back to article US Supremes flatline Virginia's hardline anti-spam law

A tough anti-spam law passed by the state of Virginia has officially been declared dead following the refusal by the US Supreme Court to reinstate a felony conviction prosecuted under the statute. The high court on Monday declined to review an appeal challenging a lower-court ruling that declared the anti-spam law …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    spam is spam no matter what type of group sends it

    Spam is spam, whether it's sent by a penis-enlarger, a XXX shoppe, or organizations like "Christian Response", who culled my name for God knows why and think I'm one of their Chosen Own.

    With "CR" I can tell they be spammers, 'cuz I've politely followed their "remove me" link and the shit keeps coming. It wouldn't surprise me if Rush Limbaugh helps fund them. Big fat idiots all.

    AC because I don't need any more of them finding me, thank you.

  2. Brendan Murphy


    So what is the supreme court's email address, for the benefit of all the spambots?

  3. Anonymous Coward

    How do I email this much maligned citizen?

    Most convicts have an email address for their defence campaign. I just want to help. I can tell him where to get Viagra if prison sex has become too boring.

  4. David Eddleman

    Makes sense

    I can't fault the supreme court for throwing the case out due to infringing the 1st amendment rights. Set a precedent for abolishing free speech and other cases can draw on it. But letting that twat go...nuh-uh.

  5. jake Silver badge


    "The high court on Monday declined to review an appeal challenging a lower-court ruling that declared the anti-spam law unconstitutional because it barred all anonymous, unsolicited mass emails, including those with political, religious, or other protected content."

    So what the court essentially said is that any political or religious wingnut can fill all the email boxes on the planet with impunity. Wonderful.

    When are these idiots going to understand that spam, in any form, doesn't scale?

  6. Christoph

    @ David Eddleman

    They are not infringing anyone's rights.

    Free speech means you can say what you want without fear of prosecution. It does NOT give you the right to force it on other people against their wishes.

    It does not mean that every religious nut has the inviolable right to jam people's email boxes, crash their ISP's servers, and slow down the whole net at vast cost to everyone just so they can send out millions upon millions of copies of their personal rants.

    If that's how the supine court interprets that amendment then it's about time the amendment was dumped, or at minimum heavily modified.

  7. Greg Adams

    They're missing the point

    The law in question doesn't make it illegal in itself to send spam. It makes it illegal to forge your headers so it is harder to trace back to you. The link to it is below:

  8. Erik Aamot

    The ISPs need to handle SPAM .. period ..

    excuse the repeat on this topic

    ATT-Yahoo DSL is doing a fantastic job blocking spam while allowing legit mail through

    I went from 80 average per day on my main account to 3-5 ... another long term account that's actually much more public .. was 30 per day .. is now 1 or 2 average ..

    it's the ISPs that have to filter and stop mass emails .. :blackhole: ... it's the ISP's bandwidth and storage being wasted, and costing consumers more than it might otherwise

    I don't use the ATT/Yahoo webbrowser/email interface.. everything pull to my email client with no filtering , including everything in webmail's spam folder .. no copy left on server ..

    so if is able to do this .. why aren't others ? ...

  9. Pierre

    Stop, you twats

    This law wasn't about spam. It was about "spoofing" the headers. With an aggravation for spam.

    I'm glad it was barred. Now keep only the spam part, and it's good to go. Also, if this particular campaign crashed AOL servers, I supposed this guy could still be charged with that, regardless of the fact that he modified some headers.

  10. Rab S

    and heres me thinking

    that the freedom of speech did not automaticly mean anybody gave a shit or had to listen...

  11. Alan Brown Silver badge

    Spam isn't free speech

    Any more than me blasting a loudspeaker truck outside your house at 3am is free speech.

    It's disturbing the peace and should be treated as such.

    There are already limits in the USA for advertising and you can BET that offensive political or religious billboards, etc get taken down under their strange "indecency" laws.

    Please don't confuse free speech with offensive behaviour.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Greg - the question is whether we protect speech,

    or whether we also protect anonymous speech.

  13. Don Buchholz

    Virginia High Court = Dopes. US Supreme Court has more important matters.

    The way I read this is that the Supreme's just decided that they didn't want to review it.

    I guess their attitude is "do we have to review everything!?". They're right. The original stupid ruling the one the Virgina prosecuter was appealing), was handed down by the Virginia State Supreme Court (see Sep. 2008 article in the Reg's related-links section).

    The US Supreme Court doesn't have time to review every stupid ruling made by lower courts. They're probably wishing, just like the rest of us, that Virginia had competent judges in the first place. Maybe if they let the moronic ruling stand, the Virginia voters might actually pay attention to the qualifications of the Idiots they vote into service. (Well, I can dream, can't I?)

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