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FTC Obtains Temporary Restraining Order Against 'Spam King'

by Glen Shapiro, LawAndTax-News.com, New York

27 October 2004


Ruling in New Hampshire's District Court in the first anti-spam case brought by the US Federal Trade Commission under new legislation, Judge Joseph DiClerico issued a temporary restraining order against SmartBot.net Inc. and Seismic Entertainment Productions Inc., and the principal of both firms, Stanford Wallace.

According to an Associated Press report, Wallace earned the nickname of the "Spam King" following massive spamming campaigns that he orchestrated on behalf of Cyber Productions in the 1990s.

The judge ordered Wallace to remove the software code designed to expolit web browser vulnerabilities from web sites, and set a hearing date for November 9.

Speaking regarding Judge DiClerico's order, Wallace's lawyer, Ralph Jacobs argued that his client just wants "to use the internet for advertising in lawful and proper ways", adding:

"There are a wide range of advertising practices on the Internet that use some of the techniques the FTC objects to, and the defendant looks forward to an opportunity to establish exactly what advertising practices are allowable."

This follows the passing earlier this month by the House of Representatives of the Spy Act, which prohibits firms from taking control of another computer from an external source, changing an internet user's homepage, or disabling anti-virus software, and allows the FTC to levy fines of up to $3 million for repeat offenders.

The House also recently passed the Internet Spyware Prevention Act, which gives the Department of Justice an additional $10 million to clamp down on spyware firms, and provides for prison sentences of up to two years.


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