Microsoft Files More Spam Suits

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Microsoft intensified its legal assault on spam with the filing of seven lawsuits against alleged spammers marketing sexually explicit material, the company said last week.


The complaints were filed in Washington state Superior Court in King County. They allege seven unnamed defendants violated the federal CAN-SPAM Act by failing to include the label "SEXUALLY-EXPLICIT" in their e-mail subject lines and text. The Federal Trade Commission mandated such a label as part of rules it was charged with devising under CAN-SPAM.


Spam lawsuits often are filed against unnamed defendants. The suits let plaintiffs subpoena records from Internet service providers to identify the defendants.


Microsoft's lawsuits allege the defendants also violated federal and Washington state law by using compromised computers to send e-mail, as well as failing to include an unsubscribe option and physical address. Microsoft said hundreds of thousands of unsolicited e-mails were sent.


Microsoft said it also filed another suit against an alleged spammer marketing adult-oriented material. On Nov. 12, the company sued an unnamed defendant alleged to have sent unsolicited e-mail advertising Korean-language pornographic Web sites.


Microsoft has filed 115 spam-related lawsuits worldwide, 86 of them in the United States.


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