EarthLink wins spammer suit

The Internet service provider gets awarded more than $24 million in monetary damages, but says the real victory is in preventing members from being spammed.

Margaret Kane Former Staff writer, CNET News
Margaret is a former news editor for CNET News, based in the Boston bureau.
Margaret Kane
EarthLink has won more than $24 million in a claim against a spammer, but the real victory is in preventing members from being spammed, the company says.

EarthLink filed its claim against Tennessee resident K.C. "Khan" Smith in August 2001, accusing him of violating federal and state Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) statutes, the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1984, the federal Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 and various state laws.

The Internet service provider moved for summary judgment in a federal court, and the judge ruled in EarthLink's favor after Khan failed to show up for the hearing or contest the claim.

"While we don't know if we'll recover any monetary damages, for us, the victory is in being able to take steps that help stop spam," EarthLink spokeswoman Carla Shaw said.