Virginia‘s Supreme Court has rejected claims that tactics commonly used in email spamming are protected by the Constitution’s First Amendment. This comes as particularly bad news for a North Carolina resident who has been convicted of felony spamming in Virginia. Jeremy Jaynes has made millions from spamming by tricking recipients with falsified message headers. Under Virginia’s strict anti-spam laws, Jaynes has been sentenced to a nine year prison sentence.
Jaynes’ defense that his tactics are constitutionally protected was supported by three of the commonwealth’s four justices, leading to speculation that this case will advance to the U.S. Supreme Court. Meanwhile, Network World highlight’s a recent report suggesting that the threat of harsh penalties is not leading to a decrease in spam, as November data shows that 72 percent of all email was spam.