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Spam Creep Gets Creepier

In the same way that death row inmates regularly claim innocence (unfortunately, sometimes they're right), spammer Jeremy Jaynes says he's 100 percent not guilty. In Jayne's case, it's not that he didn't do it; it's that spam shouldn't be illegal in the first place.

According to Jaynes' equally creepy lawyer, spam should be protected as anonymous free speech. Of course, Jaynes' form of spam (er, anonymous free speech) included using false originating addresses and messages meant to trick us out of our money.

I'm all about free speech, but protecting spam is so wrong on so many levels, I almost don't know where to start. First is the issue of decency. When you send an unsolicited, filthy e-mail to my 11-year-old son, I have a problem.

Next, anonymous speech doesn't deserve universal protection. I shouldn't be able to slander and libel you, and then hide like a coward behind anonymity. And I shouldn't be able to sell you fake male enlargement products and then claim a right to be anonymous.

Perhaps most important, while speech should be generally free, the Internet actually costs money. Don't forget: The carrier lines, routers, servers and all the rest cost someone money. And if your Trojan takes over my PC to spew spam, that's costing me money.

I wish Jaynes all the luck in the world -- as long as it's bad!

While Jaynes' lawyers think spam laws are too strong, judging by my inbox and quarantine, I say they're way too weak. What say you? Send your thoughts on spam laws to me at dbarney@redmondmag.com.

Posted by Doug Barney on 09/17/2007 at 1:15 PM


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