I’m off to MAAWG next week and seem to have had barely enough time to breathe lately, much less blog. I have a half written post, but it’s taking a little more research to put together. That can wait until I get the chance to do the research.
Instead I thought I’d talk about the North Coast Journal article “The Rise and Fall of a Spam Crusader.” It’s quite an interesting article and looks into the personal and business sacrifices that people make in order to chase down spammers.
In my experience a lot of the serial litigators have very poor practices around data collection and analysis. They don’t collect evidence, they just collect email and then make assertions and assumptions. This not every effective when having to convince a judge that you are right.
The article actually does nothing to change this impression. The cases ASIS won are the cases where the defendants didn’t respond. That also means that ASIS couldn’t collect.
I do disagree with Mr. Singleton, the lawyer, where he says CAN SPAM is dead. In many cases I’ve seen there aren’t clear CAN SPAM violations. So if he’s trying to sue these spammers under CAN SPAM his cause of action is wrong. Secondly, the article goes on to talk about the broader implications.
what’s most galling, [Singleton] said, is how the ruling effectively eliminated ISPs’ ability to be bounty hunters, the role to which they were duly anointed by the CAN-SPAM Act.
Uh. No. ISPs are allowed to legally prosecute spammers, but no ISP I know of that has successfully gone after spammers has actually treated this as a bounty hunt. Sure, there have been some court wins and some settlements, but I don’t believe any ISP has won enough money to cover all their legal expenditures. And one time there was an actual transfer of property from spammer to ISP and the ISP raffled off the spammer’s Porsche to its users.