Washington State Outlaws Spam -- According to a Seattle Times article, Washington State Governor Gary Locke last week signed into law a bill that aims to reduce unsolicited commercial email, better known as spam (see "Damn that Spam!" in NetBITS-003, or search for "spam" in the NetBITS search engine). The new law, which takes effect in 90 days, makes it a violation for spammers to send email messages with forged return addresses, fake header information, or misleading subject lines. The law applies both to spam originating within the state of Washington and spam directed at people who the spammer knows, or has reason to know, are Washington residents. It also places the burden on the spammer to determine whether or not any given individual resides in Washington. People who receive such spam could collect up to $500 per message, and Internet service providers could collect up to $1,000. It remains to be seen how easy it will be to collect damages, but no matter what, the new law should create a possible economic liability to spam where none has previously existed.
In related news, notorious spammer Cyber Promotions has settled the last outstanding lawsuit against it by agreeing to pay ISP EarthLink Network $2 million and to stop sending unsolicited email to EarthLink members. Previously, Cyber Promotions settled spam cases with AOL, CompuServe, and Bigfoot, and had its network connectivity terminated by AGIS. [ACE]