U.S. Supreme Court declines to hear spam appeal

Chris Rizo Mar. 30, 2009, 2:00pm

WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline)-The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to hear a state's appeal to reinstate its law blocking spammers from sending mass unsolicited e-mails to computer users.

Without commenting on the case, the nation's highest court declined to hear an appeal by Virginia to keep its Computer Crimes Act of 2003. The state's spam ban applied to commercial and non-commercial speech, including political and religious messages.

Since the high court refused to hear the case, the 2004 criminal conviction against commercial spammer Jeremy Jaynes will not be reinstated.

He was the first defendant in the nation to be convicted of sending bulk unsolicited e-mail messages. In 2003, Jaynes sent more than 55,000 unsolicited messages to people with America Online e-mail accounts.

In Jaynes' Raleigh, N.C., home, authorities found more than 176 million e-mail addresses and 1.3 billion e-mail user names.

The Virginia Supreme Court struck down the state's anti-spam law last year and overturned Jaynes' conviction and his nine-year prison sentence. Currently, he is serving time in federal prison on an unrelated fraud conviction.

After the law was struck down, Virginia Attorney General Bob McDonnell appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. The case is Virginia v. Jaynes 08-765.

From Legal Newsline: Reach staff reporter Chris Rizo at chrisrizo@legalnewsline.com.

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