The Court of Appeals of Virginia upheld yesterday what is believed to be the first conviction in the nation under a state anti-spamming law that makes it a felony to send unsolicited mass e-mails.
A North Carolina man was convicted in Loudoun County two years ago of illegally sending tens of thousands of e-mails to America Online customers. Prosecutors said Jeremy Jaynes flooded the servers at the Internet company's headquarters in Loudoun with bulk e-mail advertisements for computer programs and stock pickers.
Jaynes was sentenced last year to nine years in prison on three counts of violating the state's anti-spam law and was allowed to remain free on $1 million bond while his case was appealed. Thomas M. Wolf, an attorney for Jaynes, said he plans to appeal yesterday's decision.
Via Wlofie (in email), Anti-Spam Conviction Is Upheld
The headline is a bit misleading—it should be “Spam conviction is upheld” not “Anti-spam conviction is upheld” as it's a spammer that was arrested and sentenced to jail, not an anti-spammer.
But that nitpick aside, the good news is that spammers can now see their day in jail. The bad news—spam will probably not be done from the US much longer.
Do I really expect to mess up spammers that much by setting my backup MX record to
127.0.0.1? To cause their servers to melt under the load of ever lasting spam circulating through their servers, perpetually delivered back to themselves for anohter round of attempts?
First off, the spammers that are sending email to the backup MX server is already using custom (or customized) software to begin with—the SMTP spec states that servers contact the MX servers in priority order (with the highest priority one being considered the primary), which is something the spammers aren't doing.
Second, it's likely that they're using botnets (large collections of compromised machines) to do the actual sending of email, and the chances of the machine in question running an SMTP server are pretty low. So the likelyhood of me causing their servers to melt down are very low.
What I am expecting to see is a drop in the number of spams I receive. And possibly causing a headache or two (hopefully).