High court won't hear Virginia spam case

The Supreme Court upholds a lower court's decision that the Computer Crimes Act, a commonwealth law against junk e-mail, violates First Amendment rights.

The Supreme Court on Monday said it is refusing to consider reinstating the Commonwealth of Virginia's junk e-mail law.

The court's inaction upholds an earlier ruling of the Virginia Supreme Court that Virginia's Computer Crimes Act violates First Amendment rights. The broad law prohibits the anonymous transmission of all unsolicited bulk e-mails, including those containing political, religious, or other speech protected by the U.S. Constitution.

Virginia State Attorney General Bill Mims, according to other reports, is planning to draft a new antispam law in the next General Assembly session to address constitutional concerns.

The Virginia Supreme Court's September ruling overturned the conviction of Jeremy Jaynes, the first person to be convicted of a felony under the state law. In 2005, Jaynes was sentenced to nine years in prison for sending more than 10 million junk e-mails a day.

Considered one of the most prolific spammers ever, Jaynes, according to prosecutors, made up to $24 million by selling fake goods and services via spam. He is currently serving 42 months in federal prison on an unrelated fraud conviction.

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