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Class Action Lawsuit Against Spammer 299

sfjoe writes "California-based spammer eTracks is being sued by the law firm, Morrison and Foerster (who have a very cool homepage). M & F's press release says they are "...seeking other relief, including attorneys' fees and statutorily authorized damages of $50 for each email delivered in violation of the law, up to $25,000 per day". California's anti-spam law has already held up under appeals court scrutiny so this may very well be a major setback to the spam industry." I think spammers should be forced to pay by donating an organ for each forged header.
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Class Action Lawsuit Against Spammer

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  • Mofo. (Score:5, Funny)

    by Bonker ( 243350 ) on Friday March 15, 2002 @05:26PM (#3170280)
    These are either the coolest lawyers in the world or most clueless.
  • MoFo (Score:2, Funny)

    by unformed ( 225214 )
    How cool of a name is that?

    Judge: And the defendent is MoFo and associates.

    I'll have to hire them if I ever get caught ..... um, i mean, arrested.
  • by derrickh ( 157646 ) on Friday March 15, 2002 @05:28PM (#3170296) Homepage
    Unfortunatley, odds are that as soon as they win the case, the spammer will disappear and resurface somewhere else, only to repeat the process.

    • Go where? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by ackthpt ( 218170 )
      Unfortunatley, odds are that as soon as they win the case, the spammer will disappear and resurface somewhere else, only to repeat the process.

      The hole in this theory is that most of these people are actually based in the US and spamming because they have squat for money and need to con people to get any. Now, assume they relocate to Mexico they might get away with it for a while, but I wouldn't count on that either. Effectively they'd have to pick up and move themselves to a country without extradition, etc. If they have the wherewithall to do that, most probably wouldn't need to spam.

    • Which is why we should jail the spammers and seize their assets. And put them in with Enron and Andersen execs who stole, in a large cage with the Taliban and al-Qaeda.

      Then do streaming video and sell the rights to finance the convictions of more spamsters ....

  • homepage (Score:2, Funny)

    by selderrr ( 523988 )
    who have a very cool homepage).

    Not anymore in say... 30 minutes ?

    Mr. Turd, this is MoFo.Prepare for some heavy slashdotting
  • by Stonehand ( 71085 ) on Friday March 15, 2002 @05:31PM (#3170333) Homepage
    It looks like Morrison and Foerster is suing on its own behalf rather than some other party, and that the spammer had continued to spam even after being warned.

    Oops. So when can we expect a) spammers filtering to avoid spamming law firms, and b) law firms offering e-mail aliasing to avoid the spammers? :)
  • $50/e-mail! (Score:2, Funny)

    by Yoda2 ( 522522 )
    I could retire at $50/spam message!

    The big problem is how can we get at all of the garbage that originates overseas? Half of my spam comes from ".tw"

    While it would be nice to get rid of spam, I will miss the daily opportunity to have my penis enlarged.

    • Re:$50/e-mail! (Score:2, Informative)

      by zbuffered ( 125292 )
      I could retire at $3/spam. :(

      The way we get rid of .tw spam is we all cut taiwan off, like we did China, until they stop all the damn spamming. Then go on to the next country we get spam from and threaten to cut them off. Choke them off one at a time until they execute spammers or whatever. Like Microsoft.
  • by pinkpineapple ( 173261 ) on Friday March 15, 2002 @05:32PM (#3170337) Homepage
    ...and win my case? I receive about 3 ads for penis enlargement a day even if I am from the opposite sex.

    PPA, the girl next door.
  • by edrugtrader ( 442064 ) on Friday March 15, 2002 @05:32PM (#3170341) Homepage
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Sen. Jeff Sessions Sen. Richard Shelby Rep. Spencer Bachus Rep. Sonny Callahan Rep. Bud Cramer Rep. Terry Everett Alaska Sen Ted Stevens Sen. Frank Murkowski Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl Sen. John McCain Rep. J. D. Hayworth Rep. Jim Kolbe Rep. Ed Pastor Arkansas Sen. Dale Bumpers Sen. Tim Hutchinson senator Rep. Jay Dickey Rep. Tim Hutchinson California Sen. Barbara Boxer Sen. Dianne Feinstein Rep. Brian Bilbray Rep. George Brown Rep. Tom Campbell Rep. Chris Cox Rep. David Dreier Rep. Anna Eshoo Rep. Sam Farr Rep. Vic Fazio Rep. Jane Harman Rep. Tom Lantos Rep. Jerry Lewis Rep. Zoe Lofgren Rep. Howard McKeon Rep. George Miller Rep. Ron Packard Rep. Nancy Pelosi Rep. George Radanovich Rep. Frank Riggs Rep. Fortney 'Pete' Stark Rep. Lynn C. Woolsey Colorado Sen. Wayne Allard Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell Rep. Dan Schaefer Rep. David Skaggs Connecticut Sen. Christopher Dodd. Sen. Joseph Lieberman. Rep. Sam Gejdenson Rep. Christopher Shays Delaware Sen. Joseph Biden Sen. William Roth Rep. Michael Castle Florida Sen. Bob Graham Sen. Connie Mack Rep. Michael Bilirakis Rep. Charles Canady Rep. Peter Deutsch Rep. Alcee Hastings Rep. John Mica Rep. Dan Miller Rep. Cliff Stearns Rep. Karen Thurman Rep. Dave Weldon Georgia Sen. Max Cleland Sen. Paul Coverdell Rep. Saxby Chambliss Rep. Mac Collins Rep. Newt Gingrich Rep. John Linder Rep. Charlie Norwood Hawaii Sen. Daniel Akaka Sen. Daniel Inouye Rep. Neil Abercrombie Idaho Sen. Larry Craig Sen. Dirk Kempthorne Rep. Helen Chenoweth Illinois Sen. Richard Durbin Sen. Carol Moseley-Braun Rep. Jerry Costello Rep. Harris Fawell Rep. Luis Gutierrez Rep. Dennis Hastert Rep. Ray LaHood Rep. Bobby Rush Rep. Jerry Weller Indiana Sen. Dan Coats Sen. Richard Lugar Rep. Lee Hamilton Rep. John Hostettler Rep. David McIntosh Rep. Tim Roemer Rep. Mark Souder Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley Sen. Tom Harkin Rep. Jim Nussle Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback Sen. Pat Roberts Rep. Todd Tiahrt Kentucky Sen. Wendell Ford Sen. Mitch McConnell Rep. Jim Bunning Louisiana Sen. John Breaux Sen. Mary Landrieu Rep. Jim McCrery Maine Sen. Olympia Snowe Sen. Susan Collins Rep. John Baldacci Maryland Sen. Barbara Mikulski. Sen. Paul Sarbanes Rep. Ben Cardin Rep. Robert Ehrlich, Jr. Rep. Albert Wynn Massachusetts Sen Edward Kennedy Sen. John Kerry Rep. Martin Meehan Rep. Joe Moakley Rep. John Olver Michigan Sen. Spencer Abraham Sen. Carl Levin Rep. Dave Camp Rep. John Conyers, Jr. Rep. Vernon Ehlers Rep. Peter Hoekstra Rep. Lynn Rivers Rep. Nick Smith Rep. Bart Stupak Rep. Fred Upton Minnesota Sen. Rod Grams Sen. Paul Wellstone Rep. Gil Gutknecht Rep. Bill Luther Rep. David Minge Rep. James Oberstar Rep. Collin Peterson Rep. Jim Ramstad Rep. Martin Sabo Rep. Bruce Vento Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran Sen. Trent Lott Rep. Bennie Thompson Rep. Roger Wicker Missouri Sen. John Ashcroft Sen. Christopher Bond Rep. Jo Ann Emerson Rep. Richard Gephardt Rep. James Talent Montana Sen. Max Baucus Sen Conrad Burns Nebraska Sen. Charles Hagel Sen. Bob Kerrey Rep. Jon Cristensen Nevada Sen. Harry Reid Sen. Richard Bryan Rep. John Ensign New Hampshire Sen. Judd Gregg Sen. Bob Smith Rep. Charles Bass New Jersey Sen. Frank Lautenberg Sen. Robert Toricelli Rep. Robert Andrews Rep. Bob Franks Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen New Mexico Sen. Jeff Bingaman Sen. Pete Domenici New York Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan Sen. Alfonse D'Amato Rep. Sherwood Boehlert Rep. Eliot Engel Rep. Michael Forbes Rep. Maurice Hinchey Rep. Sue Kelly Rep. Peter King Rep. Rick Lazio Rep. Nita Lowey Rep. Carolyn Maloney Rep. Thomas Manton Rep. Michael McNulty Rep. Susan Molinari Rep. Jerrold Nadler Rep. Bill Paxon Rep. Charles Rangel Rep. Jose Serrano Rep. Jim Walsh North Carolina Sen Lauch Faircloth Sen. Jesse Helms Rep. Cass Ballenger Rep. Richard Burr Rep. Sue Myrick Rep. Charles Taylor Rep. Mel Watt North Dakota Sen. Kent Conrad Sen. Byron Dorgan Rep. Earl Pomeroy Ohio Sen. Mike DeWine Sen. John Glenn Rep. Sherrod Brown Rep. John Kasich Rep. Michael Oxley Rep. Rob Portman Rep. Deborah Pryce Rep. James Traficant Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe Sen. Don Nickles Rep. Ernest J. Istook, Jr. Oregon Sen. Gordon Smith Sen. Ron Wyden Rep. Peter DeFazio Rep. Elizabeth Furse Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum Sen Arlen Specter Rep. Jon Fox Rep. Paul Kanjorski Rep. Paul McHale Rep.John Murtha Rep. Curt Weldon Rhode Island Sen. John Chafee Sen. Jack Reed South Carolina Sen. Ernest Hollings Sen. Strom Thurmond Rep. James E. Clyburn Rep. Bob Inglis Rep. Mark Sanford Rep. John Spratt South Dakota Sen. Tom Daschle Sen. Tim Johnson Tennessee Sen. Bill Frist Sen Fred Thompson Rep. Bob Clement Rep. J.J. Duncan Rep. Harold Ford Rep. Bart Gordon Texas Sen. Phil Gramm Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison Rep. Joe Barton Rep. Lloyd Doggett Rep. Martin Frost Rep. Henry Gonzales Rep. Gene Green Rep. Sam Johnson Utah Sen. Robert Bennett Sen. Orrin Hatch Vermont Sen. Jim Jeffords Sen. Patrick Leahy Rep. Bernie Sanders Virginia Sen. Charles Robb Sen. John Warner Rep. Rick Boucher Rep. Thomas Davis Rep. Bob Goodlatte Rep. Jim Moran Rep. Owen Pickett Washington Sen. Slade Gorton Sen. Patty Murray Rep. Jennifer Dunn Rep. George Nethercutt Rep. Linda Smith Rep. Rick White West Virginia Sen. Robert Byrd Sen. John Rockefeller III Rep. Nick Rahall Rep. Bob Wise Wisconsin Sen. Russell Feingold Sen. Herb Kohl Rep. Thomas Barrett Rep. Jerry Kleczka Rep. Scott Klug Rep. Mark Neumann Rep. Tom Petri Rep. James Sensenbrenner Wyoming Sen. Craig Thomas Sen. Mike Enzi Guam Del. Robert Underwood
      • any of these bozo's ever reads their own email ?? The got some staffer to delete things as they come in.
    • If it works as supposed (by law) to, will add spammers address to the list of removing, effectively removing this address and spammer's from the list.

      But if works as it usually works, you effectevely created a cycled list of selfsubcribing spam lists!

    • Hey! Stop posting on slashdot and get back to work, like the rest of us! Uh, oh, wait....

      (mr edrugtrader is my employee :)

  • Not to be confused with Mark A. Fry & Associates [].
  • by derrickh ( 157646 ) on Friday March 15, 2002 @05:35PM (#3170358) Homepage
    Who's the hitech private dick thats a sex machine to all the chicks?

    Who won't let you down when there's spam all around?

    You damn right.
    That mofo is one bad mutha-
    -Shut your mouth!
    I'm just talkin' about Morrison and Foerster.
    -We can can dig it!

  • Good make them pay (Score:2, Interesting)

    by md_doc ( 8431 )
    I know when I e-mail my lawyer they charge me for about 15 minutes in most cases at an hourly rate of 250 an hour so it makes sense that if this spammer is mailing them all day long they should get charged as well.
  • by sharkey ( 16670 ) on Friday March 15, 2002 @05:42PM (#3170391)
    From the eTracks homepage:
    Not only is your target moving...It's picking up speed.

    Now I wonder why that is. Could it be that your "target" is trying to not receive your fucking worthles spam? Perhaps they are satisfied with their penis size? Maybe they don't want to about losing 150 pounds in three days? Perhaps the Ladies Quilting Club down at the retirement center isn't interested in tight teen anal sex?
  • by Mordain ( 204988 ) on Friday March 15, 2002 @05:43PM (#3170405) Homepage
    As a collective sigh of longing sounds over the internet the unthinkable has happened. The slashdot community has fallen in love with a law firm.

  • by BrookHarty ( 9119 ) on Friday March 15, 2002 @05:44PM (#3170411) Homepage Journal
    [snip]Morrison & Foerster employs approximately 1,000 attorneys and 1,350 non-attorney staff in 18 offices worldwide. [/snip]
    [snip] Morrison & Foerster was named by Fortune Magazine in its first list of 100 Best Companies to Work for in America. [/snip]

    Thats alot of desktop computers and servers for a company, Always wondered how many people from the companies in articles on /. read slashdot. I know I get a kick when the company I work for or related subjects are news posts.

    Come on MoFo IT/IS guys, post some replys!
    • by Anonymous Coward
      It ain't just the IT/IS guys reading -- I refresh this site every 15 minutes or so..

      - MoFo attorney (is there any other sort?)
  • Ok, I can understand slashdot reposting a story that was reported, say, two months ago. But this story [] was posted _yesterday_. You can tell they're the same story just from the three line blurb on the front page.

  • Deja Vu? (Score:2, Informative)

    by DragonPup ( 302885 )
    This story seems oddly familar []

  • by Lumpish Scholar ( 17107 ) on Friday March 15, 2002 @05:52PM (#3170476) Homepage Journal
    The reason people spam is that the cost is low, even in the worst case.

    Spammer's worst case just got much worse.

    If spamming becomes a risky, possibly very expensive proposition, the big spamhauses could be in trouble. They've got deep enough pockets to be hurt badly by such a suit. Bad news for them; good news for the rest of the Net.

    Sadly, it's probably not much of a threat to spammers in China, Russia, etc.
  • Not Class Action (Score:3, Informative)

    by CaptainCarrot ( 84625 ) on Friday March 15, 2002 @05:55PM (#3170490)
    Geez, don't people read the linked material before posting? Or don't the editors make corrections before sending the thing to the main page? This is not a class action suit. It's Morrison and Foerster suing on their own behalf because of spam sent to users on their own network.
  • The lawsuit is being filed on behalf of Morrison & Foster by itself and is not a class action. Nobody else is entitled to restitution. Sorry. I'm waiting for better tech [] to sort out this sort of "editorial" oversight in the future.
  • I hope Bernard Shifman [] is making enough money to be able to cover his advertising expenses at $50 per e-mail. I don't think he is because last reports had him still spamming message boards and a few other addresses.

    Couldn't Californians bring suit against Shifman if they have recieved one of his silly resumes?
  • I noticed this on Etracks' page:

    Response rates:
    E-messaging 5%-15%
    Traditional direct 0.5%-5.0%

    Source: Jupiter Communications

    Anybody know how accurate this is? I always though spam was less effective than junk mail . . .
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 15, 2002 @06:51PM (#3170802)
      Wow, what a day. Today I found out that a good friend of mine just started working for a Spammer. I genuinely don't know how I feel about this -- he's part of the fucking problem!!!

      Anyways, the info he told me about their first spam run:
      400 web page hits per day pre-spam
      500K emails sent out (on behalf of a client)
      192K hits to client's webpage after that
      only 400 "take me off this list" messages


      So I guess it works.
    • Response rates:
      E-messaging 5%-15%
      Traditional direct 0.5%-5.0%
      Anybody know how accurate this is?

      The 5-15% response rate for emessaging is about right for "direct email marketing" [non-UCE or unintentional ("oops, we f---ed up") UCE]. Actual response rate varies wildly, depending on list composition, message type (newsletter, service reminder, etc.), and the vlue proposition of the message itself. Response rate is usually defined as unique clickthroughs (at least one "click" on at least one link contained within an email per recipient == a response). Jupiter may have defined it to mean something else.

      Response rates in this range generally require good recipient lists (recent, active accounts comprised of people who actually opted to receive your message). Weaker lists ("sign up for special messages from our partners when you open a HotMail account") typically net a 2-4% clickthrough response in best case scenarios.

      Now, true UCE/spam ... well, I find it difficult to believe that its response rates (measured as clickthrough) rarely approach even 2-4%, let alone 5-15%.

      Note that the "response rates" for the two media you lifted (email v. direct mail) aren't necessarily measurements of the same *type* of response.

      - fmr. direct email mktg. cog

    • If it were less effective, there wouldn't be as much of it. Duh.

      Spam is not only more effective than traditional direct mail, it is far cheaper (for the advertiser).

      I suppose the effectiveness will wane when net-newbies are no longer newbies. Which means never. As long as someone responds and the spammer gets results, the spammer will continue to seek those results.
  • by Dimensio ( 311070 ) <darkstar.iglou@com> on Friday March 15, 2002 @06:28PM (#3170694)
    Regarding "I think spammers should be forced to pay by donating an organ for each forged header."

    Who would want an organ from a spammer in them? I'd sooner trust an organ from a pig, at least it's a mammal.
  • I just sent those guys at MoFo an email saying thanks, and win one for the good guys, etc. I think it would be cool to show them how much support they will get for doing this sort of litigation. Perhaps it will persuade them (or other law firms) to go after lots of other spammers. I never thought I'd be so openly rooting for a law firm to win a case. But spam is THAT evil.

    Anyway, contact them at

  • Try looking at TMDA []... I'm running it on my mail server and I am down from 10 spams a day to one a month. That one is through a mailing list that I would rather not unsubscribe from.

    Basically it adds a whitelist of people that you will accept mail from, a blacklist that you will reject mail from, and will allow people to automatically add themselves to your whitelist.

    You can also have time limited addresses, keyword addresses that you can revoke, and so on...

    It is working for me, if it's not working for you, why not. :-)


  • by Jace of Fuse! ( 72042 ) on Friday March 15, 2002 @08:12PM (#3171172) Homepage
    I think spammers should be forced to pay by donating an organ for each forged header.

    I'm not sure I'd ask anything from a spammer, short of their immediate death.

    TO: Jace of Fuse!
    FROM: Body Organs Galore

    Hello! I am e-mailing you about this great opprotunity to get ahold of a high quality kidney! Let me tell you the story! Once not too long ago, a college boy woke up in a bath tub full of ice...
  • by Telemakhos ( 548307 ) <> on Friday March 15, 2002 @08:15PM (#3171181)

    This lawsuit made it onto NPR tonight... I was rather amused by one spam executive saying the mail was not "unsolicited" because many users give their names to mailing lists when registering for products... "without knowing it" (exact quote... forgive the lack of attribution, but I'm sure someone can dig up an NPR transcript for around 6:45 PM EST on 15 March 2002).

    My question then is this: how is the mail not unsolicited if the user doesn't know he's soliciting?

    Plato's Socrates might argue, of course, following the Meno, that the user's psyche solicited e-mail advertisements before birth and merely forgot about his solicitation upon entering the world. Perhaps he would demonstrate this by having an uneducated slave register software and sign up to be notified of special offers that might be of interest to him... but then the Athenians forced Socrates to drink hemlock precisely because they didn't want to put up with that kind of nonsense.

  • Make spammers pay by being forced to donate $5 per email to each of the following:

    Electronic Freedom Foundation
    Coalition Against Unsolicited Commercial Email
    Free Software Foundation
    Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC)
    Privacy International

    We'll have enough lobbying power to stomp the NSA, telemarketers, spammers, AND the RIAA :)
  • And how about when spammers lie, and say "this email was not sent unsolicited, you opted-in". I know for a fact that I never opted in to any of the spam places that send me this stuff.
  • Well, for the ones that say that spammers has never hurt anyone, I can only say that they haven't tried to have their own email adr as the sender of some spam mail. If the undeliverable error mails doesn't kill you, the 1000s of mad people thinking that you sent it will sure get to you.
  • I wonder... (Score:3, Funny)

    by CleverNickName ( 129189 ) <> on Friday March 15, 2002 @11:16PM (#3171710) Homepage Journal
    I wonder how Spammer^H^H^H^H^H Governor-hopeful Bill Simon feels about this?

    I wonder if we could bring class action against his campaign?
  • I looked at Etracks's web page. Unlike many alleged spammers, they *look* like they're in the legitimate email marketing business - sending email to people who actually want to receive it, e.g. product announcements that people have asked to be updated on, etc. They have a management team that has some respectable-sounding background, and relatively professional-looking pages with relatively professional-looking data.

    Compare that to the average spamhaus or spammer page you've seen that tells how you can !Annoy! People!! Fast!!! or get !!!Bullet-Proof !!!Bulk!!!! Email!! Accounts!!! and !!!Address !!!Harvesting !Software!!!!!!!.

    That doesn't mean that these guys *aren't* just spammers with college educations trying to attract a better-paying class of spammer or trying not to discourage the occasional legitimate customer, but at least on the surface they look respectable. But perhaps Mofo Knows []

To do two things at once is to do neither. -- Publilius Syrus