copious documented proof of this fact. This is not a marketer suing over an erroneous listing, this is a clear-cut "sue to spam" tactic. If we're looking for other terms to describe Linhardt, feel free to pick one or more of these:
      • Lia
      • you and I know what e360 is, but calling someone a huckster forces you to prove that to be a fact in court. If you use more gentle or more vague terms, then the bar is set much lower and makes the court cases much easier to win.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by asuffield (111848)

      I think Spamhaus could have avoided the issues they are dealing with now by not labeling spammers as spammers, and came up with a more politically correct term that is legally bulletproof.

      Spamhaus are not in any trouble because of what name they used, or even what they listed. They're in "trouble" on a technicality, they messed up their claim that this court has no jurisdiction over them (which it doesn't; they are not a US company and have no holdings or business in the US, so a US court can't do a damn th

      • They can be blocked from continuing to do business in that jurisdiction. Not that it is enforceable in this age of the Internet.
        • by asuffield (111848) <asuffield@suffields.me.uk> on Wednesday September 05, 2007 @05:09PM (#20486045)

          They can be blocked from continuing to do business in that jurisdiction. Not that it is enforceable in this age of the Internet.


          As a donation-funded non-profit organisation based in the UK and Switzerland, they don't do business in the US at present, never have, and are not particularly likely to do so in the future. They don't even have a tax-exempt status in the US. A US court cannot prohibit US citizens from donating to them, nor can they confiscate those donations. There really isn't anything that a US court can do to them.
  • So what? This is just fucking bullshit, because Spamhaus is based in Great Britain, where the United States courts do not reach. It's just amazing that the judge even wasted neurons in handing-down judgment in that case.

    You can expect Spamhaus to keep listing Lindtard's e360 spam-sewer ad vitam æternam.

You know, the difference between this company and the Titanic is that the Titanic had paying customers.

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